"Sometimes I still think I will see you in New York
And we will meet on the platform of the train.
And with your great leaning stride
you'll cross back to my side,
And my old life will be my life again".
-Now That You're Gone, lyrics by Elaine Rubenstein
A few weeks ago I looked up the commencement date for the University of New Hampshire. And not because of a nostalgic, lingering interest in my humble alma mater. Only because it is the school Andrew was attending four years ago this fall and would be graduating from. Today. The 24th.
I've already pictured it many times. Maybe I would have been able to attend. We'd strain to see him among a field of black gowns and hats. We might be able to pick him out, standing tall, his back held straight, hands in fists by his side. Would he be wearing those aviator sunglasses? Would he find us in the crowd and wave? I know I would feel proud of him, happy for him, this goal of his met and his face turned toward the future.
Of course I know any number of things could have changed his college plans if he had lived. He might have transferred to another school, changed his field of study, left school for something else. It's hard to have nothing left but speculation. For that reason I guess it seems important to me to have this one last event with a date we can mark, knowing what his plans could have been for this day. To be able to say with some confidence, this is what today would look like with Andrew in it.