Ethan and I were talking about today being Uncle Andrew's birthday and he asked how old he would be. I had to stop and calculate and then do it again. Of course I don't know my own age at any given moment, but 26?! That is old. Hard to imagine.
So many thoughts buzzing around my head that day as we all shuffled around Andrew like zombies in our grief. One I could not push away was how he would become, over the years, a legend of sorts. A tragic story spoken of in hushed tones around the campfires of various social circles. That boy named Andrew? The one who just fell over right there on the field? Remember him? No?
The idea that he would live on in this manner was entirely hateful to me. His life becoming no more than a death. Years from now, the people who should have known him, known his humor and his face, would know him as a lull in conversation and tears in the eye.
Ethan asked if we could send him a balloon today although this is what we usually do for Seth's birthday. I hesitated. Ethan thought about it and then asked, "But won't the balloon get burned up in space?" My boy is getting older and I don't want to answer these questions.
Ethan and Andrew, 2003.