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.


Anonymous said...

God bless you Liane and give you the strength and wisdom you need today.

Love you!

Rebecca said...

that older boy in the photo? looks a bit like Prince William. does he get told that at all/often?

ljmax said...

Rebecca--Yep, Andrew was the same age as Prince William and he did get that comment a few times.

Claire said...

Thanks, Liane. It helps to be reminded that Andrew is - not just was.

the Joneses said...

I wish I'd known him. His sisters are good at keeping him alive as a person, not just as a tragedy.

-- SJ

kw said...

Thanks for posting this...i love that pic of andrew...baby face:)

Shari said...

I thought the same thing about Prince William.

Andrew was handsome. I've always thought that if someone close to me dies, I want to talk more about their life than their death.

Very poignant words, Liane. Thank you for sharing.

melbrown said...

Liane, I love that you post on these days. I was just with Jeff and Fritha yesterday, and our conversation turned to friends...and memories of Andrew just started to flow in the most natural of ways. No awkwardness, hesitation or hushed tones, just laughing at him and with him and loving him then and now.

Prince William had nothin'.

gretchen said...

I love this picture: it's beautiful of both Andrew and Ethan.