You think they forget. The don’t talk about it often, so you think they’re not thinking about it.
But then suddenly you’re rising over the clouds, spread out below you like rolling fields, and your oldest says that way off in the distance she can see Grandpa Bill. His house is there – fluffy, big like a castle – and he’s just chillin’ with Maddy and mommy’s grandpa, Great. It’s neat up above the clouds, closer to where he is.
After hearing this story while waiting for dinner in the C concourse, your youngest becomes uncharacteristically quiet. In a moment, she is leaning in close, and you don’t even realize that her face is wet with tears until she pulls you close to whisper, “We’re just not complete without Grandpa Bill here.”
And you understand that they do remember, after all. It is woven into the fabric of themselves, worn and frayed but making up their DNA, these people and pets they have loved and lost. Most of the time, they do not even mention them… But when the memory bursts forth like a sunbeam, they cannot stay quiet.
We are on our way to Minnesota to visit Gigi and Grandpa Ray, Aunt Emi and soon-to-be-Uncle Matt. It promises to be a fantastic weekend; we are excited and very much looking forward to it.
And if the trip there brings us closer to Bill and Maddy and Great, then so much the better for us all.