Two years ago at this moment, Andy was at soccer practice. He had just been named a starter for the JV team for the high school that he was to start in 5 short days. The day prior to this, he had gotten his new uniform. We have pictures of him beaming in that uniform, the last we would ever take of him.
Two year ago at this moment, I was at home at the last second arranging to get Eric a ticket for the Whitecaps minor league baseball team. He was supposed to be working late on call, but the OR was unexpectedly slow that day. Peter was excited. Dad was going to get to go with us to the game. I had a few notes left to finish up from the day, but I knew that could wait until after the game. It was going to be such a fun night. My office had reserved a deck at the game. The boys were going to get unlimited food. Peter had skipped lunch so that he would have plenty of room for ballpark food.
Two hours from that moment, Andy’s life would be over and our whole world would be crushed. A driver, distracted by something that will never be admitted, slammed into our van and destroyed our family, affecting so many lives in the process.
These past two weeks have been incredibly challenging, worse than last year even. I think my head is more clear this year so I remember more details. I am so afraid of forgetting little memories about Andy that I have consciously gone back in time trying to remember exactly what happened every day of the last two weeks of his life.
The last Harbor Days and watching fireworks by boat. Soccer tryouts. Buying new running shoes. The first day of orientation. Making the soccer team. A last minute weekend up north visiting grandpa and grandma. Second week of orientation. School pictures in his school uniform. Being named a starter on the soccer team. Getting his uniform. Making new friends at school. Testing into Spanish 4. Getting his school schedule. Packing lunches for the homeless. Seemingly endless smiles. The car ride to the baseball game.
And then… nothing. There are no more memories after that one. No new memories of my precious boy. This week I asked friends and family members to send me some of their favorite memories of Andy. It is just so painful to not have had anything new for two years now.
Thank you to everyone who sent me a memory. I have had well over a dozen people reach out to share something with me. Some memories have made me smile and others have made me cry, but all have given me a new little insight about my boy and made me learn a little more about him when I thought I would never be able to learn something new again. Thank you all for that gift.
For those of you who grieve your own losses, ask people for the gift of memories. They are bringing me comfort on a day when little else can.