Sunday, November 15, 2009

Its all about the love.

I loved getting out of work early enough to make it to Centro before you left. The restaurant was always closed, but I would come in the back door and go into the office, where the door would have been propped open via the deadbolt. Just looking at you sitting in the black swivel chair, hunched over the keyboard and staring into the computer monitor, I could tell how your night had been. If you didn’t turn around when the door opened you had had a long stressful day and were trying your hardest to finish your duties and get out the door asap. On these days when you didn’t turn around I never broke your concentration, just walked up behind you and put my hands on your shoulders. They were so tense, and I would do my best to pull some of that tension out of your muscles with a little neck rub. My small hands were always instantly recognized, and you would lean back in your chair and say, “Ohhh Carl…”

After a minute I would sit and we would face each other and talk about our day. We would talk about boys and what exciting or hurtful things had passed, plans for the week, our families, your dad being sick. I remember right before your birthday talking about your family coming to see you. You felt so lucky to be having your favorite people come such a long way to see you for such a short amount of time.

Two weeks ago, my friend Sam passed away. She and my younger brother Taylor had been very close for many years, even dating through the end of high school and first year or so of college. My sister Bobbie and I jokingly called her our sister in-law, and had a blast laughing about the silliest things with her. Sam was 21, and had been fighting a rare form of cancer for two years. I kept Taige up to date on Sam and her fight. Multiple rounds of chemo and moving to Miami for a five organ transplant were not enough to damper her spirits. Everyone who met her or read her blog ( was always amazed by her diligence. If Taige had a tough day and was down I would remind him to keep his head up. After all, if Sam was keeping her head up the rest of us had no reason not too.

These moments were never taken lightly by Taige. He completely understood if his perspective was askew and rightfully adjusted to a higher outlook after we would speak of Sam.  The night after she passed I went to work for an intense 12 hour Halloween night shift and came home at 3:30 in the morning. I checked my email, and then Facebook. Taige had also had a long night at work and was still awake. As I crawled into bed exhausted from working and crying my phone rang and I answered it to talk to Taige. By this point it was at least 4 am. He had been on Facebook and saw my status, a link to Sam’s blog, which he followed and learned about the end of her struggle. At first he sounded upset, and then he was sobbing. It would be the last real conversation we would have with each other, and the irony of the subject matter it almost too much.

You told me you had just learned about her passing, and you were SO, SO sorry. That it doesn’t make sense and, “I can’t understand it. You have to know that she loved you so much, and that she knows how much you cared about her, and and it’s so crazy and hard to understand.” All of this said amidst the passionate emotions flooding out of him.
    “It doesn’t make sense and we have to be there for each other to help each other through it.” You were crying SO hard, I was really shocked. I realize now that neither of us knew it might not have been directly about Sam that you were speaking.
     Once you started letting these heavy and perfect words come out I silently cried not wanting to miss anything you said. They were the most comforting words I had heard all day, and felt so completely sincere. I can hear your voice in my head right now like you are saying these words into my ear again right now.
    You said to me, “It is about the love.” You told me that you loved me, and I told you that I loved you also. We talked for a while, maybe twenty minutes. You said over and over how you just didn’t understand it all, but that we HAD to help each other through it, we just had to. That we would get through it, together. Looking back, it just kills me. I am now having the exact same conversation with Beth and Jeff and Peaches and everyone I know and don’t know (via this blog) who loves you.
    So on that note, as Taige said we must, we must help each
other through this and keep a hold of the love we have for him and each other.
Huge, amazing, wonderful love to all.


ps- If you need a pick me up, read Sam’s blog entry from June 18, 2009. It will help you appreciate what is going on around you.

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