I can recall where I was four years ago instantly. Physically, I was wrapping up a temporary stay in NYC. I'd gone back for a few months to remember what it was like to be a student again, and immersed myself in classical training. Emotionally, it was the worst time of my life. 2012 wrecked havoc on my heart, head, and soul. We'd lost my uncle that May. He was lost to me in a slew of other losses that year, varying for me in degrees of devastation. I'd been shattered, and I was trying to rebuild. His birthday (the first he would not be there for) was November 9. On November 10, I saw a play. I left on a high. I came back to where I was staying only to find out via face-time that my Grandpa had just died. I could't get home fast enough. I'll never forget that feeling. I wanted to crawl out of my skin.
Four years later, everything I've lost has come back to me in a new form. All that loss cleared out space for me to gain so much. I truly believe that must happen, and I am left even more amazed at the way birth and death are, in fact, one.
But there's a final piece from 2012 that I've never shared, because it didn't click for me until recently. And four years later on the birthday/departing day anniversaries, here it is.
Four years ago I had what can only be described as a vision. I was in Southern Utah for my my grandpa's funeral. Falling asleep, I saw as clear as day my grandpa and uncle outside in a beautiful clearing. The sun was bright. The sky bright blue. The grass and trees around them a vibrant green. They were young, and they looked so good! They had with them a toddler. A boy. He was as blonde as can be. They were all so happy, playing with him. Doing that thing you do with little kids where you hold their hands and spin them around so their feet are off the ground. It was very real. It was happening, or had happened, wherever they were. I didn't know who the toddler was, but they seemed to be taking care of him.
I thought about it from time to time over the years, but it didn't hit me until recently who that boy was...
For the Squirrel and the Bluebird, who continue to give.