Thursday, January 28, 2010

Small Thoughts About Giant Gifts, On Your Birthday

Dear Jamie:

Today is your fortieth birthday. I miss you, and I ache to be able to celebrate you in the spectacular fashion you would have deserved. But I have been struck this week by how much faith I have in your love for me and your other loved ones. What I mean is that somehow the knowledge of how much you loved us buoys me, and that feels like some great fortune. And I wonder about the future: what will happen to this sensation of feeling your love around me, so easy to reach right now? Is there some way to hold onto it, since you're gone, and that becomes more and more true each day? I know nothing about how to answer those questions.

But it's your birthday today, and I feel truly lucky to know that you loved me the way you did. So my birthday gift to you is to try not to waste an ounce of it: to love myself as deeply and as loyally as you loved me, and to try and share those qualities of love with the people in my life. My gift, too, is to keep on nurturing the creative spirit in me which you helped kindle and spark for almost 20 years. And finally, to do the best I can to bring out these giant gifts of living in my own loved ones. Happy Birthday, Jamie. And thank you.