I am alive to enjoy the sun, the air, the sky, and the sounds of summer. I can see my family, go to the beach, go for a run, talk on the phone. I am alive to enjoy the sound of my heart, the feelings of my soul, and the words of people who are close to me. I can write, sing, and take photos. I am alive to work and laugh and play and see and move. I can do whatever I want to do.
My world is slowly turning to color once again.
I was at my parents' house this weekend. I was playing with my oldest niece, Joella. She's 3 and a half years old. She got a new toy phone from my parents and was excitedly playing with it. She kept asking people to make pretend phone calls. Outside in the sun of my parents' backyard, her little blond head turning from side to side in thought, Joella handed me the pink phone. "Now call Uncle Rick," she said.
My heart broke into a million pieces for a second, but as my friend Daniele later said to me, "But you can call Uncle Rick in Bliss with a toy phone, Auntie A." And that's where Rick is. That's what Rick always called life after death. So I took the phone and I called Rick. Joella cocked her head to the side, smiling. She knows that Rick is gone. She may not understand the full concept of death, but she knows that she cannot see her Uncle anymore. After we finished calling Rick, she said, "Now call Juice," and made me call my cat. She said, "Call Juice but Juice is at home." She knew that my cat was at home and Rick was not.
It would be easy to be sad about calling Rick on a toy phone with my precious niece. Instead, I chose to smile about it. Mostly because I could imagine Rick smiling about it. We're alive, in color, and because we are alive, we can make a phone call to Bliss.