It snowed seven inches or so on Thursday night. I was thinking back to the winter when you were born. From January 6-8 in 1996 it snowed 17 inches.
As if it were only yesterday, I remember being up with you late at night, I must have plucked you out of your bassinet because you were crying, and dancing and whirling around the family room with you in my arms listening to this song called "Stories" sung by Maura O'Connell.
I used to wonder if I could dance
When my friends said to take a chance
Maybe I'd sail across the floor
Into the arms of a new romance
Take the world in my loving arms
Turn it over with all my charms
Twist around and around and around by you
Say the things that you'd want me to
But I would always lose my nerve
As soon as I would reach you, girl
(or 'reach you there' if you'd prefer)
I felt my feet stuck to the ground
I could not make my move
I could not make my move
And the chorus went,
Snowflakes that melt in the sun
Beautiful songs that will never be sung
These are the stories that follow the human race
Spirits that long to be free
Living in you, living in me
Living in lovers all over the universe
Over the universe
I think about that night so often and remember it so well because I was incredibly happy and scared at the same time. I was afraid that yours was a beautiful song that might never be sung, but in that moment and for so much of your life, my feelings of happiness and hope were so much stronger than my feeling scared. Only a few times was the scary more powerful. When we made the snowman with Jack (Remember how I took that picture of you two in front of it, had a puzzle made out of the picture and had you and Jack piece it together to figure out what is was. You had no clue. That was pretty cool, wasn't it.) and went to Georgetown that night or the next with pneumonia while Mom was in New York with Dr. Rosenwaks was one time when scary beat out happy. One of the last times scary won the fight was when it was snowing outside in Minneapolis and I went out to scrape the windshield of our car outside the Ronald McDonald house and Nana called me on my cell phone and told me to get to the hospital right away. Even though I was so happy because Mommy and Jack and Nana were all there to help us and Mommy was talking about going home, I knew I needed to be scared. When I got to your room you were surrounded by all those people and you were spitting out blood and Mommy was so afraid. You weren't scared, though. Just sad.
I saw a little girl make a perfect sledding run down a hill in front of American University this morning and I cried. I think I cried partly because I didn't have anything to be scared about anymore. And I cried partly because you never got the chance to make that sled run yourself. Yesterday I had lunch with Uncle Andy and his brother John. They had just taken Michael and Michael's other cousin's, Benjamin and Alexander, to their place in Utah to ski. You know how Michael is such a great skier, so I asked Uncle Andy if Michael felt the "thrill" of skiing through the deep powder snow and he said yes. When you learn to ski as a grown up, like I did, you feel equal parts being scared of falling or getting hurt, and equal parts having fun and being happy. When you are learn to ski young, like Michael, and Mommy and Uncle Andy and Uncle Andrew, I think you only feel the fun part. Michael isn't scared of anything. One thing that made me sad was watching Uncle Andy and John together. They are brothers who are all grown up and still really close. They work together and still play together, only their toys are a lot bigger now. I think you and Jack could have been like Andy and John. If I was their daddy I'd be a really, really happy guy.
I drove by AU this morning because I went to close your bank account. That made me really sad. Mommy closed your college savings account yesterday. The people who handle that money didn't know you died.
Today we are taking Jack whale watching. Hopefully we'll see one and I can put a picture here for you. You know what I want to tell you. You can read my mind.
I'll say this part anyway.
I love you,