Tonight we celebrated Sean’s birthday in a traditionally nontraditional way. Greek food. For a man who didn’t like to profess to having favourites, this was something he enjoyed immensely as a family in those moments when he wanted to celebrate a victory or to even embrace a defeat. He would have been 42 today. It’s a far out emotion. Unlike my shallow self, he loved birthdays and the entering into a new year of life. I panic with birthdays. I panic with the inevitable process of aging. But 42. I think of the dreams he had and the visions, the endless vision he had for our family, for our community, for the church, and for every person he befriended. It was nonstop…and it is mind blowing how that the vision has stopped in time- to some degree- when he died at 40. Life has continued to move forward, of course, and I do believe we are beginning to learn the rhythm to this unfamiliar tune. Tonight after putting the kids to bed, I saw that it was only River who drew pictures in the birthday journal we made for Sean last year. Nola said earlier she wasn’t ready to write in it and Memphis, well, he’s a thinker. I don’t want to put pressure on the kids to have to do anything. I want to leave this journal as mere option- write it or not. Be free. My heart broke for River, though. He was quite young when Sean was diagnosed and really witnessed a lot of the gruesomeness sickness does to one’s well being. He missed out on a lot of the fun things his dad did or at least would have remembered him doing. To have been a 4 year old with a dad too sick to play or to go on adventures with, he seems to have this unspeakable grace for the whole thing. Does he not remember how horrible it was? Or perhaps he only remembers how loved he was by his dad and those other things don’t really matter to his young heart. I am not sure. For this Dennis the Menace meets Tom Sawyer boy, there is a kindness and an inner strength I pray continues to grow and develop with whatever diversity comes his way. God I pray he would remain grounded in the solidness only love truly can instil.