Wednesday, May 22, 2013
A Heavy Heart
Travis. What to say about him? He was just a little boy when I moved away from the area where most of my family lived, over 35 years ago.
I remember a shy little boy with deep brown eyes and tousled red hair who hid behind his mother's legs when confronted with the multitude of cousins at a family gathering.
I remember a smile that lit those brown eyes and shone right into my heart, even in photos.
I remember the football player, smart, quiet, a leader who led without seeming to do so.
I remember seeing him again, many years later, when my mother was in the hospital. He came with his baby daughter, red-haired like himself, and told my mother the little one had been named after Mom's family home in England. I remember Mom's radiant smile, her joy at seeing Travis and holding, just for a moment, his little girl.
I remember him again at Mom's funeral, five years later, and his grief so strong he stood in the door of the church and could not come further. He was gone before I could speak to him.
I remember him, was it only last year, or was it the year before? Time slips by so quickly and happy memories sometimes jumble into one bright moment of joy. It was our family reunion, and he came with his new little daughter, a little one with fat sassy cheeks and flaming red hair. We had time to talk that day, and it was a pleasure to spend time with this quiet man who could still make my heart sing with his smile.
We will all miss him. There is a hole in our family now, a place where he once stood. But there is no hole in our hearts because our love for him will live on, and our memories will sweeten the sadness of his loss.
Life must go on, difficult as it is. We continue our daily work and wait for word about the memorial service. There is comfort in knowing his heart will beat on, in another's body, and others will live because Travis gave the greatest gift of all--himself, as an organ donor.
Rest well, Travis. We will see you on the other side.
Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.