Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dear Chad...

Dear Chad,

Yesterday was the 37th anniversary of your birth. Can you believe it? Thirty-seven years old. It was such a beautiful day, too. It seems like just yesterday I was tagging along behind you in the creek on Bellmeade Drive, and riding out to Mimi and PJ’s with you in the old blue Buick, thinking it was so cool that you could drive, and tasting that independence that "we" had found. We were a team on life's journey...but you always got to "do it first." In everything! Some days, I just can’t believe we grew up. I think that maybe I will wake up in the morning and Mom will be yelling for us to come down for breakfast, we’re late for school. Or maybe just wake up and be the 25 years old that I feel, calling my big brother to see if he wants to grab dinner at P.F. Changs tonight…our favorite. You would order the duck, and I would order the spicy chicken…and all would be right with the world. I would think of that bad dream, and push it from my mind…

I’ve asked myself lately, what would I say to you now…if you were sitting across the table from me? What would I tell you about all that has happened, since you’ve been gone? I heard a song the other day and a line in it made me cry, made me think of you:

I think it’s been around 5 years,
And everything and nothing’s changed.
I just wish that you were here…

That sums it up really…everything and nothing’s changed.

If you were here now, and I could tell you about the meantime, I think the first thing I would say is the obvious. I miss you. I miss you. I miss you. I loved you my whole life, but I’m not sure I cherished you until you were gone. I cherish you. I cherish you, and what your life meant to mine.

I never told you this, but I have had a feeling…for many years now… that your life would be meaningful, would change people. I sensed that you had a high calling. I had no idea exactly what that would mean, but I want you to know it was true. I can speak for no one else but myself, but I need you to know that your life’s journey has made mine richer, and deeper, and more abundant. I see now that suffering produces wonderful things, if the focus is on God. Just as Christ’s suffering on the Cross gave me eternal life, your suffering gave me perspective and depth and hope and perseverance and…I pray…more character and wisdom than I ever would have had otherwise. It gave me patience and courage and peace…taught me to find joy in the hard times and the silver linings of all the dark clouds that pass my way.

I hope I make you proud. I can see that smile…the smile that I pray you smile over me, pleased with the way life has moved forward. Chad, I must tell you, moving on without you was harder than letting you go. Do you remember what you said to me? “Marti, you need to understand something. God and I have an agreement. If he wants me to live, then I am ready to live. But if he is ready for me to die, then I am ready to die.” Thank you for that gift. Your peace then gives me peace now.

If you were here now I would tell you that you were right…Alex will beat us both to the altar! If you were here now, I would tell his bride makes him shine…and her sweet and loving spirit has gone a long way in healing the Sullivans that were left behind.

If you were here now, I would tell you all the secrets and desires of my heart, and ask you to hold them safe for me. If you were here now, I would cry an ocean of tears, and wash your feet to honor the road you have walked. If you were here now, I would insist you tell me everything from start to finish. What have you seen? Who was there? Did Rupp go to heaven? I sure hope so. Did you meet our other sibling…is it a brother or a sister? I have hoped they were there, to keep you company. As if you could be lonely in Heaven…silly, I know. If you were here now, I wouldn’t know where to begin, but…I think you might already know…

If you were here now, I would tell you that I know…you got the very best ending. It’s hard for us to hold onto that sometimes, but I know it. I wouldn’t bring you back here for the world…who would ever trade this old world for heaven? You live what I now look forward to…Eternity. I don’t have to be afraid...

My big brother did it first.

I love you to heaven and back…

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe I am even attempting to post a comment. However, I feel compelled to at least try in some way to tell you that this, these beautiful words will be read many many times by me.