I was talking to one of my MANY friends with April birthdays the other day.
He’s still just a youngster, but was getting down, ostensibly about his age.
(Dude. Shut up. I’m older than you! I mean, granted, not by much…)
I offered to let him pretend to be 10 years younger for the day, if he’d like.
No; that was a really bad year, he told me.
Not meanly, but seriously.
And then I realized that he lost his sister that year, 10 years ago.
And I thought about the way I love my sister, and about the way I miss her voice sometimes just because it’s been a while, and about the way just the idea of losing her makes my heart feel tight and sore.
And I then realized how often I talk about her and her kids, blithely and happily and thoughtlessly… Because they are so dear to me, and I do enjoy them… as I should.
But forgetting that every time I do that, for him it might feel like death by papercuts.
And he never says a word.
And I realized that the one thing he’d really have loved for his birthday is one thing I can’t give him… the chance to talk to his sister one more time.
Lord have mercy.