It’s been four years since I watched you take your last breath. Sometimes that seems like a flash in the pan. Other times it feels like an eternity. When I sit down to write this and I think of you and take time to remember, I feel tears test the edges of my eyes, and in that moment four years seems like nothing. But when I sit down to write this and I think of you and realize that the details have lost some of their sharpness, that the edges of the images in my mind have begun to blur, four years feels like forever.
I don’t have a lot to say this morning, just that while my memories of you may not remain in sharp focus forever, they still remain. I think of you often, much more than just on your birthday and the anniversary of your death. I probably think of you most on mornings after nights when I’ve made poor decisions—had too much to drink, got in a fight, whatever. It’s when I’m at my lowest that you come into my mind. But that’s not because I’m sad or depressed, or because I’m more sad about you being gone than usual. Rather, it’s because when I’m at my worst, I always think how you would want me to do better. How you would expect me to do better.
(Conveniently, this unhappiest of anniversaries always falls on the day after Cinco de Mayo, ensuring that I’ll be feeling cruddy. Tequila!)
You’re not here to tell me that joke was dumb, or that I shouldn’t have done whatever it was I did last night that I’m not going to publicly admit to today. (In truth, I was pretty well behaved.) But know that you are here, in my thoughts and in these words, and that will be continue to be true as long as I’m here to think and to type. Time wears away at memories, like the ocean tides eating away at seacoast cliffs. But it cannot erase them.