Yesterday I was looking for a photo on my computer and came across this one I don't remember seeing before. When I clicked on it and it opened full size on my computer screen, LIFE sized, it was startling, as though he were right there looking at me, with that quizzical amused look. How I wonder what he was thinking. Oddly enough, he was either wearing this shirt when he died, or one much like it.
I don't know who took this photo, only that it was taken with a Fuji camera (probably his), and I don't know where I got it. I do know it was taken in the house on 9th Street in Manhattan, Kansas because of the drapes and computer screens, so it had to be between 2002 and early 2005. I'm betting it was 2003.
Even now, as I write this, he has such a direct stare into the camera that it unnervingly looks like he is there looking at me. How I wish he were! I sit here in this room where he once had his computers and a sort of "living room" for himself, before he moved out to Tampa, and wish he were back again.
We have learned to live through it all, to appreciate him, what we have, learned to handle grief, which comes back, but is mixed with good memories, too, learned that we can feel many emotions at once, sadness and happiness together.
We went to the cemetery today. There were tears. There were also smiles. They say no one is truly gone as long as they are remembered. I disagree. He is remembered, but he is gone. What remains is not him, it is our memories. We keep him in our hearts and minds, always.