Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Leif with his Brother, Peter, April 1980 in Austria

Oh, Leif, if I could only talk to you, tell you how hard this is! I do. I talk, out loud, as though you could hear me, but only silence replies.

Tomorrow your brother and his family are arriving. I love them so, just as I love you. I should be happy and excited that they are coming, my beloved and accomplished first son and grandchildren, but instead I am crying because you will not be with us. Not be there to play chess with Madeleine. Not be there to take silly videos of Aly. Not be there to see Marcus try to play one of your guitars. Not be there to talk technology with your brother and argue politics with all of us. Not be there to hug me, leaning down from your six foot two height. Not be there.

Oh, how I miss you, Leif.

This is one of the most beautiful photos I have of you and your brother. Look at you, snuggled up together. This was taken in Scheffau, Austria, in April 1980 when you were 5 years old, probably on that trip where you threw the fit about wanting the James Bond Lotus car toy. We stayed in the Pension Wilder Kaiser and had a wonderful vacation. I wish I could take you there now.

You and Peter Anthony were close once, and I think you both forgot that once he went away to the Air Force Academy. Somehow, you both forgot all you shared, the affection, the fun, the play. You grew apart.

You were always someone who needed physical closeness to keep a relationship going. Long distance communication wasn't enough. Peter, six years older, left you behind and went out into the world. We thought you were glad, because when he was at home, you were quiet and he was talkative . . . but when he left, it was as though the floodgates had opened. You talked and talked and talked, as though all the thoughts you had were pent up over the years, now that the dominant older brother was gone, you could finally let them out.

But I wonder now, whether you felt deserted, as though a treasured companion had left you, and pushed him away as I had seen you push others away when they were geographically far from you. Did you fell the loss? Did you worry about how you could keep up with him, soaring off at the Air Force Academy, while you were finding out that your eyes wouldn't pass the flight physical, you, who desperately wanted to fly?

Oh, Leif, what a beautiful and brilliant child you were. Why couldn't you find your place to shine?

Just one year ago, before you had your motorcycle accident, you still had hope. You still had dreams. You were still looking forward to a promotion at work. You were searching for love.

And then it all fell apart. I can see the progression, beginning with the accident and injury, the pain and disillusionment.

How I wish I could have made your life happier, luckier. How I wish I could have helped you LIVE!

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