Sunday, March 22, 2009
Leif & His Mom & Dad - Miami, Florida - March 20, 2002 - Age 27
Today we went to the spring FunFest in our community. It was a gloriously beautiful day with things to see and performances to enjoy (including me performing as part of the German American Chorus). It should have been fun, and sometimes it was, but sometimes I was sad. I couldn't help remembering that last year when we were at FunFest, Leif was alive, and he and I were sending each other text messages. I sent him cell phone photos of silly vehicles. It was hard to go through the day remembering that he is no longer there.
And last year at this time, he was newly in love, seemed so happy. I was happy for him. I created that "Find Joy" t-shirt because I was really happy. And then, less than three weeks later, he was dead. How could that be? How could he go from being so lonely and depressed the previous November (2007) to happy and in love March 15, 2008 to suicide on April 9th? My mind still can't really make sense of it, even though I can go through and list all the factors.
The next few weeks will be hard, are hard, coming up on the anniversary of Leif's death. I have to come to grips with the realization that he has really been gone a whole year. It seems impossible. He smiles out at me from my computer screen, those deep brown eyes so full of intelligence, mischief, fun . . . or melancholy.
This photo was taken in March 2002, almost exactly seven years ago, during one of our first trips to Florida to look for a place to settle. We were having dinner at a Thai restaurant in Miami. Leif loved South Beach, and he happened upon a group of RX8 owners who invited him to come to a club with them. He was taken with the Miami Beach nightlife and I think he would gladly have moved to Miami, though we were less enamored of it. He was so alive, wanted so much to move to Florida, yet in six years he would be dead.
I wish I could send him silly photos. I wish we could share a dinner out again. I wish I could give back his possessions and see him using them. I wish I could take time back a year and find a way to help him live.