I haven't posted anything here since August 23rd, two weeks ago, though I've thought about it every day. I think back to the first two years after Leif's death and how posting on his blog was one of the most important priorities of my day, how I thought I would end it on the second anniversary of his death, but couldn't, and how I've posted less frequently since then, how other crises and needs in my life have taken over the time I used to devote here. I know that's normal, but how I would want Leif to know that I think of him just as often. Peter W. and I talk about him every day. We still miss him terribly, so terribly.
When I'm looking through those old photo albums from the days before digital photos, I still see so many photos of Leif that haven't been scanned, haven't been shared, and each one has memories attached to it, some of them things we probably wouldn't think of without a photo to remind us.
This photo was taken in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, in a boat on the lake that was formed when a Thai family friend was head of a project to put a dam on the river. We were in Thailand in December 1981. Leif was one month shy of his seventh birthday. Ben took us to see several sights in that area, the dam, the lake, the Bridge on the River Kwai, and the Erawan Waterfall to name some of them. We stayed in a government resort on the lake shore which was guarded by officers with impressive-looking guns. The boys were interested in those, but didn't dare to approach the guards and ask about them.
The were also fascinated by the dam and how it worked, and loved the boat trip on the lake. You can see Leif's hair blowing in the wind. He was wearing a life jacket, of course. What surprises me about this particular photo is that he looks a little scared, a little dubious, and to use a term that Peter W. now often uses to describe some of Leif's childhood photos, vulnerable. Yes, he does look vulnerable. Peter W. said yesterday that he thinks because Leif was always so big and physically powerful for his age, and put on such a good front, that we didn't really see how sensitive and vulnerable he was. I agree. I knew that he felt things deeply, had strong emotions, and that he could get hurt feelings, but he concealed so much that I don't think we were really aware of the depth of his emotions except during the more extreme outbursts of frustration or anger. And, I think he, like many men, often burst out with those rather than show hurt or cry as a child.
When we see these photos, Peter W. says Leif looks so huggable. He was, a beautiful, beautiful, huggable child, though he wasn't a cuddly one with most people. He was too active and squirmy for that.
I thought that by the time we were nearly three-and-a-half years past his death, the hole in our lives might feel less deep, but it doesn't.