Sunday, March 31, 2013

Five Years Since We Saw Him

Five years ago on Easter Sunday, which was March 23rd, was the last time we saw Leif alive. He was here for dinner, and how I wish I had taken pictures that evening. I've written about it before. It was a good visit, relaxed and seemingly happy. He was in love. There was no hint that he would be dead two weeks later.

Of all the Easter Sundays in my children's lives, it seems I took photos only a few times. I can't find many pictures of Easter egg dying or hunting and I've already posted those I have. Our Easter traditions were special and fun, but no longer practiced without children to make them fun and special. No more painting Easter eggs. No more hanging them on the Easter tree. No more setting out the little wooden Easter bunny figures from Germany or making the Easter nest cake for breakfast. No more hiding Easter baskets. No more cute little boys hunting for them. They are good memories. Easter will bring them back every year.

It's hard to believe it's been five years since we saw Leif. He is still so much a part of our lives, our thoughts. We still miss him every day. We still talk about him every day. So much still reminds us of him.

I love the look of wonder in his eyes in this picture. Leif was such a curious little "discoverer." The photo was taken in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1977. He was two years old.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thinking of Leif

Next month it will be five years since Leif died, but he seems to be as much a part of our thoughts as ever. We still talk about him, still are reminded of him daily, still feel his loss, still smile over his humor.

We were at Bay Pines National Cemetery on March 3rd, with cousins Wolfgang and Cordula visiting from Germany. It still brings tears to see his niche and know that is all that is left of my handsome, brilliant son, all that is earthly remains, at any rate.

Oddly, a couple of days later, the beautiful Hawaiian lei which has hung over his portrait ever since the day of his memorial service, now dried and still lovely, fell off of it for the first time in all these years.

It's amazing the number of things that can remind me of Leif. I was driving to my friend Chris's house a couple of times in the past week or two and saw many feral black and white cats. That reminded me of how much Leif loved cats, and how he had tried to get close to and tame the feral kittens that lived under our townhouse in Hawaii.

This picture was one that Leif's ex wife Nikko sent to me, taken by her, one of those precious photos I hadn't seen before, and is one of a series she took of him with one of their cats. I've posted some of the others before. I still wonder who else has photos of Leif I have never seen. This one was taken while he was in the army at Fort Drum, New York on August 20, 1999. This was shortly after we had visited them there and shortly before he went to Bosnia.

So much in our lives has changed since he left us, but our love for him has not.