Gratitude - For the Light & Love of Nev

One month since you've been gone!
It's been exactly one month since I received the call that I had long stopped dreading. Because I never expected it to come. You were Nevender after all (see what I did there!😄). I sat on the living room floor of O & Bo's new apartment with a couple of friends trying to talk off the satisifcation we were suffering from our late Sunday lunch. Noah called me to confirm that you, Nev were gone. Dead. And I didn't believe it obviously, not because I didn't want to, I just didn't believe it. And so I promised to clear it up for him, as I hang up the phone, heart racing too fast to allow for a prayer, a thought and yet all of the above happened in what felt like eternity, as I recharged my data bundle to confirm my worst fears. You see, we spoke of that day often but only hypothetically.

We knew that you were out of that 'danger zone', you know, the much feared time of a sickler's life when everyone around them holds their breath every morning and every time they cry out in pain, and pray that it's not the day that they breath their last. When the doctors fear the worst. When the dooming reports never cease...the 'kids rarely survive beyond....' remarks stop. Worry turns to marvel from onlookers. (S)he's made it so far. Maybe they'll live a productive life. You did a lot more than live a productive life. Because that time, that worry was long gone. So we made plans. You asked that I go out and get on with this kids plan because considering my super-busy lifestyle, you concluded that I'd need a nanny, sometimes even 24hrs, and you'd gladly be that nanny, until you got your own little ones. Sigh! We really planned!

You lived with pain. Eisssh. Ever so graciously. I shudder at the thought that I forgot many times that you did. That you had to wear pain with so much grace, I became mindless to your suffering. That pain became a way of life for you. But that I pushed  you to do everything I could do because I never saw you as any different than another man. I thought it was a good thing, when we first met. Now, I don't know anymore. Maybe it's the pain of your absence. Or the guilt of not having done everything possible to make it better, all of it. Maybe... Maybe...

I never planned on writing a eulogy. Still don't. I still have one brewing for my Muffn, but the words just never come out (right). So I just planned to grieve my way into celebration. I have managed on several days to distract myself from the thoughts, especially those that turn into regret. I managed to do just that yesterday when I returned to O's house on a Sun-day. The place that I received the news on that fateful hot Sun-day. Because those thoughts are laced with pain.
They are also sprinkled with so much gratitude. For a life well-lived. For it did not feel short, because you shared so much of that short time, it felt like eternity.

I've been busy this past month. Done so many things I thought you'd be so proud of if you saw come to life. I worked up courage to record a show. Yes, on camera. Video and everything. I hated it at first. And then loved it. And now I look forward to getting better at it. I kept busy. And thought about you a lot. I saw you in so many life lessons on so many days. I didn't appreciate the idea, at first, that you keep schooling me in death, as in life. But now I count those little blessings too. For if it weren't for you, (sigh!) how little I'd know about literally everything I live for now.I have remembered to write, on this blog and in a journal (I bet you're laughing so hard to my lame attempts right now.)
I sang along to Mercy Me's Even if. I still do, to be honest. I've found so much comfort in remembering how well you lived. I never thought I'd be ready to go. Until you went. And now I understand that one can truly die to self, and live in Christ. That's all I seem to want to do lately.

I have also looked out for stars in the sky lately because I suddenly feel like I have many more out there. I keep looking out for yours, Juli's and Martin's. I can feel all of your watchful eyes. And some days I'm certain that where you all are is where I honestly want to be. Can you imagine? That it took you leaving for me to synthesize death, its sting and its blessing! You really did a number on me!

But this morning I walked into work thinking about pumpkin soup. Off I went looking for that little poetry collection, that teaser, the prelude to all the amazing mains you were yet to serve the world. Oh, the world would never have been ready for you! I wondered whether you even loved pumpkin soup, or did I talk too much about it after I successfully made it the very first and only soup to come out of my less-than-elaborate culinary efforts that you had no choice but to explore its magic. Anyhow, I find myself craving pumpkin soup this rainy morning. And perhaps your wit too.
I also find myself absolutely grateful for the Light and Love that you were, that you are and that you'll always be to me.

Rest Well Friend, until we meet again (which, lately I find myself selfishly hoping that it's soon).



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