In past years, I’ve awakened on September 23rd to immediate thoughts of Chance. I always wonder what he would look like now and what he’d be doing. He would be 22 years old now and I suspect he would have made a fine young man. He likely would have graduated from college and found his first engineering job. Or would have run off with a rock and roll band as a roadie. We’ll never know for sure, but it’s nice to imagine what might have been, and for the past nine years I’ve spent a fair amount of time on September 23rd thinking about what might have been. Yesterday, for the first time ever, I didn’t. I almost missed it. I almost let the day slip away without remembering what day it was.
For a brief moment I felt a pang of guilt and worried that I was starting to forget him. Sometimes now, it’s a little hard to remember what his voice sounded like, and that bothers me. I brushed away the worry though because in my heart I know I haven’t forgotten. The joy that I gained from knowing him, and the life lessons I learned from his passing are always with me. I live each day with the knowledge that life is short, and we don’t have much time to make the most of it. That we should live without fear because some things are worse than failing. Whenever I do something adventurous or courageous I think of him. And I smile.
I think my forgetfulness yesterday was a just a sign of healing. My memories are tied less to the horror of the day he drowned and more to the love that we shared. I carry him in my heart every day, not just a single day in September, so yesterday was just another day. And that my friends, is a good thing.