July 5 has become sort of like Reece’s Memorial Day for me. Truthfully, after getting beyond the difficulty of knowing his final day on earth, I recognize it really is not the worst day that we experienced with him. I don’t dread this day; it’s more reflective than anything. I also don’t visit the cemetery on this day–he was never there during his lifetime, so going there feels a little strange sometimes. It’s a day that is typically pretty low key, quiet, and mostly, I am solo in my own thoughts about him.
All of my grandparents knew Reece here and passed away after he did. My last surviving grandparent died the first week in March, only a few months ago. After Reece died in 2012, she kept a framed picture of him in her apartment. She wasn’t a person who kept a lot of photos up, but this one she took with her to the various places she lived in her remaining years. My mom brought it to our house yesterday and, incidentally, it is the same photo I planned to post of him today. It was taken on July 4, 2010, when he was three years old. He’s so precious and cute–it is a good picture of him.
I have many things to say, but really, today probably is not the day to do it. I just didn’t want the day to pass without posting about him. He gets his space, too (spoken from a mom with a pile of kids…) I get two formal dates with him–his beginning here and his beginning in Heaven. The juxtaposition of the privilege and difficulty of that reality is a challenge to articulate. I’ll say that holding his entire earthly life within my own has been and continues to be a labor of love. I get to do it. It is not easy, but he’s mine, and worth every bit of it.
So, I’ve inherited the framed picture of Reece that my grandma used to look at and she gets to hang out with Reece in person. I’m certain they are having an incredible day.