How can we think of you and not think of your mother? Like a mother to us, too, we lost her and now you. So close together. After a more-than-hard year of limited contact and no embraces. Wasn’t it just last year that I held you when you got the call from the hospital, tried to soften your wail of agony with gentleness?
I think of our Game of Thrones nights. Archery or croquet while sipping cocktails. Dinner on the couch while we watched. Discussion after, outside at the round table. You exhaustively researched everything before the experience. Games, movies, TV shows. A task that would have ruined the pureness of a moment for me, but you enjoyed knowing the context first, the thought behind it, all the moving pieces. And when we had all experienced the focus of your research, we would talk for hours dissecting our thoughts and your gathered information on the subject. The beautiful thing about this was you became a library unto yourself. No one had their phones out at the table.
During our Pathfinder games you always had the best worst jokes. Mainly puns. Or dad jokes. And we would all groan and laugh and laugh-groan. What I liked about Pathfinder was we talked about it more than we actually played. So much character building. So much recounting what just happened or guessing what would happen next. Our campaigns lasted weeks, but in reality we probably actually played a couple of handfuls of hours. I think about those times in the soft glow of the kitchen with such warm energy. Can still hear your laugh and see the light in your eyes, a look of mischief and delight on your face.
I think about the Japanese gardens in Portland with you and your mom. How everything was haloed in a green just shy of electric. And we felt like we just walked into a Technicolor Oz. We wandered for hours trying to meet our self imposed Pagoda Photo Quota and we laughed every time we said those words aloud, which was often. You took us to your favorite place there. A cool, cave like space with simple symmetry that looked out on an abundance of green. We sat there quietly for some time and you looked so peaceful. The most relaxed that I’d seen since your surgeries.
I think about your earnest love. Your kind heart. Your, “Of course, I love you guys,” unadulterated kind of giving. And it hurts to know you are no longer here. Hurts to know we won’t hear another Breck joke. Or play another game. Or benefit from the library of your brain. I take comfort in knowing you still exist in our hearts. That I can share these memories of you and your mother, and know that you both live, safely, in the burrow of my heart.