Easter is usually a hard time for me. The church services are all about new life and new beginnings and frankly, over the past five years of failed infertility treatments it has been hard to embrace the excitement over new life--I mean, the entire plant and animal kingdom bursts forth in a frenzy of procreation and then there was Mr. LC and I.
Devoid of spring.
I have to say yesterday I did not feel this way about myself specifically. Maybe I'm getting over myself, I don't know.
I did cry, though, during the service. When I looked at the bulletin and saw that our choir was singing a song called "Arise" with a male soloist I grabbed Mr. LC's hand and said "Can you go get me some tissues? I'll never make it through that song."
You see, a long time ago I had a spectacular cousin named Jim. He was my only cousin on my Dad's side of the family. He was a teenager when I was born and I idolized him. He was hip and smart and knew all about fashion and took my sister and I shopping and played with us and taught us cool things and when we were little he spent Christmas morning with us just so he could experience seeing the magic of Santa Claus through our eyes.
He was perfect.
He was also a beautiful singer, with a voice that was damned near angelic.
I dreamed of the day he would sing at my wedding.
His life was cut tragically short at the age of 31. I will never forget waking up one morning as an awkward, hopelessly uncool 13 year old to find my mother standing at the foot of my bed.
Her words left me stunned and reeling and confused and hurt and I felt like the wind had been knocked right out of me for months.
My sweet cousin--one of the only people who had the ability to make me feel beautiful and special and cherished--gone. Gone too soon.
The last song I ever heard him sing "Arise."
On Sunday I closed my eyes and listened as an angelic male voice sang that song and it nearly took my breath away.
The tears, they just fell.
It's been over twenty years, but when you lose someone tragically and early and they mean so much to you, time is sometimes meaningless.
"You were supposed to grow old
You were supposed to grow old
Reckless, unfrightened, and old
You were supposed to grow old"
And yet, emotions are complicated things.
Despite this immense sadness I felt for the loss of my cousin, after church I laid my head on the mister's chest, while we stretched out on the grass in the park as a family of two, while much larger, louder families all around us celebrated Easter with picnics and pinatas and barbecues and I said "I am happy."
I am happy because I have known love that is deep and wide, and I have felt cherished, and I am lucky to have known my cousin for the thirteen years that I did.
I am happy because I can, in an instant, recall his beautiful voice and hear him sing to me.
3 years ago