Today marks another month without you. The 22nd of every month is another tally mark and try as I might to not look at it this way it is impossible not to. As Dad and I go about enjoying our days here in Maui you, sweet Will, are on our minds every minute. I took you on the plane with me when we left on the 12th and as you sat on my left shoulder where I’m told the boy angels sit I thought about how I longed to make this trip to Maui with you physically. The “could haves, would haves, should haves” echo through my body still.
And then I see you. And I believe that you are indeed here with us. Sometimes you make me laugh in how you show up. This morning as I write to you this bird stops by just a few feet from where I sit and he turns his head and stares at me, fluffs his feathers, cocks his little head and let’s out a little noise that sounds like he’s choking on a popcorn kernel or something. I watched him watching me and then he turned sideways and strutted off one foot in front of the other while his head bobbed in and out sort of like a crazy dance move. Every few steps he’d stop and look back at me and then off he flew. I know that was you, Will. That crazy little bird was crazy little you saying good morning. I smiled at him and actually said good morning to you out loud.
I also see you as one of the many, many geckos that grace this beautiful home where we are staying. You scurry about, straight up and down walls, sometimes leaping from a plant pot to a leaf or a branch, sometimes ripping to the edge of the swimming pool where you’ll stop still in your tracks, look at me and then start doing what looks like little push ups. And then there’s the palm trees. When they sway back and forth in the breeze I imagine that maybe it’s you waving to us. I believe you are the sea turtles that Dad sees every time he goes windsurfing and that they are you watching out for Dad when he’s so far off shore that I lose sight of his sail. Please tell me that’s what you’re doing! And I believe that you are the heart shaped pieces of coral that I pick up on my beach walks. They are the centrepiece on our table and in the evenings while we enjoy our post sunset dinner you sit on our table… smack dab in the middle of Dad and I.
Perhaps the most profound sign of you so far was the boy on the boogie board last Thursday. It was late in the afternoon and as Dad and I were soaking up the sunshine we were mesmerized by this little guy to our right. He was maybe 7 or 8 and he was using his boogie board as if it were a skim board. Over and over and over he would run full speed into the shore break clutching the board under his arm and then at just the right moment he’d lay it down, jump on it with both feet and then launch himself, arms and legs flailing, into the air where he’d tumble into the other side of the shore break. We watched him for a long time, mesmerized by how much this little guy reminded us of you. Sometimes he’d do flips off the curl of the wave just as it crashed to the shore and in the aftermath of all the churned up sand and white water shore break that would wash up the beach, there too he’d be. It was like the shore break delivered him back to where his parents sat and watched him. Each time Dad and I imagined that he’d say, “Watch this! Mom. Dad. Watch this!” And off he’d go again and again and again… I couldn’t take my eyes off of this little boy and the fun he was having. He had the same zest for life that you had, the same skinny little body and lanky arms and legs. The way he ran was like watching you run and the cool little swagger that was part of him reminded me of you too. His idea of using that boogie board as a super launcher was so “you” and in my mind I could hear your giggle. I saw that little boy two more times that week and each time my eyes were drawn to him like he was the only other person on the beach. I still can’t stop thinking of that boy. No one was having as much fun as he was. I wonder if that was you, Little Blue? It sure could have been.
These Maui days are some of the most relaxing I’ve had in a long, long time. I don’t remember feeling this peaceful, this rested, this calm in the four years and two months since your angel date. I do feel you are here with us in so many ways, that you share my heartbeat and my breath and that you are indeed a part of me.
Love you like a bus, Willy. A big bus full of super launcher boogie boards. See you on the beach today, little Blue. I’ll bring the sunscreen.