This summer has been full of thoughts and memories of you. Your little “signs” are abundant and when I think about them I can’t help but smile. It’s crazy how many heart shaped rocks I have found and collected this summer; my pockets bursting each time I arrive back home after a doggie walk with Finn or a bike ride to the river. On our vacation in Maui the heart shaped pieces of coral would, of course, find their way to the pockets of my beach tote and at the end of each day I’d add the coral hearts to the growing line down the middle of the table where we’d eat dinner by candlelight. Me and Dad and you. Wherever I was, it seemed I only had to look down and there were heart shaped signs of you at my feet.
Holy cow, Will, I’ve quite a collection and when I empty my bursting pockets I am reminded of the things I’d find in your pockets while sorting laundry. Oh boy, there were Little Lego people and magnets, quarters and loonies that you’d find between the couch cushions where dad would often snooze (“searching” the couch was your cash cow!). I’d find fuzz balls and bits of rolled plasticine, erasers and lint covered candy and the occasional bottle cap or a torn piece of scrap paper with a friend’s phone number written on it so you could call them for a play date. All the random little treasures that were important for you to keep at the time found a safe place in your pockets. Just like my rocks.
While in Montana I was reminded of the many trips you and Kathleen would make in the golf cart to the store for Laffy Taffy and the iced tea cans you and Kale were collecting one summer. All the sand hill adventures are etched in my mind too — when you and your friends would scurry up the sand hills, rest for a minute or 5 seconds and then run full tilt or barefoot ski back down the hill and into the lake.
All the fun you had with Kale and Parker covering yourselves from eyeball to toe with mud and clay, swimming, building driftwood forts and how during your last summer you’d fallen in love with playing volleyball on the beach with the big kids and adults. Some of those memories still bring me to tears.
I’m back in Fernie now where there are memories of you all over the place. The ski hill, the ski shops that become bicycle shops in the summer, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory where you had a preferred customer card from all the candy apples you bought (thanks to all the money you’d find in the couch?). Watching ski movies with Josh and how you loved to spend time with him and Andrea on and off your skis. I love it here, Will, because you loved this place.
Come next week I’ll return home to our Redwood home where summer memories of you will live forever . I am reluctant to look beyond next week as September 2nd would have been the beginning of your last year of high school. My heart cannot go there yet. For now I will summon and enjoy the many summer memories of you and reminisce in what was. I look forward to each and every little sign you send my way and will continue to fill my pockets with as much as I can. Thank God for pockets.
Love you, Willy. Like a bus full of pockets.