I look out the windows and wonder this. When I am doing the dishes and staring at the night sky, I wonder if the one star that sits there staring back at me is you. When I shut the lights out for the evening and I check the back door wall to make sure it's locked, that same star is there. I know they move, the earth moves, but that same star always seems to be there, so I say it's you. And when I see it I say HI ALEX just as if you were standing right in front of me. That's where my mind takes me, thinking you are a star. Other nights, I say I have an angel in heaven watching over our family. I figured you are there, with Velvet and grandma Killoran and the rest of our family that has passed away. Can't think of anyone from our family so bad that wouldn't be there, so I count them all up there with you.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. That’s what I remember the most from my catholic classes and the bible. Well, I can't lie, I remember other parts. Like why God made rainbows and then Adam and Eve and the apple. But what I remember about death is when you died, you went to heaven and became an angel. I always said I wanted to be an angel. So I could come back and watch over my family. somehow guide them; sit on their shoulder and help them make the right decisions against the evil little imp that sits on the other shoulder and tempts them. I am allowed to believe in what I want, and this is mine. You really never told me your beliefs. You knew there was more to this life than just one God, a heaven and a hell. This world was way too big to have just that going for it. Science ruled a lot of your beliefs, but it didn't take away your thoughts of miracles and other beings. Other than that, we knew you wanted to be cremated. "So much wasted space on this earth with bodies in it. Pretty soon we will all be wondering why do we bury the dead.” Your words. Whimsical to some, hurtful to others, but yours, and you are entitled to them. We just followed your wishes. Others believe you bury your loved ones and pay tribute to them by visiting them and putting flowers on their grave so you have peace in your heart you were there. I was and am still always afraid if I had done that, I never would have left your side. I would have gone there every day when I was feeling down, needing to be near you, making sure that the words on your gravestone weren't covered so that they could be seen by others. People would walk by and say OH MY, so young, that poor family. I wonder how he died? I know this because this is what I do when I go to the cemetery with my grandma to visit my dad’s grave. We bury flowers in the summer around his headstone, and near the holidays we buy a grave blanket. Sometimes, as hurtful as it sounds, it feels like a duty. But out of respect and love for my grandma and my father, I do it. Some traditions just can't be changed, the living are too used to them and feel it must be done this way. and so it is. We don't want to hurt those who do believe.
Now you Alex, being yourself and definitely one of a kind, felt different. You hated funerals, refused to go, unless absolutely pushed (my dad’s was one) and it really didn't bother me. Everyone pays respect to the dead in their own way. I go to funerals to pay respect to the survivors. They are the ones who have to live with the loss. They are the ones that will remember you came and paid respect to their loved one. I believe in God, but I don’t have to go to church every Sunday to believe. Sunday is a day put aside to gather together with others of the same belief and listen and pray. I used to feel peaceful when I went into church. I feel the joy of marriage and baptisms are what churches are for now. And when you feel you need guidance, to be able to go and talk to someone.
Your ashes remain with us; along with grandma Killoran's. Of yours, I put ashes in ten small tins so that if anyone asked, they could have some. Surprisingly, they did ask, and that made me happy. You have gone to California and now travel through the Santa Monica pier. DJ made sure you are floating and traveling in your favorite fishing spot. You went on Tom and Allison’s honeymoon. You are flying through the hills and valleys of Arizona. Your dad and I put a few ashes for you to rest with Taz and then holding hands together let the wind take you where it wanted for the rest of the ride. You ashes are spread with grandma Barbara's around Uncle Tommy’s house and a little went with Audra. I think you are in a lake behind Mitch's home. You were on the ground where Audra and Mitch exchanged vows and the wind carried you around there home while it was being built. All places I thought you would like be part of. To be carried off farther into this big beautiful world, some places you missed out on seeing while here.
We have counted on your angel powers from down here. Your father made it to the hospital and didn't die from a heart attack that easily could have taken him. Even though the sky was dark in some parts and looked like it would open up at any minute and drop pails of rain, we made it through Audra's and Mitch's outdoor wedding ceremony before a single drop fell on their heads. When grandma was tired and she felt she was really ready to go, she drank her favorite scotch, ate a few chocolates, and went peacefully in her sleep in her favorite chair. I was just ever so glad she came to one of Audra’s dress fittings. She didn’t make it to the wedding in person. Somehow, through all of this, I kept thinking Alex, thank you. And yet I will never know for sure if your hand played any part in any of it; but I still believe. Anything is possible. We all know that. Angels travel among us every day. You are my angel, our angel.