Although it is hard to see, the picture above is of a piece of our wall which Ezra drew all over with a pen. As a Christmas gift to me, Robyn had a friend of ours (thanks, Michael) remove it from the wall, build this frame and mount the piece in it, and replace the drywall where it was pulled from, freshly painted to match the rest of the wall. I had no idea any of this happened. She gave it to me last night, Christmas Eve, and it is probably the most beautiful gift I’ve ever received. I’m so grateful for Robyn.
There are pieces of Ezra all over our life. This square of drywall, with the most “unimportant” squiggles of misbehavior, makes me catch my breath every time I see it.
In our shower, there is a small ledge at the bottom when you step in. Ezra and I would take showers together, and he would line up all his plastic toys on that ledge – always facing away from him. Each time I’d turn them toward him, he’d turn them away again. Now, every time I take a shower, I think of Ezra lining up his toys on that ledge, facing away from him.
I check the mail and remember Ezra as he would walk around in front of our house, just like in the video below. Such a quiet, “unimportant” moment which I always come back to. A sunny afternoon with my son. Nothing to do but hang out. A piece of Ezra.
A few months ago, a man named David called me after finding Ezra’s story online. His beautiful wife, Lauren, had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma at 29 years old – very rare. Last night, as I was driving home, I saw David had posted she’d died.
On Christmas Eve.
I cried in my car. David – Robyn and I send our love to you. We are crushed to hear this. I am so sorry.
In Lauren and David’s story, there is a piece of Ezra.
Today, as you are surrounded by people you love, and maybe as you grieve ones who aren’t there, find some joy in these “unimportant” moments. They are the stuff our joy is made of. These simple moments are the building blocks we use to create a feeling of being loved, and of loving.
We did many big things with Ezra, and there were many important moments in our life with him. But when I think of our first-born son, I remember him in the back yard covered in leaves. I remember him bobbing his head around in Outback as a song he liked came on. I remember how he would dance, and laugh, and dance, every day he was able. I remember these small moments with such clarity, pain, and joy.
To live your life with someone you love is so significant.
Our prayer for you this Christmas season is for many of these “unimportant” moments. For living life with people you love. For smiles, even if they’re with sad eyes, as ours often are. The world is so tragically beautiful – and I am broken in it, and I am awed by it.
From Robyn, myself, and Charley – a Merry Christmas to you and yours.