“Always remember there is nothing worth sharing than the love that let us share our name.” -The Avett Brothers
I am sitting in a cold parking lot outside a grocery store. I am supposed to be at Lizzie’s last team volleyball game, but I dropped her off and drove to this lot and started to cry instead.
Today is the third anniversary of David’s death. He was killed, instantly, suddenly, without a glimpse of warning, in a car accident that involved speed and a curved road, a best buddy, and alcohol. The details of what followed are too sad to account here and frankly, are not my story to tell.
Today our family is gathering to celebrate David. A lot has happened since that awful day when my dad had to walk up his sister’s driveway and tell her the news. Quinn came home from the hospital, Lolo died, David’s first nephew was born, Jenny moved home, Luke fell in love, Noel married James … But I think what we are celebrating today is not just David’s life, but the way his death gave birth to all sorts of changes in us. We also celebrate his birth into death, and the image I hold in my mind is one from his funeral.
His funeral had a huge screen playing pictures on it and the one that got to me was one of his mom and dad walking through the front door of their home with him for the first time. To this day I have not ever seen a photograph where a face was beaming the way Sue’s (his momma’s) face was in that shot. Every new mom knows that feeling. It is the day you fall in love in a way you did not even imagine possible.
So today, I just imagine David’s birth into death like this: I imagine David in God’s hands…God walking through the doorway of heaven with David’s beautiful soul in his hands. I find myself grateful and blessed to have known and loved his sweet self.
Today I ask that anyone reading this hold our family in your hearts, but especially David’s mom, dad, brother, and sister, who were reborn this week, three years ago.
Ironically enough, when I called David’s little sister, Jenny, to check in on her and to offer her comfort on the night she heard the news, she was in a cold parking lot in front of a grocery store, crying.
Maybe, Jen, that I got distracted from volleyball and ended up here was no accident. I am thinking that David is saying hello.