The moments became hours and they turned to days and months and years.
I missed a lot of them, justifying absence through noble pursuit of giving them “more than I had.” Looking back, what I had wasn’t so bad. My house through junior high and high school was (and remains) a 1500 square foot, 3 BR, 2B house with a garage and a little dining room and an added porch. I had no idea we weren’t rich. Perhaps that is because, we were.
Logan’s firsts were many. Some I experienced through pictures and tales. Others as a participant. A fan. First days in class; baseball and soccer and football games; wrestling matches and theater; guitar and song writing; holidays; proms and graduations and spring breaks; pinning and patches and salutes and ceremony; a toast with a single malt. Movies and movies and movies. Talk about everything and anything. Through all those firsts and seconds and others, I cried and laughed. I lost my breath a few times. I held my tongue and I also lashed out. I shared and cheered and defended and stayed silent every now and again.
Then, this day. This glorious day of sealing a life with a love and a promise. The plan was set. I was to walk out from the little chapel holding room with Logan and Will–the pastor and friend. We were to exchange words and an embrace or a handshake (whatever) and I would find my place at the alter area behind the wedding party to sing for them in a duo with my sweet daughter, Chelsea. We walked out on time, paused, we exchanged a strong hug and he said, “Thank you Dad…for everything.” The two steps up and short walk to my place might have been miles. Time moved in slow motion.
I looked at my guitar sitting on the choir bench. It was my bearing point. “Focus, Sean. Focus.” I walked toward it and sat on the oak bench with its light blue covered cushion. It hit me like no other time or event or moment or milestone. He was about to be…off…away…for real, this time. I wasn’t ready for that feeling and definitely not at THAT moment. Suddenly, the words and the chords to the song we were to sing left me. My eyes welled up and I smiled. I looked down at Chelsea as she stood so beautifully as a bride’s maid. She smiled at me with an affirming and empathetic smile.
The anxiety of loss quickly turned to joy for a moment–THE moment. The words returned. My hand stopped shaking. There was a prayer and and selected passages and then personalized exchange. Chelsea, on cue, stepped up next to me. We smiled at each other and sang the song of our life. The strings flowed. Her voice was majestic. I think I harmonized like we planned. Can’t say for sure. I couldn’t take my eyes off of Logan and his beautiful Jenny. Then, I would turn my eyes to Chelsea. I lost concentration and let the rehearsal take over while I felt overwhelming joy and privilege at being a part of these beautiful beings lives.
Now it has moved to a new place. This man, still my little boy, has his new place as a husband, a soldier, a citizen, and a hero to me in every sense of the word.
All my love, Logan. All my love, Jenny. My cup is full.