Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We Have A Bench.

Lily is asleep tonight in her dress, we are both exhausted, worn out with love. A day that began with a text to my friend Sam saying "It's so humid out it smells like Venice" became a day revitalized with something I can only inadequately describe as "an expression of immeasurable affection". Friends and family of those who have touched our lives over many, many story filled years, contributed funds to have a bench in Riverside Park dedicated to Alan. It is breathtaking, it is perfect, it describes Alan succinctly (which he would appreciate) in a few precious lines that capture his character and soul so vividly it is as though he's been sitting there all along. Being there in the park, Lily held tightly against my heart, with intermittent showers clearing the air, hearing the patter of the drops on the trees, amid the mist and the heat and our extended family, it felt as though Alan had his arms around all of us. Despite the summer's stormy weather there was an ease and serenity that embodied those who were there, laughs and smiles and tears, new babes who will hear about Alan for years to come and new lives on the way as well. He must have been watching.

There is rarely a day that goes by that Lily and I aren't in the park. She loves the bucket swings and dances with her legs as she floats through the air, trapeze like, smiling with glee at me or else eyes fixed intently on the older kids that occupy the swings around her. She loves the trees, their silhouettes against the sky, and often we park on the grass for stories, songs and nature watching. And now we have a bench, with her dad's name, and my love's name, forever etched on it for all to see. We will go there whenever we can, we will read its words, we'll sit there and watch the world go by. And if others are sitting in our place we'll relish in our secret, knowing that the name they're leaning on will surely guide them in some positive way. This is a bench like no other, a spot brought to life by the memory of someone that continues to thrive and by those who contributed to the richness of his life with their friendship, love and devotion. So much love an affection in fact that there will soon be a tree planted in his honor as well ~ so we will go there too, and watch it grow along side Lily. And when it passes her in height we'll lie underneath it and marvel at Alan's strength in it's outstretched branches.

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