Last Sunday while running the front of house audio for the second service, I looked at my arm as in the picture on this post. I saw my tattooed arm that has his face and representations of his life, his bracelet, and a family ring with his name inscribed. At that moment, it hit me just how much I try to keep him here with me. Maybe because I could not keep him here alive.
In the past few years, I have not thought about how much I try to keep Caleb close to me. I get up, brush my teeth, get dressed, and stay fairly slammed with work until evening. Pretty normal stuff, except a lot of not so normal things happen here.
When I get up, my alarm is playing from my Spotify playlist that starts with the song Wish You Were Here. I brush my teeth and his face tattooed on my arm is in the mirror. This often shocks me. You’d think after all this time I would be used to having tattoos. No, I still expect to see my white skin and definitely not his face. When I get dressed, I may put on one of the many t-shirts I love, many that remind me of him. Then I might put on his class ring or the family ring with all my kids’ names engraved. I often put on his bracelet or the one Donna gave me also engraved with the kids’ names. As I walk out the door, I pick up my car keys that have his key fob.
Even if I have none of those things with me, he in near. As I see places he and I have visited together, or when I see someone in their mid-20s, or visit a friend who has a child his age or now has a grandchild, I think of Caleb. His shadows stretch into nearly every moment of my life, and everything he touched echoes in the chasm he left in my heart.