Hendrix was at her wisest this weekend. I think she can see my thoughts on my face. We were driving back from school on Friday and I hear this small, "You miss him." It was such a quiet statement I almost missed it. I looked in the rear view mirror and said, "What did you say?" She quietly replied, "You miss Andrew, don't you?" A lump instantly formed in my throat and I said, "Yes, honey, I do. Every minute of every day I miss him." The kids in my life are so busy--track, baseball, softball, and this weekend, prom. Just a year ago Andrew went to prom. This year, everyone went and he wasn't there.
Friday Hendrix and I went over to watch the W-P softball team play Dayton. As we were going to the field, I saw some of the baseball boys getting ready for practice. I saw Wyatt first and whipped around to talk to him. Bill and I had seen him driving to school earlier in the day. Yes, it was the first day for him. He had just got his license the day before. Then Garett and Hayden pulled in. Colton popped out from behind the fence. It did my heart good to see the boys. I hadn't seen them much since basketball ended. I miss them.
Saturday saw Hendrix and me making another trip to the fields, this time to watch the W-P baseball team play Dayton. As we passed the football field, Hendrix asked when football would start. I told her as soon as our summer vacation was over, it would be time for football. "Since we don't have Andrew anymore, who will we watch?" I reminded her about the boys we had just visited with the day before. "We will watch Hayden, Colton, Garett, Wyatt, Kroft, Joey, and the rest of the boys." "Oh," she said. "Okay, I want football to come soon."
I thought about her thinking process the rest of the day. She doesn't see Andrew as a member of a group, but as her uncle who is gone. I still see Andrew with the boys. When I see them, I look for him. I think about the evening of the Spring Sports banquet, last June 1. After the dinner, Roy and Clayton had a meeting with the boys about summer basketball plans. At the end of the meeting, Colton turned to Andrew and extended his hand, helping him up off the floor where he had been sitting. I think of that image so often. Andrew must have felt alone, yet all he had to do was to look around and one of the boys would have extended a helping hand to him. So many would have, if we would have only known.
The ties that are pictured at the beginning of this entry are in his room, hanging in the same spot where he left them after basketball season ended. Notice that many of them are still tied. Notice his beloved pink tie--now my beloved pink tie. Whether the boys know it or not, they have a tie that binds them to Bill and to me. They will always be a part of our lives. We will support them in all ways, at all times. It is a tie to Andrew that we are not quiet ready to let go of. I'm not sure if we every will be.