Six years ago today, we said goodbye to Aiden. It was, of course, worse than all the bad days I've had, put together. Our hearts were shattered and our brains were numb. You reach a point where you don't even know if you're crying any more. But you have to pick up the pieces of your shattered heart, and for a while all you can do is hold them in your hands, hoping not to lose too many. Gradually, as time goes by, you begin to reassemble it; a little hope here, a smile there and even a different pain that distracts just a little. The people in your life bring you threads of compassion and help and love that you can use to tie the pieces together so you don't have to hold on quite so tightly. Slowly those little threads build into strings that hold tight and you're able to spend a little less time thinking about holding everything together and a little more time looking for strings of your own. And sometimes, a new blow will come and break some strings, or even break pieces of your heart that had held together before. You hold on tightly again while desperately searching for a way to not only hold your heart together, but to shield it from the next blow. As time goes on, you realize that those threads of family, friends and even strangers are holding, and parts of your shattered heart have begun to mend. Sometimes, you even find a bit of glue in a birth, a wedding, or a shared memory with an old friend. You begin to realize that some days, instead of clutching with both hands, you're simply letting your heart rest in an open palm and you remember, that once, this bandaged, wounded thing, flew. And maybe, just maybe, it will fly again some day. Never quite as high, and never quite as far, but still... one day your heart may fly again.
Thank you to all of you who have given me the threads that bind my heart. Thank you for doing what you can to help it mend. Thank you for giving me the hope that one day it will take wing. And thank you Aiden for teaching us the even the most wounded heart can be mended.