In less than a month, Gabriel will have been dead for 2 years. He will have been gone for 4 times as long as he was ever here. And I am pondering how I feel about this. How I feel about him, about me, about this life I am living.
I met a woman on Saturday, and we were talking about prostitution, and I made a comment about teaching our sons that women were not for sale. I wasn't talking about my son, or even your son, I was talking about boys, as a whole. I was talking about teaching children, most generally, better than we were taught.
And somehow, she missed this. She smiled, and she asked if my sons had "Their mother's red hair?"
I stumbled. There is a little boy at church, of about 4 now, and he sits on the Gospel side, ahead of me in the sanctuary, and I can see him even when I do not look. I can see him, and in him I see shadows of Gabriel. Gabe's hair, at birth was dark, black and oh so fine, but I wonder. His father had flaming red hair as a boy, and I still do. Doesn't matter how I colour my hair, the red comes through.
And I stumbled, and I fell down a bit. Oh, not visibly, I doubt that she noticed, but I fell down a bit.
For the sake of a little boy who would have had his parent's red hair, eyes somewhere between blue and hazel, a whole undiscovered country.
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Hamlet - Act 3, Scene 1, Lines 78-82