Today is your super, best, cousin-friend’s fourth birthday. I am sure this is old news to you…given, I have a feeling you spend a good amount of time watching over Finny. Do you know that every time I think of Finn, every time I am in his presence, every time I wrap him in my arms and kiss his sweet little cheeks – I swear my heart inadvertently stops beating? My heart is already broken into a million pieces making it somewhat of a delicate engine, but that is not the cause. There is something about Finn that gives me the feeling that I am as close to you as I can possibly get. It is not because he is the youngest child in our family’s brood, who happens to be a boy. It is not because there is something magical about Finn. It is not because he, like you, has “been here before”. All those things are, in fact, true. However, it is not what makes me feel almost as if you are near. Rather it is the kindred spirit which was quite clearly shared between you and Finn. The connection between you boys never went unnoted by any one lucky enough to watch you two interact.
Finn, by nature, doesn’t always show his soft side. He most definitely has one; he just keeps it on reserve for special times – and special people. Yet, when in your presence, Foo instantaneously transformed into the most gentle, caring, protective version of himself. Outfitted with a perma-grin, and an adult hand containing his innate, and uncontrollable desire to be exactly-on-top-of-you, Finn was in his happiest place when you were near. Make no mistake, Paxton, Finn Avery was your biggest fan. (Not counting Momma.) The adoration was mutual. He got a smile, accompanied by unbroken eye contact – and even a giggle out of you on many occasions. I am certain, as you got a little older, the two of you would have been named President & CEO of each other’s Fan Club.
I am not oblivious to the fact that the dynamic duo of “Diddy & Foo” would not have always been been a love song and a puppy dog. Momma is no fool. (And either is Lala.) Each of your personalities are too colorful, your spirits too unique, your wits far, far too quick to have ever been left unsupervised for long. Oh, the trouble which would have found you boys would have given our family material to share (and strategize over) for many years. Although I may not have been able to let you know as much – I would have loved every.single.minute. One of my theories about little boys: the spicier – the better.
There is another reason my heart stops beating when it come to matters of Finn. It is because I am unable to deny the fact that I am looking into the eyes of another little boy who was cheated by asshole cancer. I fear he will live his life with an unshakeable sense that something, someone is missing. I worry that he will feel a phantom ache as he reaches for your absent hand. I agonize that his wit will dampen as the questions compile – and the answers remain obsolete.
I apologize if sharing my fears about your four year old, best friend ever, is making you feel badly, as that is most certainly not my intent sweet boy. I guess once you are an adult, you can’t help but to worry and fret…even if it is over things you ‘can’t control’. You especially worry and fret after everything that used to seem completely irrational – like your perfect, beautiful, miracle child being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 12 weeks and 3 days – becomes your unescapable reality. I think being an adult automatically puts us at a disadvantage in seeing the beauty and hope that surrounds us. Either way, I am merely venting. I know you wish you didn’t get cancer. I know you wish you were here to share more time with us. It all makes me so sick.
Momma is probably over-thinking things. Sleep deprivation, grief, and the inability to track down cancer and rip its mother fucking throat out will do that to the best of us. Maybe I should focus on the magic in Finn seeing the things he sees, and the “imaginary” people and events which he insists are around him. Maybe, I should focus on the joy which surrounds my beloved nephew as he walks in the wonder of Childhood while it lasts.
Perhaps, however, I should simply accept the fact that Finn is…just special. And that alone should allow me to “believe” a little again. Perhaps, I should trust that he will be able to navigate the rest of his long, healthy, & happy life with a perma-grin because you remain in his heart. Perhaps, I should take solace in the fact that he will not need to search for you because he will have your hand in his pocket, and your wit in his shoes. Perhaps, I should piece two broken pieces of my heart back together because he will not be plaqued by questions – which have no answers – for you will whisper in his ear all he ever needs to know. Perhaps, I should take a lesson from a child today, and believe your confidant when he proclaims, “…together, you and he, can be Superheroes”.
May you both live happily ever after.
Stay with me, sweet boy.