Monday, March 2, 2015

So much more than a photo

Steve and Tyra, days before official diagnosis
Katie, Tyra, Steve and Cooper, three months before Steve passed away
Katie and I hosted a meeting at the house yesterday. One of the girls noticed two photos -- one in the dining room and another near the stairs. She walked from one to the other, back and forth, perplexed.

 "Which one of them is Katie's dad?" I heard her murmur matter-of-factly.

"Both of them are," I told her. "Both pictures are of Katie's dad, one before he was really sick and one while he was sick. The medicine made his face and hair look different."

The answer satisfied her curiosity, and she leaped to a different topic.

I see both photos -- and other Steve photos -- every day. I no longer see "pre-cancer" and "post-cancer" Steve. I no longer see the effects of Decadron and chemotherapy in the photos.

I see only Steve.

I see laugh until you can't breathe, sing loudly, dance proudly, work your heart out Steve. I see doting, adoring, proud, mischievous Steve. I see brilliant, creative, analytical, sly Steve. I see Fletch and ZZ Top. George Gershwin and Aaron Copland. Wassily Kandinsky and Alexander Calder. I see Excel spreadsheets and all-caps printed letters. I see the Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers. I see the Big House and a block M. I see Siesta Key and the Eiffel Tower, the National Mall and the Santa Monica Pier. I see Harry Potter and Legos, Sandra Boynton and fuzzy baby blankets.

We are exponentially more than our weight or current hairstyle.

We are the words we cultivate, the feelings we share, the memories we store, the light we reflect.

We are the love we receive and the love we lavish on others.

We are not reflections in a mirror or images saved on screen or paper.

We are souls.

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