I suppose after the , that our nightly family and friends gatherings are just not what they used to be. Perhaps, at least for a little while, they might be a bit more special and meaningful. Maybe you’ve thought of those two young girls and then given your own daughter an extra long hug. Maybe you glanced at your son doing homework and felt lucky, no matter how much a pain they sometimes seem. There were those petty annoyances between husband and wife that seemed so weighty in your head that they were in the way of what is important. I think, the Sullivan’s changed that — for at least a little while.
I don’t believe there is a family in this community, whether bonded in blood or sweat, that doesn’t feel this tragedy. It is hard to look at people now and not think of how thin and suspended life really is. But this is all the more reason why we need to find what is important again. Many people have been suffering the past few years with economic ills and trying to tie together past debts with current lifestyles. It is a reality most of us deal with daily. But then I think of Thomas Jr, and the fact that he has to wake up without everything he’s ever known and the awful quiet that must bring. At times I find myself thinking of all those silly hand drawn cards the kids have given me. I wished I saved them all now — but not to be sad in remembrance — but to be joyful in the things we shared and somehow have forgotten. If you ask me, days like these are to be remembered as holidays — the days we do everything we can to get together, reconnect and share all of what’s important. It’s the little things that matter most, especially as we get older.
I think the best way to remember the Sullivans and all the tragedy of it is to put it to use today. Help a friend or a family member. Call your mother (even let her chatter on about nothing for a while). Tell your crazy sick uncle that you remember that funny joke from eight Thanksgivings ago. These are sometimes the hardest of things to do in daily life. But perhaps for a little while we cherish them, under the watchful eyes of those looking down upon us.