I turn 25 tomorrow. I have seen 9129 sunrises and sunsets. I have graduated from college. I’ve traveled to Europe. I’ve held my nephew. I’ve lived on my own. I’ve been in love. I’ve had tomorrow.
The Starbucks cups turn red in October, a sign of the impending holiday season. We lost you to the cancer on September 22, and I remember thinking of all of the trivial aspects of life that you wouldn’t get to see again. That day nothing seemed insignificant, it all seemed important. It may be strange to compare something as “trivial” as the color of a cup to the wonder of being alive, but I think you would understand. You appreciated the little things, and I will never get over how you were robbed of so many of them.
When we were little and at our family reunion in Florida I got so sunburned that I couldn’t even move. All of the other kids went miniature golfing but I had to stay behind. You stayed too. We watched tv and laid on the couch eating pop tarts and you made me laugh like you always did. I was 12 years old and you were 10. You had already lived half of your life.
Each year when the colors change and my coffee cup turns red I think of you. It’s just one more reminder that time is turning; 10 months have passed since the last time I saw the same cup. When I turn 25 tomorrow I will be turning 23 for you. Tomorrow is what we’re promised when we’re young. You lived a life full of love but you didn’t get to live a full life. I’ll never be able to accept that, but I will keep you with me while I wade through adulthood and remind myself every so often that if nothing else is true “poop” is still “poop” backwards and sometimes all we really need is a good poop joke.
As I sit here drinking coffee from a red cup I am comforted by that day in Florida on the couch, where you told me many a poop joke and made me laugh until I couldn’t feel my terrible sunburn anymore. Noah, I love you, I miss you, and I swear to never celebrate a single birthday without you. Happy 23rd.