(Almost) two years ago, Grace and I were sitting with one of the cousins, Ralph, in a small consultation room at the hospital.
Grace had just heard the doctor's spill about Roger.
Roger was going to die.
We had to tell the rest of the family.
Ralph was one of the first (I think).
I cannot remember what time of day it was.
Hospitals do not have lots of windows. Especially waiting rooms. Especially this room.
Grace and I were sitting on one couch.
Ralph was sitting across from us on another couch.
I cannot remember if anyone else was in the room at that moment.
Ralph was close with Roger.
They had worked together a few times on different projects.
They had grown up together.
And they were basically the same as brothers.
I remember Ralph's face in that moment.
I could see his heart breaking.
All of our hearts were breaking.
Tears and sadness warped our faces.
In that moment, I could not imagine ever having fun or being happy again.
Last night, we were all together again.
[Not for the first time in the last two years.]
We were out celebrating another friend's accomplishment.
Standing on the dance floor in a small circle together.
We were smiling.
We were dancing.
We were laughing with each other.
And in a moment, I felt our combined happiness.
We were all okay.
We had survived enough to have fun again.
To enjoy ourselves again.
I looked at Grace's face. She was smiling and happy.
I looked at Ralph's face. He was smiling and happy.
I was smiling and happy.
Tears started to fill my eyes.
We had survived.
We could love Roger, miss him, and still enjoy ourselves and each other.
Yes, the tears were partly of sadness but also of joy and unbelief.