I've lost count of how many times I have started to write and then deleted my first sentence. Even this one sat, cursor blinking at the end, for a good few minutes before I decided I needed to just keep typing. I guess part of the problem is that I don't WANT it to have been yet another year. Another year means another layer of memory worn away by time, another year that I'm closer to being older than you ever were, another year of art and stories and jokes and pranks that never were and never will be.
But I guess that's not the way to look at it. One of your good friends (and mine) made the point that the way to recognize the day of your leaving us is to bring a little bit of you back for those who knew and loved you and share it with the people who were never lucky enough to do so. " And that is what you would have wanted, maybe even expected, us all to do.
I can't help but indulge in a selfish moment of sadness, though. For the loss of getting to know who you would have become in your 30s (and 40s and 50s and so on...). For my children, who will never know you. For my mother, for all that she endured eight years ago and so many days since then and all of the memories that haunt her, as they do so many others who were there that weekend. For the dancers and the artists and the actors and the students that miss your presence both onstage and off. For the bear hugs that I miss so very much... so very often... even now.
At least I know, though, that I have grown into a person over these last eight years that you would have wanted to know. You'd be proud of the woman I am becoming, the man that I married, the children I am raising. You'd be amazed by my sisters, and by the little girls you choreographed for and mentored and teased and loved so much, now all stunning and successful women. There's so much you would love about being here now. And there are so many of us who wish that you still were.
I love you.
"What has small balls and hangs down? ... Just answer the question. What has small balls and hangs down? Right, a bat. So what has big balls and hangs up?"