When I saw the package in the mail today I got so excited wondering what I had ordered from Amazon during one of my sleepless nights. Then I saw the name on the envelope. The package wasn’t for me, it was for Nolan. I immediately got tears in my eyes and started crying. Something for Nolan from my favorite elementary school teacher’s daughter whom I haven’t seen in over 20 years when we were in high school together.
When I told him that he got a package, a smile raced across his face. “A package?” he said. I handed it to him and he started to jump up and down and hug it. It took me awhile to convince him to open it up and see what was inside. Inside were two books that I had to read to him right away. The first book’s title is Simon’s Book. I could hardly contain my tears. This was so thoughtful. A book about a boy named Simon. I loved seeing his name, reading his name and hearing his name. And Nolan did too. And then the next book. The next book tore me to pieces, in a good way. You are My I Love You had a sweet inscription written inside to Nolan with words that couldn’t have been more true. He is our “I love you.” I bawled the whole way through the book. Nolan kept looking up at me with empathy in his eyes. When we were done I told him that I loved him as he hugged me and held me close. He is typically quick to let go, but not today.
Nolan lost his baby brother. He lost a partner in crime, his sidekick. He lost the person that he probably would have had so many fights with, but regardless shared a special bond. Someone that knew his parents just as well as he did. He lost his adventure buddy. Someone that he could tell stories to, tease and laugh with. He lost the boy that he would be able to show all of his tricks to and aspire to teach them to as well. Someone that would look up to him and cheer for him during his sporting events. He lost his blissfully unaware parents. He lost his future too.
We have received some absolutely amazing gifts in the past 5 months. The thoughtfulness and generosity of others is remarkable. We are thankful for each and every one of them. The surprise gifts like this that include Nolan and acknowledge his loss are so touching and memorable.