Dear Ezra and Hudson,
My sons who I love.
Sit down, scoot close, cuddle tight, listen big.
I have so much to tell you but the words are quite hard. Bear with me, be patient, it’s worth it, you’ll see.
Two of the people who love you the most, the deepest, the fiercest, the loudest, they’re gone. Jesus, he holds them in his hands, he needed them home, so they had to go. But forever you must know, how extravagantly they love you and how although their faces will never light up as you enter the room, so much of who they are is forever inside of you.
Your grandpa, what a man. Tall and skinny, brilliant but not so witty. He smiled easy, spoke wisdom, and only ordered water at restaurants. His shorts were often too short, pinched pennies caused holes in his socks, he backed into the garage door twice, in one week, and he was the last to get a joke. He prayed for you before I dreamed of you. He woke at five o’clock in the morning every day to play tennis with me, not because I would one day win Wimbledon, but because for that hour he got all of my attention, and I got all of his. He never gave up on me no matter how hard I refused his hugs, and the only thing he loved more than your grandma, was his Jesus.
If he were here, you boys would be his delight. His eyes would shine at the shout of, “Grandpa!” a role that breaks my heart to never see him play. He would make you promise to work harder than you think you can, read more than is recommended, take the scenic route every time, and never EVER get a credit card. And above all he would make sure you did all that while falling desperately in love with your Jesus.
Your Auntie H, she proved family is not decided by blood. Louder than a blow horn, and more beautiful than we could convince her to see. The day after I met her, I couldn’t imagine life without. I still can’t. She laughed too loud, ended up at the Mississippi River in a quest to be six hours in the other direction, she reminded me how important it is to play, I reminded her how important it is to be on time. At least I learned something. She collected earrings, and Starbucks gift cards, and friends. So many called her theirs, I still don’t know how I was lucky enough to be called hers. She stole your grandpa’s pen once, she held me at his funeral, and she was listening to a recording of his sermon on grief when her life ended too soon. Our God is a God of details.
After she died, I found a sealed letter in her room addressed to, My Koslowskis. We were hers, she was ours, and this will always be true. My firstborn, she helped you learn to walk, my tiniest you forever carry the h in your name for her. If she could see you now, you would be deaf from the decibel level, and overflowing with a love only h knew how to give. Unconditional, unending, fierce, loyal, without judgement, and contagious. The love I try every day to emulate, because with it she changed the world. She would make you promise to love well, be true to you no matter how many people stare, look for the hurting and be Jesus to them, occasionally lose your directions and find an adventure instead, and wear the biggest sunglasses you can find, like, bordering on ridiculous, big. Because bordering on ridiculous was exactly what our h did best, and we adored her for it.
Oh sweet boys, grief is a confusing place. One day the pain, so new, too raw, overwhelms and envelops, life is a fog. Then, life continues, as it tends to do, and one morning you wake and go about your day. Only when you lay down, once the sun is gone, do you realize that their memory was not your constant companion that day. You whisper their name but their face takes an extra second, maybe two, to become clear in your mind. And grief springs brand new. Too many days without them has made their memory dull, it’s not okay, it cannot be ok, they’re too important to fade. So although life moves forward, we will alway talk, always share, always remember these two who love you so dear.
These two who are so intricate a part of who I have become, who your daddy has become, that there is no way you will not continue to be shaped by them. Short shorts, bad time management, and all.