::been looking so long at these pictures of you

31 05 2005

The other morning on my way in to work, I listened to a story about a soldier who had killed himself about 3 months after coming home from Iraq. His best friend, who had also served with him there, printed out a photo of the two of them while he was being interviewed. It was a photo he placed in his friend’s casket.

I immediately thought of the picture of Christine, me and the boys that we placed in Alan’s casket. Sometimes I almost forget that he is gone. Forget is the wrong word…sometimes the fact that he is gone moves to the back of my mind like an obscure memory from childhood, a fact that has whisps and tendrils but isn’t solid and detailed. When it comes to the forefront it is overwhelming.
I’ve been going through the several hundred family pictures we’ve taken in the last few years and working on putting them up on my web page. It’s a tedious process, but one that is usually enjoyable because be I can usually recall exactly what was going on when we were taking the pictures. There’s a series of pictures we took out on the front lawn at our oldplace–the only pictures we ever took while out front. Zachary was playing with the girl from next door, and they were flirting back and forth and making Christine generally uncomfortable with the fact that her then 8 year old would some day do something unthinkable like have sex. Liam was just starting to get mobile. Not really crawling but sort of flailing back and forth to get from one place to another. I went inside to get the phone, and it was Ian calling to tell me about Alan.

Last week I came upon those pictures and started balling like a baby. I’m glad no one was around while I pulled myself together.

We had our ultrasound last week, and we are having another boy. We haven’t completely settled on his first name yet, but we decided his middle names along time ago–he’ll have two. Right now it’s looking like Elliot Alan James Bren. I think as we get older there will be a few Alans born into our lives. I hope they do well.

Why am I telling you this? Fuck, I don’t know. I just thought someone would understand. I’m going to get some more coffee now. I need to stop crying before one of my employees spots me and thinks I’ve finally cracked.