DECEMBER 20, 2012: “The Cheap Sunglasses” …

… that moment you get this message from his sister then you know that although you could have kept them for the entire rest of your life, you did the absolute right thing in packing them up and sending them back to a place where they better belong. She couldn’t have been more wrong … HE DID LOVE THAT LITTLE GIRL! I personally believe that being her uncle was the defining moment in his wanting to have a family and children of his own some day, and more so than that, opening his heart to Christian. And for the record, anyone who knew this beautiful Blaze Of Glory knew that his sunglasses WEREN’T CHEAP! They were the one little thing he would let himself splurge on and every single one of them were special to him. I’m so thankful for the decision I made, and I think he’d be happy right now knowing those damn things now belong to her!

So I’m lying on bed, halfway between asleep and awake, and Amber comes to tell me she’s home from work. As a parent, you know then, and ONLY then, you can relax completely because you know all your babies are safe and sound. A few minutes later, she awakens me again and asks, between sniffles, if I knew you were sending her something. I said yes but didn’t know what. As she ushered me into her room, tears streaming down her sweet face, she handed me a card. I struggled to read the entire card without crying. Mitch loved Amber so much. There was an immediate bond. Reading that you believe his love for her opened his mind to the idea of children just melted my heart. Then you started to explain the gift you sent. I couldn’t imagine what it could be. That special thing you found of his that he would have wanted her to have. The “pose” you said he made when he tried them on for the first time. I can see it now. He was too cool for words. Then she handed me the case. It was like being punched in the stomach and I couldn’t breathe. His Ray-Bans. He was wearing them in one of the last pictures he ever took. Immediately, I could see his smile as he put them on. White t-shirt. Blue jeans. It was like I was right back in 1998. Telling him goodbye. Never imagining it would be the last time. I grabbed Amber and hugged her tight. I told her you were right. He would’ve loved her to have them. Funny thing…they’re EXACTLY what she would’ve chosen if she had 100 pairs to choose from. Thank you, Catherine. You have no idea how much this means. My heart will never be the same. And Amber will never forget how much her Uncle Mitch loved her. Sending much love to you and yours. Merry Christmas, sweetie.