Memories surface like bubbles, so fragile they pop if I try to hold them. I remember holding Willy in one of those rare moments when he actually relaxed in my arms. Even then, a firm hug was a powerful thing—if only I’d understood. Alex trying to rewind his VHS cassette and saying clear as day, “Watch byes.” Ben, small as he was, overflowing Willy’s arms as he tried to hold him for the first time, propped up by pillows on all sides, and Willy leaning forward to plant a wet kiss on his baby brother’s forehead.
When things get hard and everything seems so overwhelming, it’s these moments that assure me that we’ve done lots of things right. We’ve made mistakes that have left scars. Others have inflicted injustices on our family that have left scars. All of these scars seared into our psyches matter, but they’re nothing compared to these memories—past, present, and future.
We are a family and we will hold.