Thursday, October 7, 2010

Henry

Photo of Henry from mamapundit.com

I am thinking a lot about Henry Granju. He would have turned 19 today, three days after my own son. My heart just aches for his mother Katie, who writes the blog mamapundit, and for his family. I will not pretend to know what this day must be like for them. Instead, I'd like to repost a fragment of an essay by another blogger, Thunder Pie, whose vision left me smiling through tears.

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A Tennessee kid would have turned nineteen today. I never met him but I feel like I did. I've stared at him in pictures, his handsome face framed by a shock of thick dark hair, his thin frame usually wrapped up around his acoustic. He was the son of someone me and my wife met recently, someone who we like a lot. I cannot begin to understand her loss. No one can unless you've been there. Here's hoping you haven't.

Still, when I hear the tales of young men dying I think of that river somewhere way out there beyond the known sky. After the great big storm cloud of life melts away, after the whizzing bullets and the hydroplaning muscle cars and the dirty needles and the fistfights and the pills and the shitty cancers and leukemias and the bedroom nooses, all of it, after all of that slips away on the edge of a crisp afternoon breeze, what is left is this:

A young guy walking downstream, uncertainty in his gleaming eyes, headed right into the gaze of a kid who came before him. A good kid who's been waiting to show a newbie around.

For Henry. We'll play guitars someday.

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