The day is Saturday. The hour is, quite simply, way too early for a weekend morning. My stomach growls into my silent room, but my heart sings a melody to harmonize with my elated mind. It’s Daniel day, and I itch to wake my mother so we can take to the road for springfield.
The wheels of my mom’s Toyota thrum along the open highway, cutting across the miles one by one as I dance with the rhythm of my Spotify playlist. Laughter and talk emminates through the car. I’m not the only one filled with the energy of our weekly visits. So many of our friends clammer for a spot on these trips, or in what I call the Daniel express.
By this point, each of us is armed with a large coffee and a belly full of breakfast; each with our own stories and songs and smiles for Daniel in the day ahead.
He greets me with an enthusiastic hand shake and a squeeze of my fingers that has always been uniquely his. It makes me grin and laugh like a child on Christmas every time without fail. There is no need for sound or words in that moment; that gentle touch sends a million messages with every motion, and it’s those little hand movements that get me through the days in between our time together.
Looking in from the outside, we supported him through a difficult time, but the reality is that he supported us as we navigated this struggle along with him. That was Daniel’s nature; supportive, optimistic and kind. That is how I knew him, and that is how he will forever be remembered in my mind.
In my heart, I know that you’re quietly watching, listening, and smiling, Daniel. You’re keeping track of the boston sports teams, checking up on your friends, and diving deep into the endless library of books I’m sure they have up there in heaven. Thank you for an amazing seven weeks, and for bringing me closer to so many people during that time. You may not be here but we will continue remembering you whereever you are just as you would for us.
Tell Jessee, Linde, Roz and Terry that everyone from Perkins says hello.