It was your birthday four days ago, but I nearly forgot. In fact, I always forgot. I've never remembered birthdays besides Mom and Dad's, and I even forgot Dad's 50th. I didn't speak to you much at all while you were alive, and I regret it. I let myself be daunted by a language barrier that was nowhere near as formidable as I imagined. I allowed you to be a mythical figure rather than the warm, solid man the rest of the family knew. I missed out. And as a result, I can't tell these days if my grief is from losing you ro realizing how little I let myself know you. I could never remember your birthday but I will never forget the day of your death. I wish it was otherwise, because yours was a life to be celebrated. Dad says the family gathered for a dinner four nights ago. I imagine them eating, drinking, laughing, and maybe crying later in their bedrooms. I don't know; I wasn't there. For so long I haven't been there, but you were. A pillar of radiant LIFE that I could return to whenever I wanted. Why did I not come? And why now, when you are gone, am I so drawn to you, to your absence? I talked about ministry and family with you, but not about me. Not about my shortcomings. So, I'll tell you now--I often have to write later what I did not have the presence to say in the moment.
Te amo y te extraño mucho,