If you were here today, you would have seen your 3yo brother run full speed toward the dog screaming at the top of his lungs to drop the ball so he could continue to play baseball.
You would have seen your 8yo sister dancing in her room to some hip hop, top 10, movie of the week song, assured of the power of her voice and assured of the power of herself as someone who might one day change the world or at the very least, most certainly rock it. In fact, I believe she has already rocked it more than once.
You could have looked in on your 11yo brother who was not to be bothered by the other two, only 45 pages from the end of his book, Fablehaven, or some such title, book 5 I believe. He could hardly imagine that there was a world actually out there spinning around beside him as he sat engrossed by page after page after page.
You would have seen the cat on top of the roof having climbed out the second story window and on to the roof only to find herself momentarily stuck and unsure of herself when she is hardly unsure of herself at all, rarely, never.
And, Grace, you could have been here today, and none of this might have happened at all because your death changed the course of our lives, and our lives could have been happening in a different house, on a different street, in a different town, on a different planet for that matter because our lives changed forever and our roads they did diverge and they did get potholes but then somehow those holes got inexplicably filled and one day, I woke up and they were just slightly less bumpy and slightly less edgy and still there you are and here you are because I saw you in the face of that 3yo as he charged toward the dog.
I see you in the eyes of your sister as she dances to her music. I see you in the eyes of your 11yo brother as he reads because you would most certainly tear him away from his book with your pleas, with your beauty, with your charm and wit.
And I see you in that ridiculous cat of ours up on the roof because that cat fell into my arms four months after you died when what I needed was to hold a baby and there she was in a box outside of our church mewing, and two little girls picked her up and held her by her neck, and I knew then that I had to save that tabby. I had to save something, and I couldn't at the time save myself so I saved a cat. How ridiculous is that Grace? a Cat? A cat most certainly is not a baby and most certainly is not you, but at the time, that cat was something, that cat was alive and I could bring her home and feed her and give her water and hold her in my arms and when I did, it felt just a teensy bit less painful.
And that Grace is why this cat is here now at my feet purring because of you, Grace and in some small and imperceptible way, I see you in her too, each time I bend down to pet her, you are there on my mind, always in my heart and in so many ways changing the course of our lives.