Sunday, July 6, 2014

Before We Say Goodbye...

I once read that before we can say good-bye you must first say thank you.

Thank you for telling me that if I ever tried speed, you'd cut my nipples off.  I never did try it.

Yes, you tortured me with boogers and you farted on me often, but you never spoke unkindly to me.  Thank you.

Thank you for letting me wear your denim, skull jacket at the Billy Idol concert.  I actually felt cool.

Remember that time you pulled up on your motorcycle just after my mom had backed over our two new cats.  They were alive, but terribly injured.  Thinking you could quickly put them out of their misery, you put them in a brown paper grocery bag and grabbed a hammer from the garage, disappearing around the corner of the house.  You weren't gone but a minute, returning with the bagged cats and a look on your face of tender despair. "I can't do it."
We drove to the vet.  You held the bag on your lap.  And that look on your face...
Thank you for showing me you have a compassionate heart.

It is because of you I have one of my dearest friends, Shannon.  On the first day of school in 7th grade, she came up to me and asked, "Does your sister date Paul Baylink?"  Thank you.

Thank you for trusting me to keep Tim's medical school skull for a wee bit.

Thank you for your beautiful photography.

Thank you for sharing with us all your tremendous love for your daughter.

In the wee hours of the morning, when your heart continued to ache beyond methods of self-medicating, I am grateful to have been one of the people you'd reach out to. Thank you for trusting me with your pain and vulnerability.

Thank you for asking me to draw a picture for you when you grieved Tim's death.
Thank you for offering me one of your photos in return.  And thank you for giving me a CD of over 500 photos to choose from.  Because of this, we have some of your photos to remember you by.

Even after saying thank you I still really don't want to say goodbye.
You. Are. Missed.

Thank you for reminding me that even in our pain we can't take things too seriously.  Remember the poem I shared when you were hurting?  I thought it was quite profound.  Your email reply was PFFFFT!  Thank you for the laugh.

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Paul Baylink dated my sister for 5 years, long ago in their teens.  He was with us most of the time, a member of the family.  Thankfully, we kept in touch over the years.


  1. Amazing. That picture you drew was incredibly accurate about grief and now, strangely ironic. Paul was so many things, thank you for capturing them so well.

  2. Jenny, you put this "thank you" together with such heart and meaning.