since Michael passed away.
It seems like it just happened.
I'm sure to Nicole and the kids it has seemed much longer - each day taking seemingly forever to end, but I don't know - I'm not there every day with them. It's just one more reason I wish I was down in Eugene with all my family close by. The 100 miles distance often seems like a much longer road that it actually is.
I think about Michael almost daily, much more so than I did when he was here with us. In real life, he was my cousin and he made me laugh and he was the life of the party and I saw him several times a year, mostly at parties and happy family gatherings. He touched my life, for sure, in his loving and animated ways. In his last weeks in the hospital and since his death, he remains here in my heart - touching my life in only positive ways - but it's like he's become a daily source of contemplation on whether my life is moving in the right direction. He said some wise words in a conversation before he died and he shared many of those same thoughts and sense of a life purpose with many others in his final thoughts on our life here.
Each move I make feels much more purposeful now - whether positive or negative - it all seems to be much more meaningful as I realize, probably with age as well as Michael's uncanny sense of what I needed to hear from him, that my choices are many, that those choices come at me every moment of the day - and that my choices involve other people - it's not all about me...it's actually all about the other people. So each day I chew on this a little bit more and I see the changes - actually only quite small most days - but I see the hint of change in me that I think Michael was hoping for in all of us.
I wish you were still here, Cousin. You are loved and missed by so many.