In the hallows of my mind, I can still hear them laughing together; they were, after all, a mere 20 months apart. Although 20-month old Abby wasn't immediately taken with her tiny baby brother back in the summer of 2006, it didn't take her to long to start asking to "hoooooooold baby Yogan." And I was more than happy to comply. I'd always hoped my children would be great friends, and the never-ending "morning" sickness I endured while shepherding both of them into this world in quick succession seemed to handily transform that simple hope into reality. They played together. They danced together. They told silly stories and splashed in the rain and collected rocks and dug in the sand beside the ocean. And they laughed, sweetly and with so much heart that it filled mine with a joy I never knew existed.
And then the brokenness that pierces the planned sweetness of God's creation intervened, and everything changed.
I'm sure that Abby still hears her best friend's laugh sometimes. At least, I hope she does. There's the cliche that says that those we love never truly leave us, and I think there's a degree of truth in that. I see shades of him in her. I see it in the way she smiles when she doesn't know anyone is watching and in the moments when she allow her inner goofball to bubble to the surface.
And today, I know he was so, so proud of her. I know that if he could've been there in human form, he would've clapped and whooped and hollered when her name was called and she walked across the stage. And he would've been the very first person she'd have hugged after the ceremony was complete. He loved her so, so much, and she loved him right back with the same intensity.
Abby really is my hero is some ways. I get upset sometimes because I feel like there are people out there who have no conception of what a true survivor she really is. Her best friend in this entire world died when she was just seven years old. Seven. She came into the room right before he slipped away and tearfully told him good-bye. At seven. People tell me I'm strong, but to have that kind of fortitude as a child is mind-boggling. She has a unique perspective on life that many adults would be challenged to fully understand, and I am so proud of the young lady she's become.
And I'm sure Logan is proud, too.
I just spent an hour scouring my hard drive for the perfect picture to sum up their relationship before finally coming to the conclusion that no such image actually exists. So I'm settling on the one right there to the left, because in the end, it's really all about love. Nothing more, nothing less. I am so thankful that Logan was here and that he poured such pure love into her life. And I'm thankful that some day, we'll all be together once again.