I have been struggling recently with the feeling that I am losing Kai. That is, the feeling that I am living while he is receding further and further behind me and the reality that he was alive and with me is somehow fading. I feel a bit like Tom Hanks’ character in the movie Cast Away when his beloved companion, the volleyball he named Wilson that kept him company while he was stranded on the island for years, floats away from him. He cries out for Wilson but Wilson drifts away, never to return. The feelings of loneliness and desolation are evident upon his face when he realizes that he will never see Wilson again and that he is completely alone on the sea with no land in sight.
I know I will never see Kai again in this life, and I fear losing many of the memories I have of him; memories like the sound of his voice, his sweet smell, the way it felt to hold him first thing in the morning when he was warm and sleepy. I don’t want to lose one bit of how it felt to have him close to me, but he feels so far away, so gone.
Then the other day I was looking through my little jewelry box where I keep some silver rings and costume jewelry that I rarely wear. That’s when I saw the ring. It’s not an expensive ring; in fact, it’s not silver and probably not even silver plated. The little green and amber jewels in it are cheap crystals. But to me it is more valuable and beautiful than the most expensive diamond ring I could ever imagine. This is because Kai (with the help of his grandma) picked it out for me, probably for my birthday, Christmas or Mother’s Day, although I don’t remember which one. I had forgotten I even had it, and now there it was.
Kai loved to pick out pretty, sparkly little gifts for me. I would have loved whatever he picked out for me, but he always seemed to pick out exactly what I would have picked out for myself.
When I saw the ring and put it on and it fit perfectly on a finger I usually wear a ring on, I realized that a bond as strong as the one we have can never be broken. We may be separated for now, but although I continue to live, I will never leave him behind. He will always be a part of me, woven into the very fabric of my being, and I have a beautiful gift from him to remind me of this eternal truth.