Dear Walker,

This is my favorite photograph of us
You were at the age where you were learning to walk and not fall
As we lounge in the front yard on a beautiful Sunday afternoon
Our bare feet tickled by the spring grass
I will never forget the feel of your bald little head
And the back of your tiny little neck that held it up
I would often run one of my hands over the top of your head and down to the back of your neck
I was so appreciative and amazed at life.
Those were the first images and senses that came to my mind
When I was transferred that phone call late that night in my office
And I begged my sister to tell me what had happened through her tears and strain
“Just come home,” was all she could say
After a minute of pleading it came out. “Walker died.”
Suddenly my world of springtime disappeared into darkness.
Everything became as black as the night sky on my 40 minute drive from work to my parent’s house.
I hugged my father as he cried.
Three days later we had your funeral. I drove seven hours to see your body
I listened to your mother weep in despair. I will never forget that cry.
I held your big brother, age three, over the casket and we talked to you
I wanted to lift you up out of that box
I wanted to show everyone your beautiful bald head, and how small the back of your neck was that held it up.
But I knew it would be foolish. So I sat your brother on my lap
And I ran my fingers over the top of his head, through his wispy golden hair and down the back of his neck.
I whispered in his ear about the time last spring when we lounged in the front yard after church
And taught Walker how to walk.
He smiled up at me like he remembered.
I always will.


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