I moved to a city that is called “The Emerald City.” While here, I met you and the color would forever be associate with you. Green trees, green grass, green fleece jacket I could bury my face in and breathe you in.

And your eyes.

Officially, called “hazel,” but often: green.

You wore the color often. You blended into the green and blue and gray of the pacific northwest like you were crafted for it and crafted from it. Because you were. Water and granite and lush rainforest made you. The rain making things green, making you blossom, bloom, grow.

The winter, when the rain is the hardest, we would hole up in our green living room and snuggle. We would breathe in the smell of the water on the earth and watch all the leaves turn colors and fall and everything would halt in this green and brown and gray palette.

And your eyes would shift from green to gray to blue to green. I would look into those eyes for solace and wisdom. For love and hope. For reason and order.

Your son has your eyes. Every day they get closer to the hazel that yours were. But his don’t reflect green as much. Our world right now is gray. You died just before winter and the rain didn’t feel enveloping or cozy. It felt, for the first time, oppressive.

Ronan’s eyes become more gray. I worry that his heart will be gray as a result of not having you. That he will be muted in his love or emotion or care because he doesn’t have you to hold him through all of those milestones that only you can know.

How do I help him? How do I keep him growing and green? Flexible and lush? Adaptable and willing and loving?

I think about you thousands of times during the day. Millions. Infinite. I think, what would Andy say? What would Andy want? How would Andy do this?

And I think of your eyes and the fleece and I look out the window to the Emerald City. It holds all the love of you. It holds the family we built together. And then I worry a little less about his lushness.


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