I'm sitting here on the rug with my back against my son's small bed and he's just begun to breathe the even deep breaths of sleep. My daughter's bright voice can be heard through the door chattering away with my wife down the hall.
The world is still busy outside, but I've turned off my email and put on my slippers and put my cell phone on silent. It's time to close the shop.
Tonight we're safe.
There's no reason to believe there won't be countless more nights like tonight here in our little house with our family.
But I know, and today I was painfully reminded, that any night could be different. Today we watched while they laid my young cousin to rest. Today I held his parent's trembling hands and know that they're no different than my hands and that no hands are strong enough to make everything all right for our children all the time.
I grieve for his parents, and grandparents and the rest of the family. I know there is nothing that can make what happened right for them; There is no one who can explain why he is not here still. I think of that loss and my heart aches knowing that they cannot hold their boy again - not even for a moment.
There are no answers for this pain in this world.
I look and listen and breathe in the color and sound and freshness of my home tonight and know these moments are precious. They are more precious than any sparkling jewels the world could lay at my feet. That even when the hurly burly persistence of the world is still rapping insistently at my door demanding it's penny, these nights here with my children are irreplaceably and immeasurably more precious than any coin I have to give back to the world for our keep.
I miss you cousin. I loved you while you were here. I love my children the more because of you now. You were a blessing to everyone who shared your life.
I hope you are resting beyond all the world's troubles tonight. I hope the house you rest in, and the hands that you hold will hold you safe forever.