Outside the Box
Today I woke up with a sore throat, feeling really yucky. I drug myself out of bed because at 9:45, Chandler's alma mater and Charli's current school (SMCHS) was mentioning Chandler in their mass service. I dreaded the moment when they would say his name during the prayer for those who have departed. Then it would be more official. More real. "Chandler Espinoza, class of 2012." They said it.
I came home, sat on the couch, and cried. Then I went to work.
Once again, I found myself at the clinic saying to a young mom who had three little boys, "Oh, I have three boys...and a bonus girl!" I've decided it is just fine to say that. I'm not lying.
Before my last speech client, I got a text from Aunt Cho indicating she wished she had been able to be here to pick up Chandler's remains. I texted back, "Crap! I didn't know that was happening today!" My sweet husband had arranged to do that himself to shelter me from the pain. As Aunt Cho said, it's like an umbrella-in-a-hurricane sort of shelter. I felt punched in the gut. This made it more official. More real.
When I got home from work, the first thing I wanted to see was Chandler...what remained of his physical body. On a desk, in a clean white paper bag, was a box. Nothing in my mind could wrap itself around the reality that for 25 years, the contents of that box had been home to the spirit of a young man who inspired so many by virtue of his openness, his honesty, his sense of adventure, his playfulness, his passion for life, his generosity, his compassionate heart.
Chandler could never be put in a box. And his influence is far outside the box even now.