|Brady...back in triathlon days|
My father gave me a priesthood blessing that night. He blessed me, among other things, with the ability to do what I needed to do to wrap things up and leave my relationship with Brady behind until the eternities. At the same time, he reminded me that a closeness would continue and that Brady would always remain near, would always care.
I had forgotten the specifics of that blessing until I read my journal just now. Looking back with the perspective of time and experience, I see inspiration in my father's words. Brady and I shared just three years together as husband and wife. We were young and stupid, trying to be grownups and, more often than not, falling short.
Just two months after Brady died, I moved cross country, seeking fresh air and a chance to remember how to be young. I married again, a year and a half later. I have always wondered what Brady thought about that. Even though I knew without a doubt that I did the right thing, for a long time I still felt a twinge of guilt, a sense that I had betrayed Brady somehow, or at least that I had betrayed the sensibilities of his family.
I have visited his grave over the years, reporting in. "Devin is growing tall, Brady. He's smart and handsome. You would be so proud." And later, pleading, "Please help me raise your son. I'm trying my best, but he's struggling, and I feel so inadequate." Then, just a year ago, I sat in the Salt Lake temple with Devin for the first time. I prayed fervently that Brady could share in that moment somehow, that he could watch his son prepare to serve a mission, that he could see the fine man Devin had become.
Devin and others have sensed Brady's presence over the years. I never felt I deserved that experience. But I find myself, all these years later, wondering what it will be like to see him again. I hope we can be friends. I hope we can sit down and compare stories over a cup of hot chocolate. I hope we can take our grandchildren (or great-grandchildren) for walks in the clouds and argue about whether they inherited their intellect and talent from Grandma or from Grandpa.
In those early years, I wanted to wield my pen to write a stunning tribute to Brady. I soon realized how very little I knew him, that I would do better to raise his son well than to try and create a life that Brady himself had not yet lived. Now I find that I have nothing profound to say. In some way and in his own time, Brady will find a way to tell his own story. I don't pretend to understand eternity, and I cannot paint heaven. But I do know that Brady lives on. I know I will see him again, and I think he will smile when he sees me. I hope he does.
Until then, I will simply live my life. Now and then I will look up and wink at the sky. I will hear a snatch of a song or catch a glimpse of a Rocky Mountain sunset, and I will remember a life I had the honor to share just briefly.