My lil' brother and I went to Canada during the memorial day weekend. We were there to walk and celebrate in our cousin's wedding. Less than a year after my brother's death, should we be celebrating and rejoicing in other people's happiness? You see in the Jewish customs, mourning lasts for 12 months, and while regular activities in your life resume, you are not supposed to attend festive occasions, especially where music is played. For this reason, my parents did not attend the wedding. And after being there, I could see it would have been way too difficult for my parents. I didn't even realize how difficult it was going to be for me. I received many condolences from family and friends. I could sense that some people would look at me with sorrow and not know what to say. It was also difficult to see my aunts and uncles in a corner of the ballroom not acting themselves, not really belonging (they were in the 12 month mourning period for my grandmother, their mother). That was just a weird, constant reminder of sadness in place that didn't belong. Then, every time a cousin mentioned that this is the first time that every single cousin on my dad's side was together in the same place, all I could think of was "NO, Robin is missing!" Some probably realized what I was thinking, cause the impact of the comment disintegrated. Robin was mentioned in speeches and I know he was in everyone's hearts. This weekend, I was on a roller coaster ride of emotions.
Okay so on to the point of this blog:
Right after the ceremony, outside the ballroom, I congratulated my cousin Eric, the groom. He tells me with such sincerity and love "Robin is with us." And it took everything in me to not break down and bawl like a baby. I stood to the side and just thought of what the evening would have been like if he was really here and not just in our hearts. He would be "the" cousin that everyone talked to, asked for advice. He would be wanted in everyone's pictures. He would have this huge ass smile on his face. He would probably be sweating too. He would have danced the traditional Hora dance and helped lift the bride and groom in the air while they were sitting on their chairs. He would have been taking a walk outside a lot to take in the cold fresh air. He would have been drinking hard liquor, like jack and coke. He would have been playing with the nephews. He would be laughing and smiling a lot. And as if Robin was inside my head, he sent me a message less than an hour later to tell me he was here doing all of that.
While we were all on the dance floor, dancing the Hora, I was taking random pictures. And then boom I noticed this one picture. I was turning the camera off, thinking "oh I'll delete this one," and in less time it's taking me to tell you this, I noticed Robin was in the picture. I turned the camera back on immediately and yes, it was Robin in the picture. I shivered with tears while standing in the middle of the dance floor. I couldn't figure out who the real person was. All I could see was Robin smiling, dancing, and with so much joy. I am not blind. And this was not the kind of thing when people think they see their exes or passed loved ones in everyone they see crossing the street. It's not like that. It was Robin! Actually, it was my little brother, Philippe, who in my opinion, they do not look anything alike. See evidence below.
(click pictures to enlarge)
This is my family. Robin is on the left. Philippe on the right. Different faces, noses, smile, chin, forehead, I mean just so different, right? Now look at this picture below from Philippe's wedding almost two years ago. Robin to the left. Philippe on the right. So different, not even similar. Hey, that's me with the red frames.
Now here is the picture from this past weekend. Robin on the left bottom corner, I mean it's really Philippe, but it's not.
To me, this picture was a message from Robin. He was letting me know "I am here with you, don't be sad." He was celebrating, smiling, laughing, and dancing with all of us. I mean look at his face in this picture. After the initial shock wore off and the message came in clear, I was so happy! It made my trip worthwhile in every way!
My dad found this quote on a cemetery bench and it goes perfectly with this picture:
when tomorrow starts without me,
don't think we're far apart.
for every time you think of me,
I'm right here in your heart.
If that's true, you are living in my heart! Not a single day goes by that you are not with me.
I love you and miss you tremendously!