I attended your concert on Monday night (with 2,699 of your fellow admirers). I sat in the 12th row, very near your parents. Black sweater. Skirt. Boots. I'm sure you saw me. We met once before--at Gracie's funeral. I thanked you for being 30-something and alive. My little McKay was just a few months old and I needed to see a boy with a broken heart grown into a man with a pure one. You were inspiring to me then, but Monday night you transcended into something more.
As I stared and wept and wondered at your miracle so eloquently represented through music and video and tribute, I had an epiphany of sorts. And it's that gift of revelation/realization for which I need to thank you.
You see, because you are who you are, because you're living the life you're living, it is not naive or strange for me to cling to the vision of a man with a family, career, and dreams for the future as I think toward tomorrow for my own little fighter. It's not strange because there you are.
It's not foolish for me to think he will have friends, passions, and adventures. It's not foolish --because you do.
It's not wise for me to protect him from life, to shelter, to guard. Your mother let you live and you found reason to keep doing it.
And it's that living, really living, I admire most. Whether my baby gets 20, 30, or 100 years on this planet I pray he will fill his days with the kind of living you've done. Living to glorify the gift of today. Living with appreciation for moments big and small. Living to honor his maker who created him with all the heart he'll every need.
Thank you Paul! Thank you for hanging on when it was more than anyone could have asked of you. Thank you for sharing your journey and your spirit. Thank you for reaching out and changing fear into hope, uncertainty into vision, worry into gratitude. There are so few true heroes on this planet--you are among mine.
With all my heart,
Mindi (McKay's mommy)