In 2004 I lost a dear friend to a brain tumor. He died days before his first and only sons' first birthday. Not long after I was visiting with his wife (another dear friend of mine), and the child. Some time goes by and we decide it's time to get our nicotine fix. It is fall, so we bundle up the boy in his jacket and put him in his high chair which we wheel out on to the back porch with us. We check the wind direction and place him on the other end of the small porch as to keep the smoke from his face.
My friend and I are sitting on a bench, attempting to have a conversation as the little tyke plays every babies favorite game. "Let's throw this so I can laugh while the grown up scramble to retrieve it". His projectile of choice was his paciphier.
After several throws it finally rolls off of the porch and we basically say "tough luck kid". We were not about to root around in the bushes for a 50 cent paciphier. He cries of course and we all make our way back inside.
We continue hanging out. Talking and whatnot. The boy is standing on his mothers lap staring in to the kitchen. We are the only three in the house, but he is very fixedly looking in one spot, waving happily at nothing. I smiled and gave a small nod of acknowledgement in the general direction of the waves. I know in my heart it was his father saying hello.
Some time goes by, and again, it's time for another dose of cancer. As I bundle him and place him in the high chair my friend goes for the door. I hear my friend, in a rather small voice say "Umm, Diana?". I turn to look at her, and then look down at where she is staring, quite in disbelief. The lost paciphier sitting just outside the sliding glass door. Again, I raised an eyebrow and smiled, saying in my head "Thanks Chris".