We were sitting in some basement restaurant in Boston or somewhere in the Northeast, it runs together because my dad couldn’t just visit Boston, we had to take a tour of Maryland, NY and Maine in a one week trip...so as to where we actually were I don’t remember…but the conversation, I remember that.
We had lost a family member. It wasn’t a grandmother or an uncle. It was our brother, my parents’ son. It was like loosing an extremity. We were one moving body. Jay was severely handicapped and while his inabilities kept us limping sometimes, he still played a role in the movement of the whole body. So at 14 he met the maker of his crippled body and it became new. But the 5 of us, me, Drew, Sam and Mom and Dad we were left amputated.
It was over a year when we took this trip and we were still adjusting to our “new body.” We fit in one sudan, no conversion van needed. So weird.
It was in this basement restaurant where we all divulged how we were feeling and what it was like existing with an amputated limb. My dad listened, rolling his tongue in his lower cheek, pursing his lips and looking off to the side to keep from crying. I am sure he missed Jay more than he ever articulated and he did articulate it but it was his words that readjusted our hope in regards to the healing process and how we would be able to walk again.
He said, barring something tragic, we (the 5 remaining Hamp Holcombs) are only going to grow. Yes we lost Jay, but the three of us, me, Drew and Sam, are hopefully going to get married and hopefully continue to multiply. So we dreamt of filling that void or growing back the lost limb with more of us!
So I did my part. I married the man that was more than my dreams. We have had our 5 munchkins. I grew more than legs and arms…. We, (the Richardson 7) are a whole new body apart from the Hamp Holcombs yet very much attached.
My brother Sam is still on the hunt for his prey to grow with…I will add that he has set his target and I pray it is the bull’s eye, but the trigger is not yet pulled and no one is pressuring him (not even his sister…but I do like her a lot!!!!)
My brother Drew went way over his aim with his wife. I couldn’t love her more. She is everything I love about my mom (which I find comic A LOT) but she is very much her own woman and I love how Drew and Ellie respond to one another and became their own body too.
This whole epic is set in motion because of one new little growth. Emmylou Holcomb joined us this week. We grew this week, Drew and Ellie, her parents added a limb and the rest of us got grew too!
I wasn’t there to snuggle her warm skin or smell her freshness from heaven we she joined us. I was far away in another country dealing with the joys of mothering her cousins. But it is her birth that reminds me of Jay and how even in his death he left a legacy. Emmylou will know her Uncle Jay in story and in pictures.
There are still whispers both soft and loud of Jay’s presence in each of our 5 lives and while his death was crippling, it is with each new birth that we heal that we grow that we change. Our bodies have and are multiplying. Chapters are being added, the book was not yet finished.
The gold conversion van the Holcomb 6 used to travel in and most certainly the sedan when we mutated to 5 is too small now. Praise the Lord from growth and rebirth.
Welcome to a family with lots of LOVE to share Emmylou Holcomb. We dreamed of you for a long time, even 14 years ago I was anticipating your birth and your imprint on my life and the lives of those I share a body with. We need you, you help our bodies to move.
I already can’t imagine life without her and I have yet to feast my physical love on her. Skype is just not going to cut it and neither is waiting until June.