Nathan Alexander Dickerson McCracken
To me, simply Buddy.
For a hundred reasons that everyone knows,
and for many, many reasons that
only I know,
today it is Buddy.
During the middle of a night
23 years ago, my heart broke with
the knowledge that the tiny person I
was holding would grow up and
leave me one day.
But it doesn't really happen like that.
There's mercy in the way children go.
They leave you a little bit every day.
And we celebrate it.
When they learn to feed themselves.
When they walk.
When you change the last diaper.
When the school bus pulls away.
When one day they have body odor.
When you can't breathe because you see tail lights fading up the street.
Then there is the tassel on the mortarboard.
And the goodbye on the curb outside of the dorm room.
A little bit every day.
Until they really are gone--and all grown up.
But, if you're lucky, as I am, your child will
do or say something that makes you
realize they'll never forget that you
held them in the middle of the night
and that your heart broke.
And everything will be okay.
Buddy Nathan Alexander Dickerson McCracken,
I love you.