I've sat down at my computer for the past seven days and stared at the screen, not knowing what to write. A new friend, Emily, the mother of a boy who is in the kindergarten class Pablo would have been in at the Oaks, wrote to us asking if we'd like to dedicate a book in Pablo's memory at the school library. A week ago she wrote saying she'd gotten everything lined up for the dedication, and all she needed was our input on what the book plate should say. I can write and say a lot of words on any given day. The words for that book plate—not coming up for me. I want it to be simple. I also want it to convey a sense of Pablo-ness. I also want it to tell the truth about Pablo, in a way that's appropriate for children. Not easy.
Pouring out the contents of my heart and head on the Pablog is easy. Sometimes I look back at a post, and I think, 'Damn, that's a lot of words.' Some of those times I read a post and feel like I'm reading a story about my life. That's the effect of putting things on paper in order to know how I feel. If I didn't do it, I am certain—absolutely certain—my head would either implode or explode. Wouldn't matter which it would do. Human heads are meant to be in good working order. Caving in or blowing out—not good for the operation of a human body.
Tonight, I was determined to confront this task. I didn't want to leave Emily hanging any longer. Her offer of support is sweet and deeply meaningful to me. Plus, I'm leaving on October 7 for the Pablove Across America ride, and I'd like to attend the dedication at the Oaks before I fly to Florida.
The book, by the way, is Pablo's favorite—'Christopher's Harvest Time' by Elsa Beskow.
We used to talk about Elsa Beskow like she was a celebrity. I mean, she is. But we used to just love saying her name. Jo Ann and I are very linguistic people. Together, we probably speak enough words in a day to stretch from here to Portland and back.
Here are the words I emailed to Emily just a few minutes ago:
In loving memory of Pablo, a boy who followed his curiosity and love of reading and words each day of the six years and six days of his life. this book was his favorite.
Pablo Thrailkill Castelaz
June 21 2003—June 27 2009