It's already been so long but he still echoes along our hemlines and reaches us in moments of stillness and story. "Do you remember him, Zander? Do you remember Grandpa Gigi?" And of course he does but he can't articulate it. "I remember him singing once," he says. "He was always sick though." And he was. Always always sick as far and long as Zander's life bridges.
I remember watching the way he felt it - the heaviness of his heart and the tear that split his face in silence as he leaned up against me. How that was a day he had to grow up a little faster and know a little too soon the fragility of this life. How he wanted to be strong but knew only how to be real...
Cancer stole pieces from each of us and stirred up new pieces within him to make a difference.
And now he is ready.
He may never know the result of what he's doing. Because when they cut his hair it is no longer his and it will be taken and fashioned and fixed upon a star-crossed child to hide their balding and lessen their burden.
He is near bursting with the thrill of the giving and the troops that have rallied around him to support the cause out of their generous hearts - friends and strangers who cheer for him as he pours out his goodness on the world in this act of love.
Because that's all it is. Love. Love for a man we lost. Love for the oh so many people right now battling their own war. Love for a stranger.
Plans to give them a hope and a future.