Unalterable Sacred Words


When Evan was little every day during our nap time ritual he would say, “We’re gonna love each other forever, right Mama?” I’d answer, “Yes, Evan, we’re gonna love each other forever, now go to sleep.”

During army boot camp, when he sent me letters, he wanted to reaffirm his love for me, but he knew better than to spell out each word. Soldiers do not look kindly on such sentiments. Instead he wrote W.G.L.E.O.F. and I signed my letters to him the same way. He also knew I wasn’t fond of tattoos, but I couldn’t object to the one pictured here, so he made it his first

When Doug and I decided what to have etched into Evan’s grave marker, we chose, “We’re gonna love each other forever.” While at the funeral home I had the passing thought that I ought to have insisted on better grammar when Evan was small so we could have chosen instead, “We will love each other forever.” But no. We are who we are. The sacred words would not be altered.

A few days later, while flying home after a week with our daughters and grandchildren in Houston, a flight attendant handed me the napkin pictured below.

I couldn’t hold back tears when I saw the word “gonna” and it’s “definition” on the napkin.

I received it as a gentle nudge from our son. Yes, Evan, it’s still true. We’re gonna, with joyful certainty, love each other forever.

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