Happy birthday, Beau.

Beau, this photo was taken a short year before you left this world, and it holds so many positive memories for me.  It holds hope.  We had just come off a separation and we committed to be in this for the long haul.  I was reading Hemingway out loud to you at night, and you were listening. Our journey was not easy, because I’m impatient and you were a full-on man.

What I do know after a long journey of grief is that you were a gift to me.  You taught me how to persevere through rough times, you taught me how to stand up and use my voice, to fight back and keep talking until I’m heard. You taught me how to write lists to make decisions, to laugh hard, and you pressed me to go back to work full time.  I am grateful, because I’ve had to breathe and stare down the bully more than once on my own.

I am changed because of you, Beau Nichols.  I am powerful and I have something to say.  Thank you for making all of that possible for me.

Happy birthday, James Busey. Life is a moveable feast.

BEAU-

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