All bets were laid; poker faces were constructed. Well, except for Ben, who can never stop smiling long enough to have a poker face. William’s eyes darted from his stack of chips to those of his opponent on the left. Grandpa had no chips left, again. William stroked the hairs on his chin, which he liked to call his goatee, and which I call “hairy face”, and made his move. “I call,” he said. Everyone sighed and put down their hands. Let the cards fall where they may! Andy’s hand held a pair of tens, Ben had a small straight, Grandpa had one queen and so William wins again with a full house!
By the end of the evening the majority of the chips were in front of William and Andy. And even though others had loaned Grandpa some chips to keep him in the game, he ended the night empty-handed but full of heart. Now that William is off at College, these poker nights are special occasions.
Whenever William is in town, he gets things going. It’s quite amazing to me and reminds me of Ryan, who was also like that. I am so happy that William has the spirit that he does. His younger brothers are his greatest fans. They can’t wait for him to come home so that they can all do fun things together. I hope this closeness amongst the three lasts forever. I think it will. Unfortunately, these boys have discovered the hard way and early in life what it means to lose someone you love. They know that there may not be a tomorrow. It shouldn’t be that way. They should be carefree young men who are thinking about what they’re going to do with friends on a Friday night or how to pass their math test coming up. You know, the normal things that teenagers go through. As a parent it hurts when you can’t give your kids innocence; you can’t protect them from the darkness of the world.
I think that all I can give them now, is a ‘best me’. I can keep trying to go on in a positive way, working towards helping others and showing them that they have the right to happy fulfilled lives without shame, without regret and without bitterness. Most of the time, they teach me that stuff!