This is my favorite Grey and Riley story. Again, I try hard to celebrate Grey's life on this day, this day marking seven months since Grey broke free from his horrible disease.
Bill and Ry had five months home with Grey, before summer would come leading to the fall that Ry would eventually start Kindergarten. Riley was a great big brother, just about willing to do anything for Grey as long as he was no longer the baby. He would entertain him, help give him a bottle, read to him, lay down with him at nap time, take a bath with him. And in Grey's eyes, nobody was funnier than his big brother Riley. I even have a recording of Riley making Grey laugh. It really is priceless.
So on to my story . . .
I came home one afternoon from school, Greyson's smile and bright eyes awaiting me as usual. He was sitting in his bouncy chair on the table in the living room. The closer I got to him, the quicker his little legs would kick. I unstrapped him from his chair and picked him up to give him love. And as I picked him up I felt something sticky on his onesie. After inspecting it, I concluded that it was gum.
"Billllllllll ! ! ! Why does the baby have gum on him?"
"What? He has gum on him too? I had gum on my shirt when I woke up from napping with him."
It was a mystery, one that pointed us right to his big brother.
"Riley ! ! ! Why do Grey and Dad have gum on them?"
Bill, Ry, and Grey took a nap together every day, Ry on one couch, Bill on the other with Grey on his chest. Ry always woke up first, followed shortly by Grey. Daddy was always the last to wake up. It was common for Ry, once he awoke, to go over to Grey and start to play with him.
Rewind to the day before. On this particular day, once Riley got bored and wondered away from Grey, Grey decided that he would go with him. He squirmed and rolled his way off of Bill's chest. As he fell, Bill awoke and caught him right before he hit the ground.
Apparently, this really worried Ry, worried him enough that the following day, he chewed a whole pack of gum and placed it in between Bill and Grey, so that they would be stuck together.
That's how much Ry loved Grey! And when Grey died Riley cried, saying that he was no longer a big brother. It was hard to convince him otherwise. But I remember after Grey's memorial I carried Grey's little urn into the house and set it down on the table. Ry had lots of questions, as to how that could be Grey. After what I felt were not the best explanations, Riley ran to his brothers screaming, "Guys, guys, Grey's home! I'm still a big brother!"
The best big brother . . . always.