Nine years.For whatever reason, it hangs heavy this year. Not quite the decade milestone but certainly we’re feeling it more keenly than last year. Go figure.We’ve been down in Maryland four years now and increasingly our circle of friends are people who never knew him. I’m about to work at my second school and there, no one will have known him. Similar to Deb and her work colleagues.While I know life goes on, I miss sharing him with others in my life. Robbie’s winning personality and spark were things to share and take delight in. Most would have enjoyed his company or understood the pride we took in him.His friends are well into adulthood, many married, some with their children now. They’re having experiences and making memories that continue to show the passage of time.Missing him hasn’t gotten easier but we’re managing. There are still moments where one or both of us suddenly grow sad or depressed. There remain television shows and movies that trigger grief, casual mentions here or there, the plot of a book.It has gotten easier to talk about him without being overcome and we welcome the chance to remind the world he was here, ready to make his mark. And we continue to wonder, “What if…?”It’s been nine years. Tough ones in many ways. His memory remains a presence in our home and that will have to suffice.