Some people believe there is a certain amount of time to grieve. That you are allowed so much time then POOF, pop back and get on with your life. If only it was that easy. Anyone who has lost anyone knows there is no timetable. It goes on forever. The pain, yes, it's not as heavy, but it's there. The tears, yes, they come less often, but they still come. The time passes so quickly for some and still so slow for others. It's like yesterday it happened. Other days it feels like a million days ago and not even true. But sadly, it is true. My friend once asked HOW MUCH DO YOU MISS HIM? Seriously, I tell her I can't answer the question. How do I say a part of my being here is gone. A part of ME is gone. I can't see him, touch him, hug him, kiss him. I miss his smile, his sense of humor. His unexpected gifts and jokes. Candle holders shaped like wine bottles for my birthday. Flowers he brought home from the hall he worked at because someone was just going to throw them away and he knew I would like them. A picture he sent me of ELLEN in a picture on the wall at a hall he traveled to for a banquet the Mirage was hosting. He knew how much I love ELLEN and he took the time to take a pic and send it to me. Those are those special things I miss.
God gives you this child, you nurture him and raise him to the best of your ability. You believe he is perfect. IN YOUR EYES, he is perfect. No other child in the world compares to yours. You are a mother, and it just never stops, the love just continues to grow every day. Your husband is bursting with pride for being given another son. Like the king of the jungle feels of his pride. Yet, he holds him ever so gently and manages not to hurt him, because little ones still scare him. Another son, two boys. Buddies for life. and so we watch them grow, teach him, hold him when he cries, cuddle him when he's whiney. Stay up all night taking turns watching him because he is having febrile seizures. And laughing with him when we get our bathing suits on and take a bath together to lower his fever. He thinks its like summer and its a pool day. Audra kicks in my tummy to remind me we will soon be adding to our brood. Another miracle in the making. And so they welcome their sister. My triple A gang. The three musketeers. Our family is complete. And a girl ! I can't help but feel sorry for her, knowing she would grow up with them protecting her, and watching over her. And we raise them all, feed them, nurture them. We watch Adam go off to kindergarten and she cries. Alex tries to sooth her and rubs her back. "It's okay Audwa, I'm still here. It's OK". And she calms down and plays with her brother. He shares his lunch with her, colors with her, helps her to walk across the room holding her tiny hands. He lays with her at naptime and together they fall asleep. He reads his favorite books to her and she listens intently. Adam comes home from school and calls her. "Hello sunshine, did you miss me?. And all of them run off to play. And they grow. They grow so fast. Snow comes. They are all up half the night waiting to get up and play outside in the fresh snow. Alex is in awe. He can't wait to build a snowman. "Mommy, everyone has to have a snowman, they just HAVE to." And all of them eat, we dress warmly, and out we go. They pull Audra in her sled. Have a snowball fight. They build a snowman. And he is FROSTY. He has a hat, and a carrot nose, and he will be built on the lawn for the next few years because Alex never stops believing we HAVE to have a snowman on our lawn. And they grow more. Adam joins the Marines. Alex graduates and starts college, not quite sure which direction he is going. Audra graduates and goes into studying to become a nurse, then a nurse practitioner. He is taking courses but still cant figure out what for. As long as they go to college, we don't have them pay for room and board. His friends tell him how lucky he is. He was. He had it much better than his friends. Audra, too. She was working two jobs now and still going to college full time. HER choice to work. She wants to save save save. And she does. And yet Alex still confuses us all because he can't find his direction in life. Audra knows he is so smart and tells him. She knows he has it in him. And she waits like we do.
He is now responsible for his own decisions. And one night he makes ones that costs him his life. My 26 year old son is gone. He has died in his sleep. But he had just gotten home a few hours earlier and said, "Goodnight mom, I love you, don't forget to wake me for school." "I love you, too, Alex, I won't forget." Thank you God for those last moments that I will treasure forever. But I'm angry, I'm devastated. This doesn't happen to people like us. It's other peoples kids we read about, we hear about. Not ours. And yet, it is our son. Who is going to help me put up the tree and spread the branches? Who will still put up with my silly tradition of playing the Chipmunks song and actually sing with me? Who is going to sing the chocolate milk jingle when we stir it? It was your song. Miss you. How much do I MISS him? GOD only knows how much. It's immeasurable. There are no words to describe how much. Your friends miss you. Your favorite waitress where you played darts misses you and the little chocolates you would bring her. Your brother and sister can't even tell me how much they miss you. Your father misses his ikster. Your nickname. His golfing buddy.
My heart hurts knowing it will soon be five years since you died. So much has happened in those years and I know you would have really liked being here to enjoy them. I still say goodnight to you every single night. I know you are somewhere, out there in heaven, and I know you can hear your mom.