Different days render different feelings, different notions, and longings. There are days when all is sunny and the clime cloudless, and days when it hits me like (at the risk of sounding cliché) a bolt of lightning: the realization that my little boy is not like most little boys, will never be like most little boys or inevitably—like most people. The face in the pictures of a two-year old smiling broadly, amusingly, silly—or the sweet eyes below the shock of a summer-blonde cowlick is, essentially, not there anymore. The potential has leaked out along with possibility—leaving behind only the inevitable, the abnormal–now our normal–of a constancy of distance, silence, repetition, and sporadic, unpredictable violence. The sweet summer boy lingers only in the residue of memory—occasionally caught in the adolescent face only to cruelly change into the damaged and disordered young man whose obvious need or lack is now discerned at a much rapid rate than the summer boy of yesterday—my yesterday, his yesterday. How come I didn’t know? No one told me that I would fall like a pitch into an endless, seamless well in love with him more than any other creature—human, animal, familial or friend, on this woman’s earth. No other can bring the wash of instant joy, instant sadness like the fleeting thoughts of my son, my beautiful son, always my beautiful son. He is the fount of most happiness, the most despair, the source of the most questioning, lingering thought in my mind, my heart: Why did it happen? Will he ever know the world outside that of his own making? Perhaps we are all in a world of our own making—perhaps some of us are better at navigation (negotiation?) than others. If so, it is a gift, that.
He is alive, I think. Wandering around the warm, breezy, somehow comforting stones and greens of the cemetery; the baby/child section filled with the detritus of lives that were lost young, or essentially never were: dolls, rattles, dried, damaged flowers, stuffed animals, wind things–chimes and pinwheels,, a make-shift,morbid crib. At least he is alive, he lives. He exists. He has existed for almost 16 years. At least I have that. I have never known the pain of this –looking at the stones, the cars, the animals, the detritus. I can see him, touch him, and know he’s there. His is now a barren place, cold, indecorous, sterile—like so many of these necessary places of living for those who do not or cannot quite do so without help. His is better than most—but nothing is ever, ever quite like home. Like Mommy. Like the familiar and the loving smells, sights, colors, touches, words, foods, kisses But hey, . At least, it’s better than this. Short succor for Mommy. A temporary relief (release?) from the constant doubt, the pushed-down, quashed stabbing that can be called up at an instant—without reason, without provocation. Joy in the short-solace, he is alive. He lives. At least, it’s better than this.