It’s been a tough couple of weeks. It’s always tough, but these two weeks have just been tougher. I know that Kathleen’s high school graduation was part of it… gosh, you knew so many of those kids and they just seem so grown up now. And that’s it. They are grown up and you, little Blue, are still 12 ½ in my mind.
When I look at your friends I think to myself, “where’d the time go?” and in the next breath it feels like eternity. I’ve said many times to many people that it seems like forever and yesterday all at once and the only thing that separates the forever and yesterday is a moment. Our good friends lost their 19 year old son 5 weeks ago and when I think of them as I often do it feels like yesterday that we were beginning the horribly sad road that they have just found themselves on. It all comes back to hit you again when you wonder if you would even have the strength to have to begin again.
Today, it feels like I’ve been on this road forever with no end in sight. 1,509 days have passed and I still wish it was all a bad dream or that you’ve been at a sleepover or at camp for 1,509 days and tomorrow maybe you’ll be back. Of course, that’s not true. No one does that. Sadly, I can’t book a trip to come and see you and I can’t put a circle around a day on the calendar that I can pick you up from the airport from a long trip. The reality is that I don’t know when I’ll see you again; I only know that one day I will be at the end of my life here on earth and you will be the first person I see on the other side. The visual I have of our sweet reunion is the most beautiful vision I hold. It is quite literally what keeps me going.
Oh, Willy. I miss you like yesterday and forever and love you like a bus on its way to there.
Waiting their turn to play volleyball… Jordan, Sam, and Will
Thursday, August 18, 2011 (89 days)
Today I met with Mrs. McLaren at your school and mine, too. She kindly bought me a latte and we shared a piece of banana bread while we talked about you and all the things that made you so special to Banded Peak. I have decided that I’d like to return to the school for a couple of days a week and so we talked about that too. To be there everyday would be just too difficult and as I explained to Mrs. McLaren I have some work to do on me. I have to grow that new appendage… remember the starfish story? When a starfish loses one of it’s “arms” it grows a new one and I was telling her that when I lost you, I lost one of my “arms” and that arm will always be with you… you, being only twelve, still needed your mom and, gosh, as your mom I still needed you too. I don’t know what my new appendage will look like but I am on a mission to grow a fabulous one because it will be for you. One could also call it finding my new purpose here on earth; finding a reason to live out my days until I am reunited with you. I think she understood what I was trying to say. We discussed that I will not work in your grade grouping as that would be torturous really. But I think being at the school in a lower grade might be good for me. Another bittersweet, Will… and boy oh boy, my world is filled with those.
I explained to Mrs. McLaren that sometimes my eyes will well up with tears while at work but that maybe my tears didn’t have to be a negative; that maybe the kids would see that being sad is part of being human — that even adults have tears sometimes and that it is ok. Maybe my emotions would bring out their emotions and maybe, just maybe, bring down their “walls”; especially the kids that come to school and hide amongst the turmoil of anxiety, the ones that have tummy aches and tears and sadness and behavior issues, etc. I told her how great it might be for them to see that they are helping me too and that it wouldn’t be just me helping them. Life is a two way street and working together could help them and me all at the same time. I know that there will be times when it will be overwhelmingly sad and I will have to excuse myself and maybe leave for a few minutes, but she told me that would be ok and completely understandable. I am so grateful for the school and the support I have there.
You have impacted so many, Will, and I will need you to help me through this. Help me understand that it is right and good for me to go back. Give me the strength I will need daily and the courage to show that being human has all kinds of faces; some happy and some really sad. Sit proudly on my left shoulder where the boy angels sit everyday I am there. I will need you there WITH me…. because that is where you should be. And, by the way, Willy, when I grow my new “arm”, this starfish Mom of yours will still always need you.