There’s this photo I have. And it might be the most powerful photo I own…
I walked into a store on main street in Fernie on a summer day in 2011…. only weeks after losing you and to this day I’m not sure if I laid eyes on it first or if it laid eyes on me. It was another of those profound moments that are crystal clear in my mind and the feelings it brought forth were and still are eerily beautiful. I remember being drawn to it the moment I walked through the doors because this boy looked like you. Just. Like. You. I picked it up and in the quiet stillness that surrounded me I heard these words — “peek-a-boo, Mom”. I knew that I could not leave the store without it.
Those few weeks after losing you were numbing, confusing, foggy, terribly painful and raw with emotion. I spent all of my waking moments searching for answers, for meaning, for ways to survive, for something to believe in, for a God that would promise to take me to you at the end of my days here and that for eternity nothing could tear us apart. On that day, seeing that photo, it felt like I had the answer I wanted so desperately. You see it, too, don’t you, Will?
It’s as if this photo was taken from inside of me; from deep within my soul. This is what I see when I open my eyes. I see you as if you are super imposed into/onto everything that is real. It is yet another reminder that the veil is thin. And I like it that way. Peek-a-boo back at you, Willy. I see you.
Love you like a bus, Will… with peek-a-boo windows from my soul.
A month has passed since I’ve put my words to you in a letter, however, that certainly doesn’t mean that you haven’t been in my thoughts… its quite the contrary as you are on my mind every minute of every day. Like my breath, I inhale thoughts of you, hold them for a moment, and then exhale wishing that things were different. Inhale. Exhale. In. Out. Every breath.
It is early Sunday morning, the sun is still sleeping and there’s still a hush throughout the house and the neighbourhood. I am full to the brim of thoughts of you. So full that I couldn’t create more room without telling you how much I love you and how much I miss you. For a few weeks now there is a white blanket of Willy covering the ground and I’m thinking this blanket of Willy is here to stay for the winter. Each time you blanket us with more snow I imagine how happy you must be up there stirring up a big dump of beautiful, white crystals and how excited you must be when you dump them on us and on the mountains so that Dad and your brothers can do what they love to do and what you loved so much too. The mountains are beckoning them…. It’s early season and they are hopeful that you’re up there trying to figure out how to send more of the white stuff to the mountains.
With December comes Christmas and the hustle and bustle of the season has begun. Yesterday I spent the day shopping and it hit me numerous times how difficult it was when we had to somehow find a way to get through Christmas without you that first year. Gosh, those were sad days and I remember how hard it was to even step foot into a shopping mall. I attempted twice and both times abandoned the stores and ran out to the car to catch my breath and to cry. It makes me think that we’ve come a long way from that first Christmas without you and though it’s still difficult and still sad we’ve a whole new way of celebrating the holidays, having adopted new traditions with you in the centre of all of them.
For now, I’ve pushed my Christmas list aside and am basking in thoughts of my morning with you. Early this morning I felt you so close to me. I lay there quietly for a long time with my eyes closed, imagining myself calling your name and watching you run towards to me. A wise and beautiful friend has told me that the veil is thin between you and I and I hold ever so tightly to that belief. One day, Will, at the end of my breaths here on Earth you really will come for me and I will see you, and I’ll hear you. You’ll be running, as will I, with arms open wide and once again I will be full and not broken. Until then I’ll take these moments with you and I’ll breathe. Inhale. Exhale. In. Out. And I’ll hold onto each and every beautiful memory that I have.
I miss you sweet boy and I love you so very much. Bigger than a bus times a million.