I’ve heard it said that the days are long but the years are fleeting.
As if I never knew that before. I always thought I understood that, but now I know that I know.
Yes. This is true.
Today is the One Year mark of my son’s death.
It’s gripping to me that exactly one year ago, at this very time, this very day, I was standing in Room 252 in the ICU at Temple Scott and White, and my son was laying on that bed.
It’s all I can do to think back on it.
The reality of it all has sunk in so deeply during this first year of The After.
How The Afters have come to haunt me. All of these first days of Without.
Why are we a society of The Annual remembering? What is it about the human species that needs to put a time stamp on things?
Remember events with some sort of commemoration.
Put a bow on it all and call it So and So many years ago…this happened or that happened.
Let’s Celebrate. Let’s Remember.
I don’t feel like Celebrating. It is painful to Remember.
This feels more like an Expiration Date to me.
I’m sure this goes without saying, but I miss my son. More than I ever, ever thought possible.
There are no more phone calls. No more texts. No more planning visits.
I cannot hear him any longer. His laughter, or that tone in his voice when he says…
“I love you too, Mom.”
I can’t even dream that one day we will all go on that Disney Cruise or to that beach or to that cabin in the mountains. All of us. The entire family getting together finally for a family vacation.
I’ll never see him grow old. This is the hardest, hardest part. I wanted to watch him grow old with me.
It will never happen.
His oldest son graduated High School in May. Oh! Michael would have been so proud.
He could not watch that or see his children to go off to college and do all the great things he knew they’d do.
The things my son worked hard for so that his children could do great things.
He won’t be able to ever see his children grow and do all the things a good, good Father would do. Like watch over his daughters as they date. Stand at the front door and survey the boys that come to court them. He will never be able to give them away in marriage.
He won’t see grand babies born, or well, any Milestone ever.
He won’t be able to see them continue on and live out the legacy.
Oh, I know I should look at all of the Befores. All of the good times.
I hear it so often.
Remember the good. Think only on these things.
But for now, I have decided to mourn the Withouts.
I will get through this day. I will.
I’ll allow it all to wash over me and do what it needs to do.
I can get through one day at a time.
One moment at a time.
One breath at a time.
Walk over what now is a new path set out for me.
It’s rugged and sharp and high and steep and crooked all at the same time. And with tender feet I walk over it all.
Every step forward of my life now redefined.
Up ahead and all alone.
Set out just for me.