My birthday just passed. It was August 24th. To be perfectly honest, it had slipped my mind. I am sure grief played a part in it but it was mostly all the other things in my life. My job, my kids, remodeling the home, so on and so on. I realized how quickly it was creeping towards me only when my daughter asked ‘what do you want for your birthday, mom?’ I know what I wanted to answer, but I kept those words buried deep down inside. I want my son back. I ‘m sane enough to know he is never coming back, but I can always wish…
On the eve of my birthday, as I was laying in bed, it hit me! More like it knocked me down and rolled over me! This would be my second birthday without my Joey. He has only been gone a little over a year, but he passed 5 weeks before it. Suddenly, the number 2 or the word second had become a relevant part of my vocabulary. I am no longer “newly grieved”.
While I laid in bed, staring into the darkness, I wished and prayed that Joey would come to me in my dreams. That’s all I wanted. To see him…one more time. I awoke and as usual could not even remember if I even dreamed. I usually jump out of bed once the alarm goes off but I quietly laid there, asking …more like pleading for a sign. Any sign just something to let me know that he was around. As I left for work, I searched the skies, the trees, the street signs! I was desperately seeking for anything that I could just to connect with him. Did the clouds form a special sign? Were there more than the usual birds perched on trees or any one that was different from the rest? Was there a word, a number, a symbol, ANYTHING that could give me hope that my son was near me!
I dragged myself in to my office that morning figuring that the “signs” would elude for another day. I was getting desperate and frightened. I hadn’t felt Joey in a while. I suddenly made a startling and painful discovery…I hadn’t thought about him as I used to! I sat at my desk and chided myself for not having him on my mind 24- 7! How could I, his own mother, let other things in my life get in the way of his memory! How could little insignificant things such as bills, work, etc, take the place of my precious son and the memories! I felt horrible. Even more than that. Just then, a coworker walked in to my office. I hadn’t seen her in a while since she is on the other side of our complex. When we were closer in proximity, we rarely exchanged presents other than the new millennial way of e-mail greetings. I was pleasantly surprised to see her. She handed me a gift bag and wished me a happy birthday. I told her she shouldn’t have but she started telling me that she was walking by this store and saw this item in the window. She stopped to look at it but then walked away. After a few steps, she turned around and went back. This time she stepped into the store to take a better look at this item. She hemmed and hawed about it for a few minutes. The sales lady told her it was the last one. She still wasn’t sure about purchasing it and was going to set it back down when quote “Something made me pick it up again and buy it for you. I wasn’t sure why but I felt like I needed to.” I stared at her quizzically, wondering what this bag held. She told me to go ahead and open it. I giggled like a 6 year old, expecting something funny that only a 50 some year old woman would find humor in, when I pulled out this this black shirt from the bag. I stared at it in disbelief. My jaw dropped. Words couldn’t come out, I couldn’t breath. I started crying. I brought the shirt up to my face and buried myself into it as if it was the much needed oxygen my body was craving. My friend threw her hands up to her face and started crying and apologizing. NO, i told her! You don’t understand! This was Joeys favorite saying ;HAKUNA MATATA-NO WORRIES BE HAPPY!’ The shirt was from the “Lion King”. I wrapped my arms around her and told her that she had just given me the greatest gift of all!!!! My sign…
Oh but you see, it doesn’t stop there. A few minutes later, another coworker walked in. She also handed me a bag. By this time, I was so elated that every gift was like a cherry on top of the sundae! I opened her gift and it was none other than my son’s favorite lotion! HEMP! He bathe himself in it every day. I would laugh at him and tell him that it really wasn’t weed and he would laugh and put on some more!! I quickly opened it and started lathering my body in it crying as I told her about it. She laughed and cried with me. She said, “God uses others sometimes, to bring you your signs.” I told the story to everyone that walked in to my office that day. I even posted it on my social media accounts. I was as happy as any birthday girl could be!
That evening my husband and I headed out to our annual “Cynthia’s Out Of town Birthday Celebration trip”. When we arrived at the hotel, I started to feel a bit sad. This day would be over in a couple hours. As we sat in our vehicle, waiting for valet, I told my husband I was feeling this sadness and loss again. I explained to him about this being my 2nd birthday without him and all the fears I had been experiencing. Being the good husband that he is, he told me to stop looking at the negatives and to continue to concentrate on the gifts I had already received. I nodded, took his hand and walked slowly into this beautiful hotel. Under my breath, I whispered “I love you Joey. Thank you son, for showing me you have never left me.” Right before we got to the desk, something stopped me in my tracks! I pulled my husband back, shushed him and told him to listen. RIGHT THERE, right in the middle of this 5 star hotel, what was playing over the speakers????? None other than …‘BOB MARLEY’S ONE LOVE” My son’s favorite artist, favorite song, favorite tattoo.
Let’s get together and feel alright….One Love..my love