A Stranger In My home

I look at myself in the mirror at times, and don’t know who is staring back at me.  I see a stranger.  Someone that looks tired, confused, and lost.  I see a person that I never thought I would be.  I stare at this stranger and hopelessly try to find the missing part that once made me whole.  A part of what defined me is forever gone.  What once was there, is now shrouded in pain.   I know there are psychologists, pastors, counselors that say to us :”You can’t let another person define who you are.” but I don’t  know if they have ever seen life through the eyes of a grieving parent.  I know they read books, they take classes, they go to the most highly acclimated conferences money can buy but unless they have walked in these heavy weighted shoes, they will never understand.  You can’t expect a blind person to know what the color blue is…you can’t expect a deaf person to know what the  echo sound of a bell is.  No one can tell me that I will get over this pain when their present pain doesn’t compare to my everlasting one.

It is impossible for parents not define who they are and what they have become without their children being the center of it all.  I lost my personal identity when I had my children.  They consumed my every thought, my entire soul, my every breath.  I loved it.  I loved that I was able to form this miracle inside of me and watch him/her grow into their own identity.  I delight in watching them become the person they are.  As they married and had their own children, I felt my own love for them grow stronger.   I look forward to the day when they realize that their own children have taken over every micro cell that lives inside of them, but I am angry  that I was ignorant enough to assume these events were guaranteed.  I am even angrier that my son will never experience and relish in the joys of these adventures.  Those are the days I become an intruder in my own world.

There is some relief.  I am starting to have days that are easier to maneuver through. I go about them with a smile and a laugh but along with those,  there are also days that seem so dark and and dreary I can’t see past my own hand.  Those seemingly innocent days become torture when the cold hard reality hits me… I will NEVER see my child again!  I despise those days!  I despise the  times when I drive by a certain area, hear a certain song,  or see a person with features that resemble my handsome son.    Those events take me to a dark place that I don’t care to be in.  Where once I was able to go about my day with virtually no sadness, they drag me down into a place of despair.  Those are the days that when I glance at myself, I see a facade of a person.  A spiritless, dejected human being who no longer recognizes herself.  I yearn to have myself back…I yearn to have my life back …I yearn to have him back…

I AM AN ILLUSION OF WHAT I ONCE WAS…

Happy Birthday Wishes Do Come True

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