I was just slapped on the face by life. Now I sit here, in dire disbelief, feeling the sting of it. Not the sting of the slap, but the sting of life…the unbearable sting of death. You see, a few minutes ago, it dawned on me again…you’re gone.
My life is a go, go, go. Well, actually due to recent events, it’s at a standstill. It is my mind that keeps going, going, going. These are crazy times we are living in and all that is happening in our world, the never-ending doom and gloom headlines, the daily life stressors, friends, family, etc., I sometimes feel as if I carrying the world on my shoulders. Everything seems to want to take priority and little things consume my thoughts. And then there are times like today when out of nowhere, my world comes crashing to a halt and hits me like a cold bucket of water. You’re gone.
Your sister and baby Hayden just moved into their own place. As we were going through this box of “Why did you pack this, Alix?” “I don’t know, but I may need it later” I ran across a memory stick. I was going to trash it, along with the 50 some pens she had hoarded, thinking it may be some unwelcomed memories of a time she would rather forget. Instead, I stuck it in my pocket. Once I got home, I threw on the kitchen counter not really giving it a second thought. My muscles were aching from moving boxes and all I wanted to do was take a shower and climb into bed. That key was the last thing on my mind.
The following morning, I went to grab it and was just about to throw it in our junk drawer, ( the one where unwanted items go to die but you can’t trash them just in case you may need that one single Las Vegas dice or that little mermaid pen that’s out of ink ). For some reason, I had second thoughts. I left it right where it had landed the day before. For the next couple days, that memory stick was gently pushed from one end of the counter to the other. It just didn’t seem right to throw it in the drawer of doom. Ehh, I would get to it eventually. Finally, as I was getting ready to turn off the lights tonight and go to bed, I caught a glimpse of its bright blue color that reminded me of a beautiful piece of intricate glass. I felt as if I was drawn to it, so I picked it up and went straight to my office. As I was inserting it into the port, I got this butterflyee (it that a word?) nauseated, sick to my stomach feeling. It was the same exact feeling I had been struggling with for a couple days. I keep trying to push it away, thinking it was nerves because your sister was going on her own with the baby. I told Scott that I hated when I felt like this. It is the same dreadful feeling I had on the day you left me.
I watched nervously as the files were downloaded and then there it was. There YOU were. Your entire life from the days when you were just born to the months before you passed. They were all in front of me on this giant screen. I scrolled through every picture, devouring your smiles, your face, and your beautiful eyes. It’s the closest I’ve been to you in years. Even the picture we used for your obituary was there, along with the one with the wings painted on that we used for the program. I clicked on a couple that were short video clips. I heard your voice. I heard your laugh. I heard you sing to Sarini as she playfully laughed and made fun of you. My stomach went into somersaults. I wanted to click the screen off, but I couldn’t. Each picture drew me closer and closer to you. I reached out and touched the screen yearning to feel you one more time.
Scott came in to see what I was doing. I think I heard his heart drop. I never turned to see him. All I said was “I forgot, honey, he is really gone.” All the emotions came flooding back. Th antsy, ugly, nervous feeling I had that entire morning. Your dad’s phone call. Scott’s words to me. My silent scream. The walk into the hospital. How everything was in slow motion. The walk into the ‘viewing room’. Your beautiful body laying on that stupid metal bed with a stupid pink waffle blanket on top of you. I remember laying my head on you and feeling your cold body. I buried my face into your chest and cried for you to come back to me. I wasn’t finished loving you yet.
I went through each and every picture and each picture brought the memories flooding back to me. The way you played Pretty, Pretty Princess with your baby sister. How you and your brother would sit on the couch on Saturday mornings watching the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles. You would wear your ninja turtle underwear and P.J.s pretending you were each one of the characters. How handsome you looked in your uniforms. How you KNEW how handsome you were! HA! The many looks and fashion eras of Joey! We teased you how if the house ever caught on fire, and you had to run out, there better not be any mirrors along the way! You could not walk past a mirror without first stopping to check yourself out. Man, you loved yourself! God, How I love you and how I MISS YOU.
I haven’t said that for a long time….because I forgot you were gone.