Storing Memories

All of my son’s things are in a storage unit. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to go through it. For now, his dad and I pay the fee every month.  Once in a while, his brother will go and check on his things, maybe “borrow” some shoes or hats.  I said that eventually, , we will go through it…some day.  We will divide things up among his siblings, best friend, his girl friend, and the rest to charity.  I don’t know, though, when that time will be.  For now, I am just fine paying the hundreds of dollars per year to keep his possessions stored. Maybe one day, I’ll know when the time is right.  If that time ever comes.

Joey was always borrowing our carpet cleaner. He used it far more than we ever did since 95 percent of our home is tile and his house saw a lot of traffic with his baby dog, Leo.  When his items were placed in storage, our cleaner was among those things. I wasn’t a part of the “move” so I had no idea it had been placed in there.  I only remember needing to safely store all his memories, but I couldn’t bear to do it myself.  My brothers, his best friend and my son had the painful duty of doing that.  I wanted everything stored..EVERYTHING.  Do not get rid of anything…not even his toothbrush.

In the middle of our living room, there is a large throw rug. In the first few weeks after his passing, it saw a lot of traffic.  You could see that the once vibrant colors were now dingy and dirty.  I told my husband that it was time to clean it. I would ask my daughter-in-law if I could borrow hers or I would just rent one of the grocery store ones. My husband kept insisting that we just needed to get ours from the storage. I would change the subject.  Every time the it was brought up, I made excuses…too far, too inconvenient,  too tired.  Then one day, without my knowledge, my husband called Sarini.. my son’s girlfriend and they made arrangements to meet at the storage place to get it out of the unit.  When he called me later that day to give me the “good news”, I felt sick to my stomach.  I got angry! How dare he remove something from the sacred area!  It was like a knife in my heart. I felt betrayed.

I can’t explain why.  In  a way, I felt that by removing it from the storage, it meant we were taking it away from his memory,  we were taking it away from Joey.  It’s a stupid rug cleaner that was ours anyway, for crying our loud.  But somehow and for some insane reason,  it hurt me deeply.

I knew that when my husband brought it home  later that day, it was not going to be pretty. I would have to explain my pain and my disappointment.  I would  tell him that he broke a sacred bond by removing this inanimate  object.  Yes, I know it’s just a carpet cleaner and yes I know it was ours.  But, he had it last.  He would look at me strangely, shake his head and tell me he was only trying to help. I would have to explain that this machine was going to be a constant reminder of him.  As silly as I might have sounded, it was still painful and heart wrenching.

When he brought it in that evening, I cried.  He looked at me and without saying a word, took it right back out and stored it in our garage.  He came back inside and said “I’m sorry.  I didn’t think. We can by a new one.”  I smiley weakly at him.  No, I said…then I feel as if I am replacing him.  He smiled, shook his head and kissed me on the forehead.

One day….Some day…Maybe

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

I can’t believe its been a year since I put my thoughts on paper.

I can’t believe it’s been 3 and a half years since I lost my Joey

I cant believe at times, that he’s really gone.

But I am back because, well, I think about him all the time.  The good times…the not so good, and all the times in between.  I miss him.  I miss him more than the words that swirl around my head in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep.  I miss him more than the tears that stream down my face when I catch a glimpse of his picture on my wall.  I miss him more than the darkness that surrounds me when I realize that another year has gone by and he never is coming back.

Time plays games on you when you lose a child.  There are days that seem to drag on forever and it seems like an eternity since you last held them, kissed them, saw their smile.  Then there are the days that out of the blue, if you’re like me, you look at your blog and can’t believe its been a year since you reminded the world of him.

There are so many ways that I can start this blog again.  So many things that I want to share about this past year.  The new beginnings, new life, new adventures, new loves and new loss.  Sadly, there are endings as well.  And the darkness overtakes me again.

A beautiful young life was taken a few weeks ago.  A tragic mistake, but what death of a child isn’t a tragedy?  She was a beautiful child of only five.  A sweet young girl who loved Minnie mouse, her mommy and daddy and her brother and sister.  She was taken away from people that loved her…from friends that will miss her…and from a community that got to know and love her sparkle from the pages on social media.  Her family was robbed of a lifetime of memories.  Her first date, her first crush, her first kiss.  They will never get to see her in her graduation cap, her first pair of high heels.  There will be no wedding gowns, no grand babies, no Thanksgiving dinners in a new home. It ended before it began.  And now there is darkness.

And just like that! I remember this pain.  I remember those exact dreadful”No More’s”.  No mother-son dance no mini Joey’s to hold. No more “I love you, momma.”  I’ve learned to navigated thru the hard No’s and now,  I come up with new ones all the time. Some make me shake my head as I remember his shenanigans, some make me smile. Like, no more ‘You did WHAT?’  or ” DO YOU REALLY need another pair of shoes?”  He loved his shoes. 

I want to say to mom the right thing, but I know there are no real words of comfort.  There are no real paths to healing to the old world we called Normalcy. There is no time frame and no right or wrong way to do it.  There will be darkness, even in the brightest of days.  And, there really is light at the end of the darkness.  There are bumps and curves down this long lonely road called grief, and sometimes there are detours to places called laughter and joy. There are unexpected pit stops where you think you may feel stuck, but there is always a destination waiting that is full of magic and new memories.  I learned that the longer my trip takes me, the easier the road is well traveled.  Maybe, along the way, I hope to pick up a lost and confused fellow traveler trying to find their way.  I will take them by the hand and say…”I don’t know why you lost your child, and maybe …just maybe…My son passed because God knew you were going to need me…let me show you the way….