Dylan

“Happy Birthday”

The words don’t even seem to matter this year. They don’t seem to mean anything. Anything I hoped to say, wished to say, would ever dream of saying left that day. Saying “Happy birthday” just doesn’t seem right. Nothing seems happy, nothing seems right. Being 16 shouldn’t be that hard. Turning 18 shouldn’t happen in the grave…and yet here we are. Trying to put the words “Happy” and “Birthday” in the same sentence on a day that seems anything but.

Happy birthday kid. I wish it were different. I wish, that life was simpler. Easier. Better. I wish that you wouldn’t have been dealt such a crappy hand. That I would have seen sooner. That help would have been there quicker. I wish you would have found peace here. That you didn’t feel this was your only option. I wish. So much.

But mostly I wish that today would be going so much differently.

There just aren’t words.

There never will be.

On what would have been your 18th, on the day you should have been celebrating your freedom…the only thing left to celebrate is that you are no longer trapped.  You are no longer held here.  In a world you fought against for years.  I hope you found some peace.  I really do.  I really hope it was worth it.  I’m sorry it wasn’t enough.  I’m sorry it never will be enough.

The world may forget.  They may not remember.  But I always will.  As hard as I try, I can’t forget you.  I wouldn’t want to.  You may not ever have known how much you changed my life, you may have never seen how much of a difference you made -and it may be too late now, but on what would have been your 18th, I can’t help but wish -if just for a minute -that somehow…you know.  And never forget.

Never Enough

The weeks leading up to the first day of school are often stressful and frustrating. While most people are counting down the days until they are able to drop their kids off and have a much needed break, I am racking my mind for ideas to keep a certain kids clothes on all season long. I am thinking up of all the possible things that could and will go wrong -and solutions for them. I am trying to remember if I signed all the papers, met all the people and agreed to all the things.

Chances are I missed something. Chances are there is going to be at least one person who judges our mishaps along the way, and while this silent judging rarely bothers me -it is a new school, with new teachers, new faces and new people to impress.

All this newness also means there are going to be the inevitable meltdowns along the way -from both the kid and myself. And probably a few teachers. When the school season finally does come to an end, we won’t sigh relief -because it will mean ironing out a new normal, a new routine, a new schedule -just after we got used to this one. I don’t complain about it, I don’t talk about it, and I rarely mention it. It is what it is -it comes with the responsibility and the process. We all have our thorns. This is mine. This back to school business.

I bought all the pencils and binders, books and packs. I bought shirts and shoes and jeans that I know won’t get worn. I bought a lunchbox that will carry his lunch to school and home again -day after blessed day, because hard as I try he will not eat unless he is in the comfort of his home and everything is as it should be. But still, I pack the lunch I know will get thrown away because someone might question if I don’t. I buy the shirts I know won’t get worn -because at least it will look as though I am trying. Not hard enough, never hard enough -but at least trying.

The morning starts the same way it does -every day. With a bowl of cereal and a pile of TV remotes. Quietly in the early hours of the morning he gets cereal and remotes and talks himself through his day. I don’t know what he says, or what he does -but I know it works and I know it doesn’t hurt anyone and so I let him go. I throw the cereal away a few hours later, right next to the cereal from the day before -because he doesn’t eat that kind. Only the other kind. Only after his morning routine. Only once the cereal has been thrown away and the remotes accounted for. Only then.

I try not to show the panic that has settled in next to the guilt, panic about how the day is going to go down, about how the year will pan about, about how nothing ever goes as planned and this certainly will be no different. Guilt over not doing enough, not trying hard enough, over doing too much and not enough. Circles upon circles of endless thoughts.

The drive in is quiet. I step around the fragile questions I am not sure if he has or not -trying to settle my nerves as much as his. Trying, desperately to make this seemingly mundane and normal task -just that, when it is anything but. Trying to fight away the thoughts that crowd my already fragile mind. Hoping, desperately, for a normal moment when it is anything but.

He walks through the school that we just visited not even two days ago as if he has been there for years. He ignores his teachers and gets straight to business making himself at home with something he shouldn’t be touching. “He will be fine.” I tell no one but myself, and then I leave. Because I know after years of doing this that ripping the Band-Aid off quickly is better than slowly.

I am alone with my thoughts for the first time in months. Alone with nothing but myself and the stale air. Alone. The perfect time for all the jumbled thoughts to align and make force. I only dropped one kid off this year. Only bought supplies for one backpack. Only arranged for one kid to go to school. Only made lunch for one box. Guilt for not trying hard enough. For pushing too hard. For not seeing things earlier. For not stepping in sooner. What went wrong, and why? The questions that never seem to have answers flood my mind, because for now -I can’t be bothered to push them aside.

This one has come so far -the one they said wouldn’t. The one they said would never make it to seventh grade -is now entering the seventh grade. The one they said wouldn’t understand laughs at his own jokes. The one they said wasn’t worth it. The one I drug, kicking and screaming, yelling and biting down the halls of school only to be called back ten minutes later because it wasn’t working today. The one that hid in the corner screaming for hours at a time. The one that fought, tooth and nail -everyday, all day. Is now walking into new situations like nobody’s business, leaving me in the dust -the way it should be.

But the one they said would be fine. The one they said was just having a rough year, a rough patch -just needing some extra time. The one they diagnosed, and treated -that one, isn’t here. For reasons I still have yet to understand. The one that was supposed to be ok -wasn’t. He wasn’t here for the first day of school. He won’t be here to get off the bus. Won’t be here to complain about his teachers or homework.

Too much, not enough. Never enough.

I try, because it’s the only thing I know how to do. Even when I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do. I try, because if I didn’t try I would give up. I try, because there is nothing else left to do. I try, because he deserves more -he deserves better. But it will never be enough. The intermingling of the thoughts, the twisting of ideas, the comprehending of the future. Binding the past with the present and trying to make a future.

It’s hard.

Because it’s never enough.

It’s Where I’m At

I’ve been trying to compile my thoughts for sometime. Obviously, that hasn’t happened. In fact, I think it has been well over a year since I have intentionally sat down to write something specific. Lately it has been more of a stream of conscious -write what you feel, write when you feel -sort of thing. But there has been something chewing away at me for a while now. Something that I am not entirely sure, how to say, but know it needs to be said.

I read something a while ago -about the dangers of thinking when you are tired. How when you are tired, it is easier to let the negative thoughts creep in because you aren’t strong enough to combat them. I’ve found it to be true. But difficult. Considering I am tired 99% of the time anymore. The article went on to say that when you are tired and those negative thoughts come, you can’t fight them so they sink in further -you begin to believe them and in a vicious cycle you become even more tired and beat down -because of said thoughts.

It is an interesting thought and one I have been actively trying to be aware of. Late at night -when those hurtful thoughts of guilt want to seep in I have been trying to tell myself that I will deal with them -when I am not tired. I don’t shove them off as not being true, because they feel so true -but I don’t want to fall victim to believing thoughts that aren’t true, just because I am tired. Unfortunately, this has also made me more tired -because lets face it, fighting off thoughts is never easy.

But it’s where I am.

Trying…and from past experience, trying is all you can do.

I’ve reached some really dark places these past few months -and while I could easily beat myself up for going there, I am trying to choose the option that says I went there -but I came back. I am still actively trying. I am still scared of those dark places -but fear, I have found, can be good. It lets me know that I am not completely gone, and on those days when I really wish I were -I can draw some comfort from knowing that I have fought to stay here…

Nine years ago, interestingly enough -I reached the place I will always refer to as rock bottom. The place where my life was so far upside down that I didn’t know if there was any coming back -or if I wanted to come back. While I would always have considered the death of my daughter to be my rock bottom -there was more life had to throw at me that would take me further, deeper and darker. Nine years ago I was ready to throw the towel in on everything. Quite literally steps away from calling it quits.

I won’t even know why, exactly, I chose to give life one final shot -but I did…and the result would be the past eight years.

Up until last year, I would have said these past few years were the recovery period. I worked hard to get out of the deep, dark hole that I had found myself in -and somehow, managed to come out on top. On top to the point where I was planning ahead. Looking to the future. Calling the shots. Moving on. After a stretch of challenging years, this seemed like the break I had been waiting for. The place I was aiming for. The landing place, if you will. Success.

Except that, last year happened.

I’ve taken this past year off. Given myself some much needed slack and just coasted for a while. I didn’t put myself in any positions that required additional thinking. Didn’t make any life altering decisions. Didn’t get back up right away.

But now that we have coasted past the first year, I am trying to pick myself back up again. Put the pieces of the shambled puzzle back together and make something of this tattered life I have been handed. I’m trying. Because that is all I can do…and all I know how to do. I don’t know yet -what that will look like. It might look like a whole lot of nothing, a whole lot of complaining, and a whole lot of whining.

I am still actively fighting off the dark thoughts. Still fighting with my shadows. Still arguing away those painful days where all I want to do is give in. But I’m still fighting. I’m still trying. I’m still here. If ever so silent. Because I’m trying. It’s all I know how to do.

One Year Later

I turn on the news and cringe as the only thing that seems to be happening is more pain and turmoil. In an already shattered world, these senseless acts make even less sense. I answer the phone and learn that yet another life, innocent and young, has been taken. I can’t even browse social media or join seemingly safe groups without hearing about death. In many different forms, but still the same. Death. Finished. Complete. Gone.

My mind understands why, but my heart is much slower these days –and still struggles to keep up.

I wake in the middle of the night –yelling for it not to be true…if only I could go just a bit further then perhaps I would find the solution. The answer. A few more minutes. That’s all I need. I beg for more time before I open my eyes and realize the only one privy to my midnight outburst is the dog…used to my antics, she doesn’t even wake anymore.

I try to do my part –I try to add some good back into the world. I pay for dinner in the drive through for the person behind me. I purchase ten extra cups of coffee. I put together bags and deliver them at the homeless shelter. I smile when I want to cry. I pick up complete strangers and give them a ride. I listen. I hear. I act. But it is rarely enough.

Because I turn on the TV that night and see the news of more pain. More suffering. More hopelessness…and slowly my heart begins to understand just what yours felt.

The pain of this world, is just so much. The burden of others –too heavy. The wish for peace and happiness, impossible.

The thing is, despite having all the knowledge –despite knowing what you felt, what you went through and what you would still be going through – I cannot understand, completely, why. Why it wasn’t enough. Why it couldn’t have just been enough. For one more day.

Much like the reoccurring dream that haunts me when I sleep –I wish for more time. Just one more day, to make everything right. To build that perfect world where only peace and happiness exist. To take you away from this world that caused you so much pain and suffering. To give you the happiness you deserved.

There is nothing I can say that will change the events that took place last July. There isn’t anything I can do that will change the way you thought, but it won’t stop me from trying. Buying coffee and giving strangers rides will not bring you back –but it might just give me a small glimmer of hope in the seemingly hopeless world.

The things I do are for you.

They are the things I do when I’ve spent another sleepless night trying to make sense of this senseless world. They are the things I do when I want to bury myself under the covers and never look out again. They are the things I do when I to and make sense of what you felt. They are the things I do when I can no longer try and convince my heart to understand what my mind already knows –when I no longer want to. They are the things I do when I miss you…when I am sorry.

One year ago I whispered to you: I’m sorry. I’m sorry it wasn’t enough. I’m so, so sorry.

One year later –I am here with the same whisper: I’m sorry. I’m sorry it wasn’t enough. I’m so, so sorry.

In His Absence

These are new grounds for me, this helping a child navigate grief. More specifically, helping an autistic child who is non-verbal, navigate grief. I don’t know how much he understands, or what all he really comprehends about the whole situation. I don’t know what questions he has, or what he is feeling. I don’t know what is going through his mind. I don’t know if he is experiencing the normal stages of grief -or if he is handling things in his own way -the way he does everything else.

I just don’t know.

I watch him, carefully, for some sort of clue. I look in his eyes when the opportunities arise, I watch him carefully open the containers that hold the items I have packed away. I watch him look through, selecting one or two things before hiding them away under his own bed -where he puts his most beloved treasures. I wonder what is going through his mind. If he wonders if he is next. If he wonders why his best buddy is suddenly just gone. Didn’t they have something special? Wasn’t he supposed to be there for ever and a day?

What goes on inside his mind -is beyond me. I try my hardest. I really do. I understand the importance of body language and tones. I know from the way he screams if he is happy or upset. I know from the way he twists his arm if he is frustrated or just tired. I know that when he starts picking at his eyes and hair that he is having a hard time understanding something. That he is frustrated. I know that when he slides under his bed -he doesn’t want to deal with people. That he wants to be left alone.

I know that he won’t eat in public, that he prefers to go with no pants and that he is his happiest when he has space to be himself without interference. But I also know that the bond he and Dylan had was something that can never be replaced and something that will always leave a hole. I know that he used to wait by the window, watching and waiting. That he followed Dylan around like a lost dog, that the small bits of favor that he showered on him went much further than any other action. He would do just about anything to be with him, to be acknowledged by him.

I know that if he could, or did, speak -he would have said that when he grew up he wanted to be just like him. I know that Dylan knew this -and while he was your typical teenager in many ways -he often would comply and shower a little bit of affection on his younger cousin, who might as well have been his brother. They shared many moments together and apart…

…and I am not sure how to go about healing the wounds I know were left behind.

All I can do is watch from the sidelines. Try and gather clues from the way he reacts. Try and be understanding when he has bad days -knowing that he too, is struggling in his own ways. Ways that are perhaps, much harder because he cannot verbalize what he is feeling. I can’t offer him help because I don’t know the extent of his suffering, even though I know it must be deep.

He loved him -and he was loved by him. They fought, they bickered, they argued. With each other, against each other, and behind each other. But they also had a bond that was unbreakable. In ways that I thought would carry them far. If for nothing else, they had each other. Regardless of what happened -they would have each other. They would have each others backs -in good times and bad, and that would carry them far.

Just not far enough.

While one boy got his final wish -to depart this world and no longer be shackled with the pain and aches that this world could not heal, another is left to grapple with his absence. I don’t know how to explain all of this and more to a boy who still looks out the window, waiting for his hero to step off the bus. So instead, I sit with him. I watch the horizon, knowing full well that he won’t be returning, but wishing -for just a moment, that perhaps -he will.

PICT0020

If for nothing else, to bring some answers to a boy who thought and still thinks, the world of him.

Opening the Door

With Josh coming home this weekend, one of the things looming on my to do list has been to clean out their shared bedroom. The door to this room has been closed since before I left for my trip, and hasn’t been opened for any length of time since. As if shutting this door would somehow shut out everything negative. As if shutting the door would erase all that happened. Would somehow make the day disappear. As if it would all somehow go away, with the simple shutting of the door.

But life moves on, and as life would have it -the time to open that door has come. Quicker than I would have liked, but here none the less.

I had somehow played up the moment of opening this door. As if something you see in the movies there would most likely be a fog…a distant smell that reminded me of him, and the few moments that followed would be that of remembering the happy times, the good times, the times that made this life worth living. The fog would lift and there would be a neat pile of things that somehow closed all the wounds that have been open these past few months.

…and then like magic, the room would clean itself up, pack things away and life would move one -with the door wide open.

As bizarre as this may sounds, I really can’t think of how else to explain it. But when I opened the door, as you probably already knew -there was no fog. There was no magic moment. And the only smell was that of cat pee and misty crackers. Which is probably best, because the odors of a teenage boy are not those to be desired.

The room was exactly how it was -six months ago. The thing is, he wasn’t in that room six months ago. In fact it has been close to two years since he has been in that room. Things of his have been moved, and pushed away, rearranged and shoved aside. While the room was always ready to accept him -when he came back, it also doubled as Josh’s room and for the past year and ½ it has been his room only. With the exception of Dylan’s things -piled along the side, pushed under his bed and shoved in his drawers.

The goal today? Was to box as much of his stuff up as possible. The plan has been to box it all up and sort it later when Madison is here. But I didn’t make it that far today. I made it across the threshold, set the boxes down and sat down beside them.

…and instead of boxing things up, let my mind run wild.

It doesn’t take much these days. Doesn’t take much to get the thoughts running and all the feelings feeling. I thought about the first time he talked about suicide, and how I did nothing about it. I thought about how he probably danced around the topic so many times, yet I failed to realize. I thought about how often he would have tried to get help -but was turned down. I wondered if he was really ever happy. I thought about the past ten years. The bad and the really bad…

I tried to think of happy memories. I tried to pull out the good times, but like some sick joke -those memories have vanished and the only things that replace them are the many ways that I have failed and let him down…and as if there was any need to elaborate on these feelings, I started to think about putting all of his things in boxes. As if boxing his things up, was the same as boxing him up. As if his life didn’t amount to anything but a few boxes in the corner.

I closed the door, leaving behind the empty boxes.

Today I opened the door, crossed the threshold and brought in some boxes. Tomorrow I will put some things into those boxes and try to put away some of the guilt and regrets, and maybe in doing so I will find those happy memories that I know exist.

Somewhere.

Seventeen…

The air here is cold.  Colder than I remember.  I stepped out of the airport and was met with a bitter cold wind.  The kind that rips through every layer of clothing you wear and settles in -deep within your bones.  It’s cold.  Colder than I remember when I walk through the doors of the house.  The house that I haven’t been in for three plus months…even longer than that.  The house that the last time I saw it -really saw it, really lived there -things were ok.  They weren’t perfect, they weren’t even really good -but they were ok.  And I was ok with ok.  Ok was ok.

I’ve avoided birthdays this year.  Avoided them like the hot plague.  Avoided them with everything in me, and then some.  I ignored them too.  Did everything in my power to not remember, not acknowledge and simply not recognize them.  Them.  Birthdays.  A harsh reminder of what no longer is, who, no longer is.

Life lately, seems cold.  Colder than I remember.  The kind of cold that settles deep, deep within your bones.

I did everything I could to avoid today.  Everything around me seemed to be supporting this.  The daily calendars in most of the places I visited still read December 11.  And I was ok with that.  I didn’t need to be reminded that today was December 12, and I didn’t need to be reminded of what it meant.  I didn’t need another reminder -because reminders are everywhere.

They are in your room, in your bed.  They are in your closet.  They are even by the front door -where you shoes still sit.

I know it is probably morbid sounding.  But listen -the last time I was here -you were still coming home.  You were still holding out, still giving the false illumination that there was hope, that you were wanting to come home.  You.  Were still here.  So your shoes -they are still here too.

There is no harsher reminder -birthdays or not -then walking through the front door of a house you haven’t been in for a number of months to see the way things USED to be, and realize they are no longer that way.

See -I’ve been frequenting other houses for the past…probably nine months now.  House sitting, house hopping -whatever you call it, I haven’t been “home” for a number of months.

Coming home, coming back to this land -was hard enough.  Facing reality, pulling on the “I’m great, how are you face?” has been a challenge enough…but to walk into the home that was perfectly preserved -a chunk in time, reserved -was more than hard.

I have tried, really hard, not to be upset with you for the way things have ended.  Because as hard as it is to accept, it really is easy to understand.  But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been upset.  I know you did what you had to do, I know that.  I know you couldn’t see any other way -I get that.  I know that you felt so far buried beneath everything that there was no way out -I understand that.  I do.  I just don’t understand why it couldn’t have been enough -as selfish as that sounds.

I really don’t have any words this year -I have even less than I did last year.  Less answers, less ideas, less hope, and less words.

I know you think your life really didn’t matter -regardless of what you would have said -your actions have spoken louder.  You didn’t think anyone would care.  Or mind.  Or be bothered.  I don’t hold it against you.  Because as I have said many, many times -I do understand, to an extent, the rush of thoughts that swirl through your head.  To an extent.  Because I obviously don’t completely understand.

On your seventeenth birthday, while I should have been giving you crap about being out late -I am instead looking at the pair of empty shoes left by the door when times were so much better.

You may not have thought your life mattered -but it did.  It mattered a whole lot.  It may have given you relief -for that, I am grateful, but it has only deepened the pain I feel for you.  I am sorry.  I really, really am.  I am sorry that it wasn’t enough -and that you aren’t here because of that.

I hope you find some peace, kiddo.  You are missed.

Happy Birthday, Dylan.

I Failed Him

I never realized that something that seemed like it could be so good –could end, so bad.

Something that had so much potential to be good –could end in such disaster. Could go from being something that should have ended well, to something that should have never started to begin with.

Most will say that they saw it coming. That from the outside looking in, they knew. Because they always know. They always know what is going to happen, after it happens. They always have the answers when it isn’t any of their business and can always set you straight –so long as you would listen.

I suppose I was blinded by my pride. Blinded by the fact that I wanted this, so badly, that I didn’t care to think of any other options. That perhaps if I had honestly stopped and looked at things through a different perspective, I too, would agree: It wasn’t ideal. It isn’t that I ever thought it was, it was that I consider it to be the best option –for all involved. Instead of listening to sound logic, the voice of reason, a little bit of common sense perhaps –I carried on. Not thinking that others, or someone in particular, could be hurt in the process.

How could it?

I suppose you could say the only thing I did is prolong the inevitable. Clinging to blind hope, and wishing on falling stars is no way to live…and it isn’t any way to raise a child. Yet that’s exactly what I did.

He asked me months prior if I was upset with him. If I was disappointed in him. The truth is, I’m not. I am not angry with him for his decision. I am not upset that he couldn’t see another way out. I am not disappointed in him, or with him, or at him. That isn’t to say I’m not disappointed or upset. Because I am. Just not with him.

Rather, I am disappointed and upset that I failed him. When he was needed someone most –I let him down the hardest. When he needed help –I walked away. When he needed understanding –I didn’t understand.

I failed to get him help sooner. I failed to see things differently than I thought. I failed him. I failed him because I wanted to believe that it would be ok. I wanted to believe so badly that he was ok. I wanted to hold onto the blind hope, the falling stars, the invisible ropes –I wanted to hold onto them so badly that I failed to realize that he was dying right before my eyes.

I never realized something like this could or would end so badly –and yet I should have. I should have listened, I should have seen, I should have paid better attention to the warning signs that were coming years prior. I should have…and yet I didn’t.

Countless times I flew on the blind hope that everything would be ok –because it had to be. As if wishing would change the course we were on. As if.

I wish I could say it weren’t true. I wish I could say I did everything I could, but I didn’t. There is help. There is awareness, support, answers and solid help for this. And yet. I failed to realize just how badly he needed help.

I failed him.

I failed him.

The very thing I said I would do, the very thing I promised, the very fight I said I would fight –I failed to do.

Because when it comes down to it –I should have seen it coming, far before anyone else. While others gather around saying that they saw it coming, that they saw it coming for years. That they knew he wasn’t ok and wouldn’t be ok –I held to my invisible hope that flying blindly would work.

Because it had to.

And yet it wasn’t.

It never was.

Taking a Break

Looking back, I often wish I would have written more. More especially during those dark and early days where up and down don’t seem to have an order. The days where you really don’t honestly know if what is happening is real, or if it is all just a big nightmare that one day (hopefully soon) you will wake up from. But living through it, yet again, I have a different perspective. Many times I have sat to write –and come up empty handed. I simply have no words. There are no words. There is nothing that can be said. There simply is, nothing.

The reason I wrote very little wasn’t because there weren’t a million and one things racing through my head, causing train wrecks at every corner, it simply was because there was nothing to be said. While there was plenty going on, plenty of angry thoughts, empty threats and useless words –nothing made sense and nothing would form into thoughts. Sentences. Paragraphs. There was nothing. There is nothing.

Just a bunch of hot and angry thoughts that demand to be answered, yet are deemed unanswerable.

Life is more about living in the moment. Living through the moments. Living for the moments. It isn’t made up of days anymore. In fact, there hardly are days anymore. I don’t know what today is, or what tomorrow is. I have a rough idea that there are days passing by, but not a solid idea on what today is. I rely on others to tell me if there is something of importance that needs to be done, because right now…right today, I am living in moments. Brief snippets of life. Desperately trying to regain something…from absolutely nothing.

I’m taking a break. From life, from writing, from work. From everything. I need some time. Some time to regain my mind, my composure and most importantly…my words.

A few days ago I boarded on an airplane that took me far, far away from that familiar world of mine. After spending hours on an airplane –I landed in a seemingly familiar, yet all too foreign land. A place where I am free to live confused and on a timeless basis. A place where I have no responsibility to the outside world, or an image to withhold. A place that isn’t riddled with questions, and reasons. A place that sees me as I am now –the same as I was before. And not a changed or different, damaged or broken version.

A place where I can truly just be.

Without having to try and string together words. Or make lunches, and deadlines. A place where I don’t have to pretend to be ok –but can honestly just be. Ok or not ok. And no one knows the difference.

One day, I plan to return. To life. To my words. To everything that means the most to me. To the broken land of hurt and pain. To the place where I have to come to terms with what has happened, but until then…until then I choose to embrace the moments. I choose to immerse myself with the unfamiliar, new and adventurous nature that doesn’t come naturally –but pushes me.

I’m not ready to plunge head first into the details of what happened. I’m not strong enough to fight for awareness, or bring attention to the things that happened –regardless of how many lives it may change. I’m just not there yet. One day, I will. I promise that one day –all this will be for something. That this life and this death will not be in vain…but that day…is not today.

Today. I am living in the moment. The moment that says time has no restraints on me. I live by the sun that comes up in the morning and sets by night. I don’t wear a watch, don’t carry a phone and don’t live on my computer. Today, I live. Surrounded by moments that one day –will carry me through the rough realization that this…is not reality. But today. Today I live. In the moments.

When The Walls Fall In

2f803f3fa71ab35b018623a239fc7c65I woke up last night in a deep panic. It took a few hours of talking myself down before I was calm enough to make sense of what was happening. The main reason being that I couldn’t argue that the things I was dreaming / thinking about, weren’t true. Because they were, in fact, very true. There were fractures of untruths scattered in, but in the moment of panic -deciphering truths isn’t my strongest suit.

It’s ironic that on the one day that I just want to bury my head and not be ok -I have to get up and show the world how its done. For reasons that are still unknown to me.

It’s terrifying to know that I’m falling -and this time there is no safety net. Nothing to stop me. I simply don’t know if I am strong enough to save myself from falling deeper and deeper.

It’s as if the entire world has forgotten already. Two short weeks later, and the entire world has moved on. It continues to spin -uninterrupted. Lives continue to move on unobstructed. And as if I am supposed to somehow be moving on with them I try. I put one foot in front of the other. I smile when appropriate, and laugh on demand. I say I’m ok, and inquire about the status of others. I listen as they tell me the details of their own lives -their own unobstructed lives.

…and at the end of the day, I pull the blankets up over my head and stare into the darkness.

Because there is nothing left to do.

There is no walking away from this. There is no being ok. There is no recovering. There is nothing anyone can do to make it better -so why put that burden on them. Why seek out answers when there are none. Why seek help when there is none. Why attempt to be ok when there is no definition for ok.

As if it matters, I attend meeting after meeting. I hear the words, and recognize that people are talking to me. Asking my opinion. Looking for my input. Hoping I will make the decision. It’s up to me, they say. It’s in my hands. His future, his school, his education, his life. The very thing I worked so hard to achieve for them all -and failed, miserably at. Is still somehow in my hands. The only difference is I no longer feel adequate to make these decisions.

It isn’t a matter of what if, it’s a matter of when. When will I screw this up. When will I fail this. Again.

Against my better judgment, I make the call. Not because I think I should, but because at this point all I can do is keep on pretending. Until that day arrives and I can finally admit the very thing that everyone already knows: I am not cut out for this.

These kids were the only thing keeping me from drowning, ten years ago. The weight of the responsibility, enough to drown me, was the very thing that kept me afloat for so many years. And now it is gone.

I get up, I get dressed. I carefully walk the thin balance beam of routine that has been carved out to help the remaining kid, and then we go our separate ways. I wonder how much longer I will be able to keep up the persona that everything is ok. We are ok. Until that too comes crashing in.

Relief, perhaps.

When I no longer have to carry the burden that I know what I am doing. That I am ok. That this life is just fine. That we will make it. Because when it all comes down to it, the only thing that is left is to give up.

There is no coming back.

Not this time.

Not ever.

But until then, I am fine.

We, are fine.