Brian, how I wish I could have just one more day with you. How I wish I had been a better mother to you. How I wish I could have told you how I loved you with all my heart always . How I wish I could tell you how proud I was of you and how I admired the father you always were. How not only me, but everyone you ever came in contact with, knew that above all, you loved your children and put them first in your life.
How I wish I could tell you how I enjoyed your sense of humor and your practical jokes and the quirky and unusual way you looked at ordinary things.
I wish I could have let you know how I beamed with pride at your many skills that we could never figure out where you learned. I wish I could tell you how the things you knew how to do amazed me: skills on your job, skills with carpentry, woodworking, furniture making, drawing, writing and your ability to just look at something and know how to take it apart and figure out how to fix it, rebuild it or reengineer it. There was literally nothing you couldn’t do.
Unfortunately, with most artistic gifts comes the curse of the hardship that fostered that creativity. You had such a difficult adult life. I couldn’t even think about it without crying and though you certainly deserved the sympathy – I could never bring myself to tell you how hard I thought you had it and how sorry I felt for you all the time. I didn’t dare make it worse. I wanted you to somehow get past it without living your life in regret and making it the focus of your life, I didn't want what ruined your past to forever ruin your future too. But trust me, I knew you struggled. I always knew. The one choice you made at 17 years old forever altered the course of your life. That one crossroad that looked perfectly normal and completely innocent turned the rest of your life upside down.
You were always such an intense child. You took everything so seriously. You had a tendency to worry too much about everything and you felt responsible for everybody. You couldn’t say no to anyone. You could never turn away from anyone in need especially if it was someone you loved --even to your own detriment. Just days before we lost you, you called asking where you could be tested to see if you could donate bone marrow to my sister. Had it been a lung or a kidney I have no doubt you would have made the offer just as readily.
You could never hold a grudge and were always quick to forgive anyone and take the blame on yourself if you could until you nearly collapsed under the weight of all the world's problems. And even when things in your life went right you had a hard time enjoying them for worrying about when the rug would be pulled out from under you again and sadly even when it wasn’t, you would sometimes sabotage your own happiness yourself because you never in your heart felt like you deserved anything good. I knew. A mother always knows the heart of her child.
You were such a sweet, funny, happy-go-lucky kid but as you grew up – like watching a train wreck, I watched as life beat you down and took all the joy from your life.
I still don’t know how I will live with this. I’m still not sure that I can. I struggle day by day as hard as I know how, using every coping skill in my bag of tricks to survive it. And only because I know what this loss has done to all of us, and I do not ever want to inflict that pain on anyone. But I still feel it will be a miracle if I do. God will have to pull me close and stay my hand and give me His peace that passes all understanding. That will be the only way.
I have seen so much in my lifetime. I have experienced what I thought was horror and great loss but nothing could have prepared me for this. This loss has been greater than I ever could have imagined and I know in my heart there will never come a day for the rest of my life that this pain and deep anguish will not be with me. I pray that like I read and like others say, that it will ease with time but I know in my heart that it can’t ease much. The sheer agony of it has felt like it would kill me all by itself. Losing the baby hit me so hard until I thought I would just surely stop breathing and die from pure unbearable pain and overwhelming sorrow. Yet I always knew he was just first – not the worst. You would be by far the worst when I was finally able to even begin to deal with losing you. But I could only take it in little snippets - one at a time - as I was able to bear it, just one at a time.
There was just so much.
My quest to know what happened redirected my grieving you. I had to know exactly all of “what” I was grieving – where to even place that pain. I had so many questions. There was so much mystery and then the intense anger --trying without let up trying to figure out what really happened and make something make sense.
Exactly to the moment right now, 8:35PM - five months have passed since the last time I ever heard your voice. I was tired and emotionally wrung out. I'd spent more than 13 hours at the clinic and hospital and I just wanted to get home. How I wish I had held you on the phone a little longer and clung to every word. It is still as fresh to me today as it was the next day.
What I wouldn’t give to just hear your voice one more time and just have one more day.
I hope and pray that you are finally at peace. I pray that you are resting in the loving arms of God. I pray that you never have to know another minute of pain, disappointment or despair. I hope that you have finally found your joy again and I pray too that someday so will I.
I love you always.