Monday, July 12, 2010
By now I know that Joe has no memory of it.
No memory of sharing a home for nine months with his brother.
And while I have pictures of them, videos of them kicking at each other, writings to them- my own memories of that time, those images, and those feelings- are also starting to fade.
Starting to blur.
I worried early on that he would be forgotten. People may remember that I had a son- once... Wasn't he a twin? Which baby had the twin? What was his name? Or was it a her?
I couldn't let that happen.
I wouldn't let that happen.
And so I started to say his name. I spoke it often. I spoke it often so that they would hear it. I spoke it often so they could say it. I spoke it often so that they would remember.
And they did. And they do. And when I hear someone say his name, it makes my heart burst that he- MY son- ANDREW- was not forgotten. Even as the days and months and years pass. Even when the world started spinning again. He was remembered. He is remembered.
But I spoke his name.
And I spoke it often.
I don't talk about him as often as I once did. But others know. They read my words here. They see his name in our home. But I don't feel the need to say it as often as I once did.
But I watch him. I watch Jonasen.
My Nana Jonasen, (1/2 of the couple he was named after) is forgetting. She is not just forgetting my Andrew, she is forgetting others... the names of my living children... the things she did that day. And so we visit. We visit often and I find my children 'testing' her. Asking her what their names are through giggles. She answers them and (more often than not) remembers their names with a chuckle.
And then he does it.
He says his name.
After going over all of his siblings names (and sometimes mine too) he will add, "And then there is my brother Andrew, Great-Nan. Do you remember? He was my brother who died. He and I were born on the same day. He's in heaven. His name is Andrew. He's six just like me."
And I watch her.
I watch her as she nods and remembers.
Perhaps she remembers the night she got the call. Learned of their births. Of his death.
I watch her and I want to save her from reliving that horror. She had experienced the death of her own son, and then great-grandson. I don't need her to remember...
But he does.
He says his name. Speaks it often. So that she will remember. So that she won't forget. And as I watch him, I remember me. In that time when I did just what he did. For perhaps the same reasons. I watch him. I remember me. I remember him.
And though now it is only with his great- grandmother, I wonder if he'll start doing it with others. Or it will be enough. Enough knowing that we remember.
Time will tell.
But for now I will watch him.
And remember me.