Saturday, September 15, 2012
9. 9. 9. 9. 9. 9. 9. 9. 9.
How is that possible?
I thought the days leading up would be the worst. That perhaps nine would be a year where the anticipation was worse than the sting of the day. I was wrong.
The screams of Christmas woke me from my slumber on September 15th and I realized that Jonasen had discovered the 50 balloons I blew up for him the night before. On a night where I could say, "Nine years ago tonight I didn't know..." He ran upstairs to my bed and threw his nine year old arms around me and said, "Thank you mom!" I held him tight(er) though he probably didn't notice~ He was off in moments to rejoin the laughter of his younger siblings and I was alone with my thoughts.
Jeff joined me soon. He was tired. He had woke early to get donuts for our 9 year old Joe, and to sit and remember Andrew. Something that he needed to do alone. Something that I too needed to do alone but this year being a Saturday, it was a luxury I didn't have. Jeff reminded me I should get going to the garden... We had soccer games later.
I felt the water with my hand and stepped in. My eyes closed and I felt I was in our old shower. The one in the house he should have come home to. The shower I sunk to my knees in praying I could wash the bad dream of losing him from my being. My hands went to my face and my body shook. This wasn't happening. Why was this happening? I had done this before. Nine times. 9.
But then I realized, I had never grieved a nine year old before.
An age I remember. An age of opinions and thoughts. An age of wonderings of the world. The year before a decade.
I sunk and cried and like those days of long ago can't recall how I got up, toweled off and readied myself to face the living.
No make-up today. The sun was shining and I was thankful I would be wearing my sunglasses to hide my tired, sad eyes. For how could I be sad? Nine years ago today I became a mother and he became a father.
I met him in the hallway and he took me in his arms. Again I sank and he lifted me. We stayed there for a while until he whispered, "Go. Don't let them see you like this."
I scooped my keys, the candles, the marker, his journal and the fire and I was off to buy his balloons.
I got to the garden and walked the path I had walked so many times. On this day. September 15th. With balloons in hand, I walked to her brick, I wrote her I loved her and thanked her for coming to my dreams. I kissed her balloon and sent it to the sky.
And then I went there.
To his brick.
With his balloons.
And I sat.
And I sunk.
And I sobbed.
I wrote him I loved him. I told him it all. I kissed each of his nine balloons for the nine years he's been away and I watched until they were gone. Faded into the blue. Faded from sight~ and soon from memory.
I closed my eyes and I didn't see him at 9. I imagined our reunion. Him a young man, stepping out to see me when I got home. Taking me into his arms and saying, "Welcome home, mom. I got all of your kisses, all of your tears, all of those many, many balloons. Welcome home. Welcome home."
The game was starting and I knew I had to go. Unlike years past I had to stay strong. I was meant to be here. Meant to stay. The reunion will have to wait. But one day it will happen.
And I am 9 years closer.