Tag Archives: children

I am the One who chooses

Today you’ve been gone 27 years

I can’t pull up your silent body as my immediate memory of you

It’s not gone but far away, where it belongs

That’s a long time to reach for your joyful face

Thank you for all that you’ve taught me, for waiting with me these 27 years

 

I choose to hear your laughter ringing in my heart, to see a grin that held secrets

 

I choose to go outside and breathe in deeply, the memory of your smell

Maybe hug my dad a little longer because he smells like you

 

I choose to stop searching for the memories of you unresponsive in my arms

Instead I will replay the sight of you hooking your toes on the front of your swing

and squealing out in delight

 

Today I choose to replay all of the living moments of your life that I can reach

I choose to loop them through my soul until joyful tears fall freely

 

Today, every day, I choose to celebrate that we shared life

That I still get to share life with your dad and brothers

with many that I love

 

I choose to embrace that I am – that I always have been – the best mom that I know how to be

 

Today
I choose peace

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Happy Birthday Justin

Today is my middle son’s birthday. He would have been 27 years old. Living with loss is a funny state of being – we fight it at every turn, always dimly aware that it is inescapable. We create habits to keep us from losing our keys, our place in a book, lists so that we don’t forget one of life’s latest ingredients, we play puzzles to keep from losing our memories and thus, our minds. All this effort to avoid the ultimate equalizer of death. Justin died of SIDS the week before he would have been 6 months old.

Like anyone, I did not want a tremendous loss to be part of my reality. Not me, I don’t belong in this club. A good mom, a great mom…she’s not the mother of a dead child. It’s odd how I let the words of other people sometimes reinforce this falsity. I have to remind myself, they just don’t get it. All of us, regardless of your beliefs, we are human and must investigate our surroundings, our relationships, our relationship to everything through our unique perceptions and abilities. We are not meant to be perfect. If we are lucky we maintain the ability to shift and learn through the lifetime process. If we are luckier still, we have love in our life that is not lost but transformed and weaved into our story. Is it always joyful? No. An easy road? No. Is it worth the risk? Yes.

In past years I’ve often marked anniversary dates with poems to record my feelings regarding the death of Justin. I’ve never wanted to proclaim myself any more knowledgeable than another person on how separation by death feels. I felt that poetry was vague enough to easily be molded to others’ perceptions so that they could decide if there was benefit in my words. I still believe that to be true. Today is different. Today I want to risk being more direct about my feelings regarding Justin. I want you to know about him and the importance he plays in my life and who I am…and who I am becoming. Yes, he is sometimes seen as that tear you want to hide from – sometimes that silly smile as I sing along with an old song – he is part of me…every day. I want you to know so that you can understand why I am celebrating today. Like my other sons and all the important people in my life, Justin is worth celebration.

Please do me a favor as I honor his memory and place in my life and take time today to celebrate those that matter to you. Celebrate them if they are standing next to you, across the country, across the world, in a different belief system, a confusing time in their life, a confusing time in your life, in a difference of opinion, or simply in your memory. Allow me today to be bold enough to proclaim the importance of loving, deeply, with your entire self, even at the risk of losing it all.


Family Values

lying in wait was more tolerable than lying in worry

watching for her to peer around the corner

sprinkling sparkling remnants to be crafted into

something, anything

pretending that words could matter on a screen to

someone, anyone

but the visits became more sparse

returning me to words that drift on air from

one ear, another ear

leaving me wondering if ownership exists

when attitudes are hurled like a storm

nobody recording the cold temperature of rejections

or the burn of a verbal punch landed on another

denial the likely outcome of useless confrontation

and the mantra, buzzing in my head

“what other people think of me is none of my business”

so less so should their shenanigans towards one another be mine

or is that true

do you ever stop mothering, do they cease to be your child

I am old enough to know that ridicule is a beast

in the pocket of the unleasher

how do I convey that to a young man

that is trying to trust, trying to love

in a world where even those closest to you

disappoint


Treading Upward

I may not know the loss of a continent

or a lover

but I have lived the ripples of a pond

with stone cold drops to the bottom

heart and lungs weighted with life’s heavy rope

to the depths it sent me searching

for a perfect sunrise without a sky

winter’s bloom with no air

the ache of your absent body

answering only to arms of self abuse

houdini existence with me escaping life

wondering why i could not heal

lacking the balm of action

brought from tackling fear anew

 

 

 


Jupiter Crossing

Time splits, arrow through apple

moment held as a camera flash

Two boys, smiling by a tree

no thoughts of bearded faces

Orbits created, joy magnified

creatures that leap and bound

Time cracks, hammer to stone

picture on yellowing paper

Two teens, always headed out

looking for keys to autonomy

Patience sits, tail wagging

waiting for moons to set

Time rips, heart is bared

vision crisply riding the air

Two men, glancing homeward

remembering lessons learned

Planet rests, stops rotation

drifting off to final repose


Firecracker

birds

eight, nine, ten

landing on branches

bending from slight weight

not losing a note of their song

how explosive, daylight freedom

no solid ground required for flight

bang

bang

bang


Mourning Dove

hear the cry in early rays

rising with the sun

searching landscape, better days

before to depths, a plunge

where is the coo, call of young

waiting eagerly to feed

haunting call of backward glance

a lonely heart does bleed