On my way to work today, I stopped at the supermarket to drop off recyclables. When I stepped out of the car, I had that inexplicable “mom” feeling to double check the backseat for Bodhi. That, “where’s my baby” feeling that shakes you up for just a split second until you recall he’s safe at home.
After Ty died, it happened to me all the time, but I never had that comforting relief of remembering he’s safe at home. Instead it would be followed by the immediate sensation of my heart dropping into my stomach, a brick weighing down on my chest, and a knot in my throat because the opposite was true. In that instant I was sucked back to reality and reminded that he’s gone forever.
Slowly the instinct faded away. I rarely look for him in my backseat anymore, and although it is a very natural progression, it still comes coupled with guilt. I don’t want to feel any distance between us. We are approaching an anniversary where he’s been gone longer than he’s been with us, and that is just too impossible to imagine. I remain in shock over losing him, and I will feel this way for the rest of my life. I simply can’t believe or accept all that has happened to him and to our family.
Ty and I used to spend every day in the car together. Driving to NYC for clinic, driving to treatments in Westchester, to “school” and Physical Therapy at Blythedale. I would reach back while driving and hold his foot all the time, glancing back whenever possible to catch a peek at him seated diagonally behind me.
When I continued on my way to the office this morning, driving what used to be our usual route on 22 South, I started playing “I Spy” out loud. “I spy, with my little eye, something…. Green!” I gave clues to the empty backseat, “it’s not up high in the trees… it’s down low on the ground…” and I tried to recall the sound of his weak little voice saying “gwass!” After the next challenge, “I spy with my little eye, something… white!” I immediately felt pathetic and desperate. These intense feelings come on so strong and out of nowhere, sometimes.
Then again, maybe it wasn’t out of nowhere. It was Gavin’s last day of second grade today. I thumbed through his elementary school yearbook and identified all the kids I remember from Ty’s preschool and I’m in awe of how much they’ve grown – many of whom are moving up to Middle School next year! Social media has been filled with graduation photos, and first/last day comparisons. Friends are making signs and going to the school to pick up their kids in celebration. But I just can’t find the energy to pretend today. I wanted to take Gavin to Splash Down or something special, but I think I’ll simply leave work a little early, snuggle him, and just survive today, instead.
It looks like rain is in the forecast for the next couple of days here in New York. When you see a muddy puddle… please… you know what to do. Just do it. Jump in. You’re never too old. Let’s celebrate our kids, and rejoice in our children who are growing up, graduating, living life and loving it! XOXOXOX. I’m so proud of them all.