What I have to think about and be grateful for in my life is my daughter, Nicole. She is the love of my life, she is the bright spot in my life, she is what keeps me going each and every day. And I do say think about because I have to constantly remember that I have another child. One that is still with us, one that I deeply and truly love as much as I have ever loved Andrew, one that I talk to and text as much as I can. I know that sounds hard to understand, but there is a real difference between my love for my children.
I speak to Nicole about once a week, we text each other a couple of times a week, and I get to see her about every other weekend. I think this is pretty normal for a college kid. I have her pictures on my desktop, on the wall next to my desk, and in the living room. I love to watch her play hockey, take rides with her to go shopping, and going out to her favorite restaurants. I look forward to her graduating college, getting married, and having children, my grandchildren. I love to hear about what is going on in her life, she asks me to do her favors or take care of things for her. I look forward every day to growing older and watching my precious daughter grow into a young woman, get a job, maybe coach one day. This is what I live for every single moment. She is nineteen now, she will be twenty twenty-two when she graduates college. Maybe twenty-eight or thirty when she gets married, and thirty or thirty-five when she has a child. There are so many new memories I look forward to making with my daughter. She will also, as she so often reminds me, pick an old age home to put me in one day. She is here, she is physically with us, She is my child who forever will be in my arms.
Andrew is 21. He was twenty-one last august, he was still twenty-one two months after his last birthday in December. Next year he will be twenty-one. When I turn fifty-five and sixty and six-five, he will still be twenty-one. With Andrew I have to recall the years we had together. The times we went scuba diving, the times we worked on his car together. I have to remember our ski trips and how much he loved to snowboard and how we used to make and eat sushi for dinner. All I have for my dear beloved only son is memories and photographs of him. And I worry, as I get older will the memories fade. I will never forget his laughter or his love for Daisy and Daphne – every morning when he arose (sometimes around noon) he would go and lay down on my bed and hug them and pet them and tell them he loved them – they looked forward to that special time. I remember him putting this set of fake wax lips in his mouth that Nicole got in a gift to make us all laugh in the car. I remember how we would be on a boat after scuba diving and he would talk about the amazing colors of the fish and the vast openness and textures of the coral. And he loved to eat. I would watch how he would eat this amazing gelatto that Nicole brought home from Via Vanitti, it was probably his favorite treat in the world and it was like an outer body experience to watch him eat it and guess the flavors. He loved The Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang’s, and asked me to cook items from their menu’s when he was home, which I was more than glad to do. I remember him being adventurous with his food as well. When we went out for my birthday a couple of years ago to my favorite Peruvian restaurant, he ordered skewed cow heart with onions and fries. It was amazingly good. I remember him smiling when he came off the ice after each and every ice hockey game he played it – win or lose. I remember him making his friends and teammates laugh in the locker before and after games – even his coaches laughed. He would sneak into pictures I was taking for my ebay clients, and more than once. This is what I have of my son – memories. There are no new memories, there are no new birthdays, there are no new pictures. I still can not believe he is really gone. He is the child that will forever be in my heart.
I hope that people can understand and somehow accept this. Yes, we do still have two children, and always will.
“One child is forever in my arms, and the other is forever in my heart”
And they were and always will be best friends.
credit: I have to give credit for the inspiration and some terminology of this post to one of my bereavement groups. One of the ladies who lost her child talked about this at a meeting a while ago and I have had it on my mind ever since. Thank you.