Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ten birthdays

This was the 10th time we’ve gone to the cemetery to celebrate Paul's birthday, and how I’ve managed to live through all these years is a miracle.

Well, I attribute my survival to how I’ve chosen to live my life since my son died: working, working out, and openly receiving and using the gift of writing that Paul’s death afforded me. And, of course I must also attribute my survival to family and friends who are always here for me. That the grief doesn’t go away in evident just by the way I feel today -- gray and wallowing in self pity like the color of the day -- yet I’m living proof that one can live through the most horrific tragedy of all.

So we’re moving on – we had a nice lunch at the Farmstand, we're writing the last of the charity donation checks, and later we'll go to a movie and dinner with Ben and Marissa to ring in the new year.

But, before I go, here’s a recent poem I wrote for Paul. One I've been saving for today.

What I Miss

Nine years didn’t erase him.
He is still with me everyday.
The memories haven’t dimmed.
His face, his body, his buzzed hair
are clearly visible in my mind.

I miss his sounds,
hearing him play
his music
as his bent fingers
lightly trickled up
and down the keyboard,
hearing his footsteps
on the stairs,
on the hardwood floors
as he prowled
around the house at night,
hearing his deep voice
as he said, “hello”
when he came home from work

I also miss his expertise.
He’d work on our computer problems at night
and leave carefully written instructions
in childish printing
for us to find the next morning.

I don’t miss his smoking,
I don’t miss his bad moods
during his last few years,
I don’t miss that his sickness
sometimes made him angry
and me angry at him.
No, I don’t miss those things.

But, I don’t think about them.
I just think about the things about him
that I miss.

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