Friday, December 2, 2011

Birthday thoughts

It’s time to think about how to remember Paul on his birthday this year. Had he lived, he would have become forty years old on December 31.

I wonder why I can remember the day he was born so vividly. I can also remember the day he died – over twelve years ago now. Some of the in between is gone, some of the memories may be skewed a bit, but not a day goes by that I don’t acknowledge Paul’s existence in my life.

Maybe it’s enough of a celebration to have a celebration of his life – listen to his music, get out and read from his favorite books – they are still packed in boxes out in the garage – and eat some of his favorite foods – probably those would be pizza and sushi. And continue to write about him.

Many of the poems I’ve written about him appear in my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On. I think I’ll post a few of those this month too. I’ll also post some more of his pictures. He really was an adorable baby and a good-looking guy. After all, I am his mother, I have a right to boast.

Paul in 1972, less than a year old

Here's one of my favorite Paul poems. I tried to capture his Buddha kind of guy quality. Also, it gives you an idea about the books and music he liked.


“The dead we can imagine to be anything at all.”
Ann Patchett, Bel Canto

He sits cross-legged in a tree
deep in concentration,
the way he would sit on the floor of his room
learning against the bed doing homework,
composing music, talking on the phone.
His closed-mouth grin shows
he is pleased to be where he is.
No longer a skinny rail, his cheeks filled out,
his skin clear, his eyes bright.
His tree has everything – soft jazz sounds
flowing from all directions,
deep vees and pillows for sitting and reclining,
the scent of incense and flowers,
branches of books by Miller, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky
the music of Davis, Gould, Bach and Lennon,
and virtual communication to those he loves.
He needs no furniture, no bedding, no clothes, no food.
Those necessities are for worldly beings.
The passing clouds give him comfort
and the stars light his way.
Heaven takes care of him
as he imagines himself
to be anything at all.


LindyLouMac said...

A lovely tribute to a much loved and missed son.

madeline40 said...

Thank you Lindy. I'm always glad to have you stop by.

JP Lane said...

My son turns 40 on December 12. He was born the year before Paul. Having lost my two younger brothers in a period of two years, I can't imagine what it must be like to lose a son. But what a wonderful way you have chosen to remember yours and celebrate his life. I truly believe part of our immortality lies in the memories and the love that still exist.

madeline40 said...

Thank you JP. It is very hard to lose a sibling as well. My brother died three years ago and I dearly miss him.
And yes, I believe keeping our loved ones in our memories keeps them alive for us. Hopefully, my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On will do that for my Paul. All best, M.