Matt. Mother’s Day is two days away. I can feel the dread hanging outside my heart. Like a lost dog it’s crying to be let in. I’ve fought all week, keeping my mind so busy hoping that I would forget what this Sunday signifies. I’m fighting for my life. Battling my reality against the fantasy I’ve created in my mind. I can not allow myself to believe that you are gone. I must protect my sanity with every ounce of my strength. In my mind you are living at the beach. Living life in recovery. Working and healthy. My fantasy is where I go when the abyss calls to me. Threatening to take me to a place I can not allow myself to go. Hanging on like the cat hanging from that tall tree. Knowing if my grip loosens I will fall so deeply into grief I may never return.
My survival depends on how long I can pretend. Reality is dark and ugly. My legs push through quick sand trying to run from what is real. Trying desperately to keep my mind in fantasy mode. Knowing the mask I wear will crack and crumble if reality sinks in. I tell myself it’s just another Sunday. I avoid looking at Mother’s Day cards when shopping. I stay as far away as I can from reminders that there will be no more cards signed Love Matt.
This grief can never be described. There are no books instructing me on how to survive a day that brings such incredible pain. A day that even Hallmark can not put into words.
I plan to run away. Like an angry, unhappy child I am running to find my peace. Our sea beckons me to come, to breathe and to remember. I need to be where you were. I need to feel you wrap around me like the ocean breeze. I need to hear the seagulls cry your name. I need to sit and hold onto myself while allowing my mind to go there.
I will allow myself to remember past Mother’s Days spent together by the sea. Sitting close as the sun kissed our skin with warmth. Walking together with the pups. The surf soaking our pants as unexpected waves hit. Laughing as wet, sandy dogs ran barking and biting at the surf spray hitting their noses. A mother and her youngest son spending time together at their peaceful place. A son, a man fighting a horrible disease. A mother who refused to give up. A mother now grieving your loss. Her heart shattered into a million pieces never to be whole again.
Those days full of hope and dreams. Sun, surf and a love shared between a mother and her son. You were never too old to say I love you Mom. Never too old for hugs. A little boy in the body of a man. My forever towhead running on the beach squealing with delight as the waves rushed to pull you in. Reaching for me to be your anchor, pulling you safely ashore. You and I had something special. A truth, an honesty that few shared. I was never afraid to tell you how much you meant to me. How much your addiction changed my life. How badly my heart ached for you and how helpless I felt in your battle.
This Mother’s Day, I will allow bits of reality to find a path through my fantasy. Memories now so painful and precious are what I have left of us. Those precious days we shared by the sea. Like a film projector, I will control how much my heart can handle. I will protect my sanity while allowing those memories to keep you alive. I will look for signs that you are there walking by my side. I will close my eyes and hear your voice. I will see your smile in the clouds. I will pray that you know I’m here in our special place looking for the missing piece of my heart. Be my anchor my beautiful boy. I need you to keep me sane. Until we meet again I will always look for you.