Matt, tomorrow is Father’s day. Today my mind is full of what if’s. What if you found recovery. What if you found the one. What if you married on the beach like we both dreamed you would. I picture you standing by the crashing waves holding the hands of your bride. Her gown is softly blowing lifted by the soft sea breeze. You are dressed in khaki pants and a white shirt. Both wearing flip flops. Your sun kissed face so handsome. You glance my way as our eyes meet sharing the joy of your recovery The sun is shining down as you become man and wife. I’m standing by your side. Tears of joy falling from my smiling eyes. The sound of the crashing waves take the place of a band. We dance in the sand to the sound of the gulls laughing as if they know how amazing this day truly is.
I imagine getting that call. I can hear your voice. The joy and fear mingled together as you tell me you are going to be a father. My heart so ready to welcome your child. I close my eyes and remember my little tow headed boy. Your crooked smile and silly laugh. I remember your tenderness with animals. Your love for the sea. Your feistiness when trying to keep up with your big brother, Mike. Most of all I remember your beautiful eyes. Indescribable in color. A beautiful contrast to your natural sandy hair.
Memories of your childhood rush through my mind. Losing your first tooth. Your first home run in Little League. That proud smile as you yelled at me to let you go as I stood back and watched you take off on your first bike. Your tan face shining in the sun as the biggest fish hung from your pole.
I allow myself to imagine you as a father. Meeting you at the hospital as you welcome your first child. I always imagined you with a girl. A sweet tow head like you. A tiny thing you would carry close to your heart. I would watch as you wore your heart on your sleeve as she wrapped you around her finger. I imagine you placing your precious child in my arms as we both cry tears of joy at this miracle of life.
I stare into those amazing eyes just as I did so many years before when you were placed into my arms for the first time. Overwhelming love floods my being as I remember your softness. Your smell. I imagine her grabbing my finger like you did and holding on as we rock together.
I imagine you bringing her to the sea you love. I see the two of you running through the surf with a black lab puppy biting at your feet. Familiar squeals fill the air. You glance back at me remembering when it was us. A mother and her young son loving the innocence of running through the crashing surf. The dogs barking, the gulls yelling. You are now a man, a father, and my heart is soaring like a kite caught in a beautiful breeze as I watch you.
Reality hits and shatters the beauty of my fantasy.. You are gone. You left no one behind. No precious child to help your broken mother survive life without you. During your active addiction I was relieved there was no child to witness your struggle. Today my arms ache to hold a piece of you. To be able to hear a voice and see a smile that brings you back to me. To be able to look into those incredible eyes and know you are still with me.
In my Heart I pray that Heaven is a beach and you are holding a child on your shoulders looking out at the vastness of the sea remembering me. My beautiful boy you are loved forever.