Matt, Nine years ago you were alive.
Nine years ago we were both anticipating a beautiful new year
Nine years ago I sent you a text telling you that 2015 was going to be the best year ever.
Nine years ago my heart was full of hopes and dreams.
Nine years ago we had a conversation sharing our plans for the evening.
Nine years ago you were spending time with your friends attending a 24 hour NA meeting.
Nine years ago I stalked your Facebook page checking you were where you were supposed to be.
Nine years ago I felt both anxiety and anticipation regarding your being strong enough to remain drug free. Strong enough to keep your beautiful future in the forefront of your mind.
Nine years ago we spoke at midnight watching the ball drop together although we were 1000 miles apart.
Nine years ago I told you how proud I was of all you accomplished and how I looked so forward to seeing you again.
Nine years ago I had no idea that 3 days into the New Year all my hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future would shatter at my feet.
Nine years ago I could never have allowed myself to think the future we both dreamed of would never come to be.
Nine years ago I never knew that 2015 would change the course of my life forever.
Nine years ago.
Matt, tomorrow is Christmas. I spent the morning crying my eyes out and hugging the bear I had made out of your sweatshirt. The grief and pain is still so powerful even after all these years. I find myself breathless when I let the reality of life sink in soaking through the protective coating I’ve wrapped around my heart.
The reality that you are really gone continues to hit me hard, taking my breath away. I go over everything in my head. Trying to figure out what went wrong. What could I have done differently to have the outcome I prayed for. I want to blame me. Then I want to blame you. You were an adult. I tell myself you made your choices. Choices that put your life in danger. Choices that took you away and left me a broken mess.
I wonder if you can see what you have done. How your death has taken my soul and ripped it in two. I wonder if you thought how your choice to use more just one more time would impact every aspect of my life.
I’m struggling through this holiday season. I can’t even look at posts of intact families. Families who don’t have an empty chair at their table. Families smiling for the camera, enjoying their time together. Hell, I can’t even get your brother to let me know if he’s coming for Christmas. Since your death, he’s pulled away from me. Every conversation is strained. I know he’s grieving but he won’t let me in. He’s so angry and I have become his punching bag. I feel like I’ve lost both my sons.
Christmas used to be my favorite time of year. Now every day is a struggle. I decorated this year using only my favorite things. The rest I packed up and donated to a recovery home. It helps my heart to see people who have made it through this disease and are now living life to the fullest. Oh how I wish that had been you. On my very dark days I do pretend you are alive, living a great life in Florida.
I really want to feel the joy of this season. I got the best news last week. My CT scans were clear. After 4 years, I remain free from cancer. I wanted to call you. To share this beautiful news with you. Instead I talk to the sky hoping you will hear me.
Today I listened to a podcast about a woman who died and met Jesus. What she described stuck in my mind. The beauty, the smells, the colors, the peace. I pray everyday that you are there living in heaven, healthy and finally at peace. I pray you are surrounded by light and love and that one day we will be together again celebrating Christmas in Heaven.
Until then I struggle here on earth. Struggle to find a bit of joy in a world I never saw coming. I wish you a Merry Christmas in heaven my beautiful boy. Until we meet again.