Neither Philip or Natalie were “there” for all of my life. But loving someone can do strange things to the space-time continuum. It’s hard to remember I had a life before my children. I can remember scenes, of course, but I don’t remember what I felt like then, how I lived without the love that has both brought me to my knees and given me a reason not to stay there. Phil told me about a friend of his who lost her son. She has a place where she’s set some things of his, and every morning she spends some time with him. Then she gets up and lives her life, reminding herself she had a life without him even when he was alive. Phil used that as a model.

But we all bring what we bring to the situations in our lives. There is a sameness to I-lost-a-son-and-you-lost-a-son. But it’s circumstantial, is all. We aren’t each other and we didn’t lose each other’s sons. And maybe you were pretty damn satisfied about where you thought you were headed, maybe you had a sustainable marriage or work that made you feel useful and productive or a burning desire to do x, y or z with the time that you had that was free for choosing.

I was trying to figure all of that out, and when it was hard or I got scared because I felt so alone, I’d think, “I have my kids.” They were my place to rest. But that place has to be my place; that place cannot depend on who is or isn’t here or what anyone does or doesn’t do.  Yesterday I said that Philip’s love is mine and so it doesn’t leave. Not so with my peace of mind. Maybe just not yet.

On Sunday I read something someone had written for her mom on Mother’s Day. She’d written the standard, “You were always there, etc.,” but not just because it’s what you say. It’s because – and this was clear – she meant it. Her mom meant to her, and she wanted her mom to know. But all I could think of when I read that was Philip. I might have been “here” first, but I wasn’t here the way I was after he was born. I want to say to him, ‘You were always with me,” because he’s just as gone as if he had been.

My dad died. On Mother’s Day, around 11:30 or so. His heart was so very tired. Today is his birthday – He would’ve been 83. It’s also my parents’ anniversary. 58 years, I think? I have to check.

My dad loved to bowl. Laura, Philip’s ex and good friend, knew my dad. She sent me a text that read, “It’s comforting that he will be able to spend time with Philip…they can bowl together.” For whatever reason, I laughed; how good to laugh. And Nicole, go join in and kick their asses!

Dad, Philip, Nicole. I love you, we all love you. And what we wish most is for you all to rest in peace. We will try to do the same. We need time, so be patient with us. We’ll get there. I promise.

© 2013 Denise Smyth


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. behindthemaskofabuse
    May 14, 2013 @ 19:48:21

    thinking of you xo


  2. Denise
    May 14, 2013 @ 20:07:45

    Thank you; I am so tired right now…I appreciate you. And I mean, YOU.


  3. LeeDee
    May 15, 2013 @ 22:09:24

    You are a true inspiration to me. Sorry I can’t be there with you now but hopefully real soon we can get together to get to know one another again, my Dear Cousin.


    • Denise
      May 16, 2013 @ 23:04:23

      Love you and I’m so sorry you weren’t there; I missed you, and I’ve not seen you for decades. I love Andrea, I just love her. And I’m sorry it takes our personal tragedies to bring us together, but that’s the other side of grief. Soon then…


  4. tersiaburger
    May 22, 2013 @ 05:29:42

    I am so sorry for your sorrow. Did your dad die this Mothers Day??? Hugs and warm wishes. Be kind to yourself. xxx


  5. Denise
    May 22, 2013 @ 09:51:57

    Yes, just a week and a half ago, my second Mother’s Day without my son. Sort of surreal, or something…


  6. Aimee
    May 27, 2013 @ 00:09:00

    I am so very sorry that you have another loss to bear. (((hugs)))


  7. Denise
    May 27, 2013 @ 07:33:17

    Thank you Aimee.


  8. Becki Duckworth
    Dec 17, 2013 @ 17:04:38

    Sending you love, I also wonder if my loved ones that have crossed over before me are connected. I dis-liked bowling when I was young. Now I like to bowl once in awhile, bowling can release anger for me. Nothing like throwing that darn thing at a bunch of pins to release some aggression!!


  9. Denise
    Dec 17, 2013 @ 19:12:01

    Now THAT’S a reason to bowl!! ;o)


  10. Becki Duckworth
    Dec 17, 2013 @ 20:25:22

    Probably a better idea than breaking dishes !! Because there is no clean up.


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