What for?

I’ve been working on a post about gratitude, which is sounding more like a post on ingratitude. But I wanted to take a time out to say I found an apartment last week. The rent is less than the apartment I lost,  I can bring my dogs, the location is great. It’s unoccupied, so they gave me the keys on Friday and I’ve been moving some stuff in. Wednesday the movers come, and then it will officially be Home.

It all fell into place beautifully. People help me. Life helps me. I see it, and I work to accept it. I don’t know how to ask, and when I do, I am ashamed. I don’t know what that’s about, but I’ve been like this forever. I’m too tired to think about it.

And I don’t mean physically. I mean I am tired of what I feel because my son is dead. The move is exciting; I’ve been running around packing, organizing, making arrangements. Natalie and I are working together, talking colors and painting and how to put what where and what we need to fill the empty spaces. Then I go home, home to silences filled with my son’s death. My son. He is my son, and I can’t have you meet him. He is my son and he isn’t here. And I can talk to you all about this but when I am out in the world I feel shame. Is there something about me that made my son dead? I have never had anyone say anything stupid to me about Philip’s death. All people have done is care. But I can’t work this shame out, I can’t help but put my head down when I see families, when I see mothers and their sons. It’s not that I think there was something I could have done; it’s just a sense of, “well, of course, I mean – what did you think?”

Who the hell’s voice is that?

Philip’s answer to that is, “Mom, don’t make my death into something it isn’t.” His death is not about me. I am not to use it to justify old habits of despair and unwillingness, to return to thinking I want to die because what I want is not to feel. I have said I want to grieve honestly; there is nothing honest about mixing up Philip’s death with the the things I had to deal with while he was alive.

Still – the other day I wrote to Stephanie, “I just sort of sink and shrug because what for, if your child can die?”

I think maybe feeling his death so keenly has something to do with moving, starting this different life with Natalie and that makes Philip more gone.  August 1st, 2009, I left my home to move in with Nadiya. Philip was there to help me. We were both making changes:  me to a new home, he to his freshman year at college. Exactly four years later we should have again been moving on together: He as a Graduate of Rutgers, me to my new apartment with my daughter. But I’m moving on without him, away from the house where he came to visit, away from the room I grieved in and wept in and slept in and tucked myself away in to mourn the incomprehensible. My therapist asked if I feel guilty because I am happy and excited to move, and how could I allow anything like “happy” because Philip is gone? Maybe I am, but it doesn’t feel that way. It feels more like helplessness and despair because of what is. Life goes, I’m going with it, my son isn’t coming with me and my heart is hurting for loving him so much.

© 2013 Denise Smyth

A Few Photos…

I added a few more photos. The third one down, of Philip and Natalie, is part of the same portrait session as the other two. The rest are at the end. See, he was here; he really was. Do I get to the part where I look and smile because of what he means to me? You all should know, you who’ve lost those you love most. And I thank you all for caring.

Days 3-4

I thought that if I had to live with Philip’s death, I could live with anything. Natalie aside, what could matter enough to upset me? What could matter at all? But that’s not true, not really. I don’t think this gypsy life suits me. I’ve been at Kirsten’s since I got back from California, will be here til I find somewhere to live. My dogs are still at my mom’s. My home is a Ghost Town, a huge storage bin for what I have and what I have to get rid of. Last week I had minor surgery with not-so-minor recovery. On my back the whole of the week, I found out the apartment I thought I had fell through, like the job I thought I had fell through. I have no job, I have no apartment was my uncontrollable mantra.

And for a while, I lost my voice.

So things happen for a reason, I’ll land where I’m supposed to. And I can flip all of this on its head because I might have lost my home, but I have friends who’ll take me in. I might have lost my job, but I have some income to help as I look for another. I might feel like I’m walking on shifting ground, but at least there is a ground; I am not as lost as I was a year ago, I’m not traveling in the Netherworld where I lived when I found out that Philip died.

I’m not in the interregnum of Days 3-4. The purgatory before the real hell started. I was out of time, out of mind, out of space; walking beneath roily waters, seeing and hearing and moving in some grotesque aquatic ballet. I looked at people as if I didn’t comprehend, but I did. Denial was never a part of this. My son was dead.

I surfaced when I was spoken to, surprised myself by answering back. Waited a second or two before I went under again, just in case someone was going to say something that mattered, something that had to do with Philip but didn’t have to do with death. But whatever anyone said, all I heard was, Philip is dead Philip is dead Philip is dead. So what was anyone talking to me for, then? It was hideously comic that I was supposed to do a certain type of normal because things needed to be done, phone calls had to made, arrangements had to be taken care of. To Phil I said, “I can’t.” To me he said, “I will.”

Because that’s what men do; they do, and Phil did it all.

What to say about 3-4? I can tell you that Ed came over and my parents came over and my phone rang a lot. I can tell you that after being awake for 38 hours my body took over and I went down for the night.  I can say that with Natalie’s help I materialized at Phil’s on Saturday where there were people milling around and that late in the afternoon, Phil said, “Maybe you should take a shower.”

I looked up at him. “Do you think I should take a shower?”

He looked kind and weary and so very sad and he gently said, “Yes, I do.”

Like a child, I was. Wearing the same clothes I had on since Thursday. Shocked and awed by the magnitude of what happened. Finding myself standing in rooms or sitting in chairs and not knowing how I got there or why I was there or what I was supposed to do. I made no decisions because there wasn’t any me to make them. And the longer that day went on and the more people came and the more hugs and kisses and tears made Philip more dead. Maybe no one should have come. Maybe if I hadn’t called anyone and sat quietly for a while there was a chance something could have changed. We didn’t give it a chance; we told people and they came with their bruised hearts and stunned disbelief and they made it impossible for Philip to come home. His death had taken on a life of its own.

© 2013 Denise Smyth

No Way Out

I’m on a crying jag; I’ve a lot going on, and it keeps hitting me that Philip has died. I can’t even say, “is dead.” And people are kind, and that makes me cry even more. Yesterday I wrote to Lucia, Elizabeth Blue’s mom, “And I am overwhelmed at the moment; Lucia, I miss him so. Sometimes I feel like I’m being slowly strangled. I try to remind myself that the moment when I face death I’m going to think it all went so quickly, so let me love my son where he is and my daughter where she is. None of us are here forever. But when I miss him like this, that’s exactly what it feels like. “ And in the worst possible sense.

Which brings me back to Elizabeth Blue’s incredibly prescient and powerful, “Bird’s Nest.” In part:

“Five days ago I watched two birds mate.
Yesterday I watched as they began
in unison
to build their nest.

Today it occurs to me
that I will be gone
by the time they lay eggs
and the eggs make way
for the new life
within them.

Today it occurs to me that I will be gone
The lines between body and land have blurred
and the land will miss my body.
Perhaps it will be lonely
I think it will weep.
I think it will miss me
more than my mind or body
could miss it,”

Reading that poem is like watching Elizabeth discovering something, and what a something.  Nature has much to teach us, if we pay attention. How often we don’t because we’re so busy thinking, as if thinking is going to solve our problem when it mostly is our problem. The mind, it is said, is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.

Elizabeth recognized that maybe the world needs us more than we need it. How different from raging at death because this goddamn world gets to go on while we or those we love do not.  But what is the world, if we are not there to witness is? A world of form requires our recognition. It’s such a big place, this world, such an overwhelming place. And the terror of death is that we’re leaving it behind, and it still gets to be, while we turn to dust. Or does it?

Life is relentless. Death isn’t enough to stop it, but it’s more than enough to wreck those of us who are here to witness it. This is what I mean: maybe death is forcing us to confront just what we think Life is. Forcing us, because we don’t like to think about death. And if we don’t think about death we will become shallow and brittle because nothing will matter except what we look like, what we have, whatever is external to us, whatever draws us farther from ourselves.

I am aching, aching for Philip. Try telling that part of me that, “Death isn’t enough to stop it.” But there’s another part of me that’s struggling with faith and acceptance and the certainty that there’s something else going on, stuggling to understand it and articulate it in a meaningful way.  And there is my constant communication with Philip, who is there for me in a very real way, and who’s been teaching me things always.

I was never afraid of childbirth. In high school I’d  tell my friends, “I’ll have the babies, but you have to raise them.” Back then, I didn’t much like kids, couldn’t imagine even liking my own. But labor seemed like an act of bravery, a jump into the void; confronting the uncontrollable, wondering if I’d come out the other side.

When I was pregnant, I felt the same (about labor – not kids). My kids were born at home with no doctors telling me what to do, no fetal monitors strapped around me, no someone I didn’t trust directing me. I was searching for authenticity through my femininity, and what could be more feminine than giving birth? I wanted to deliver my child with the help of a midwife who trusted that my body could do what it was supposed to, and who knew what to do if it didn’t. I wanted a woman to help me give birth, one who had borne  a child of her own. Barbara, my midwife, turned out to be that person.

Since attitude is supposed to affect experience, I thought my good one meant labor wouldn’t hurt too much. I might’ve gone in blind, but at least I went bravely. Labor was ferociously, savagely painful; I was scared. I let loose with moaning and yelling and pleading for Barbara not to leave me. Of course she didn’t leave me. Even when I bit her. I wasn’t in control of what my body was doing, how it was doing it, or the pain I felt. I couldn’t say, “Could we just take a break and rest for a few minutes please?” Labor is the relentless force of Life as it takes shape, and in those terrible moments I realized there was no way out but through.

That’s what Philip taught me during his birth, and what he’s trying to teach me through his death. Thing is, when labor ended my son was born, the pain was gone, and every second of it was worth it. What of Philip’s death, then? What kind of “end” could there be; what do I get to hold in my arms, what will ever make me say this pain was worth it? I’ve been told now it’s me that’s being born. It’s not enough. I feel less than I ever was without him here because he took a part of me with him when he went.

He brought me full circle, this child of mine. See, I understand why women choose not to feel that pain. But had I chosen differently, I would not have had his guidance then, and I wouldn’t have been able to see that he’s helping me now. Because I do see it, even if I don’t always accept it.

© 2013 Denise Smyth

The Place of No Goodbyes

I don’t usually post twice, but I had a lot of down time today…so lucky you! (heh)

Actually, I’d been talking to some people about this and so thought I’d post it. A couple months after Philip died, Phil and I joined an 8-week parents’ bereavement group. We met once a week, and the therapist who ran it would sometimes give us assignments to do, if we wanted. Like the first was to bring in pictures of our children to share with each other.

The second meeting she asked us to go home and write a letter to our child, then write one back from her/him. We could bring them in the following week to read out loud, if we wanted. I thought that was a good idea, and I did it. I’m posting the letters here – they’re not very long. What’s most striking to me is that when I went to write Philip’s letter, “I” wasn’t writing it. I was listening to him, taking dictation. And I find the last line particularly lovely. It contains a phrase I’ve never heard before, a little gift from Philip.

I’ve mentioned that I keep journals where I write down what he’s saying. This is what gave me the idea. It’s a valuable tool, something anyone can do to try to reach a loved one. And even if you don’t think you’ve “reached” them, chances are you’ll feel how much they love you as you write what you know they’d be saying.

So these are our letters, dated April 23, 2012, exactly two months to the day that Philip died:

Hey you,

I feel kinda weird writing this because now you know what goes on with me more than when you were here. What can I tell you that you don’t already know? I miss you, to borrow a phrase, truly madly deeply. I can’t accept that you’re not here and we both know that’s what I have to do; that’s my work in this life of mine. But I don’t think I can, nor do I want to. I’m like a child who had something taken from her and thinks tears and tantrums will help her get it back. I’m afraid if I stop crying, you’ll really be dead. This grief binds me to you like a live wire and I don’t know how to let it go. What will be there, then? What good to say that’s not our real bond, that there won’t be a void? My body says otherwise. My stomach churns and my chest is tight and the tears are in the back of my throat when they’re not being cried. There’s nothing that isn’t colored by your death. Your death – what does that mean? If I am to give meaning to my life, how am I supposed to do that with you gone? How do I bear the unbearable? I don’t know what to do with this rage and sorrow. I can’t undo what’s done and I am helpless here.

Everyone says time. And the world keeps spinning as if you’re still here. The world doesn’t care. I’m responsible for my inner state but I keep going down the rabbit hole in free fall. Then I stop for a while, then I go down again. It’s like that movie Ground Hog Day; I keep waking up and you’re not here. And I keep getting desperate for someone to tell me what to do. No one can tell me what to do; there isn’t anything to “do.” Because what I want is you to be here and you’re not and I don’t know how to live with you gone.

I love you. Your turn.

Hi Mom,

I love you, too; I didn’t used to call to tell you that in the middle of the night for nothing. I’m still here and you know it. I told you we were growing up together, and now you’ve got to finish what we started. You knew soon as you heard I was gone that the work you were doing was what you had to keep doing. You’ll get there. You know that under it all there’s a floor – there’s a place of peace that abides in you as it abides in everyone. I know how hard it is for you to be happy. It made me sad, sometimes, that you felt things were so hard for you. And I know I was a respite from that; I still am. It’s like we’re more in touch than ever. You certainly think about me more than you used to. You talk to me more, too. Have a little faith. You’ll see. I’m still the light you always thought I was; I didn’t go out, as you keep saying. You just have to look a little harder. The light’s all around you even though you feel you’re in the dark. Light is stronger than dark, mom. When the light shines, the darkness goes away. Think of the light you felt from me and live in it. Just a little, like when you crack the door open, until you’re ready for more. You’re afraid; you don’t need to be. The light is where the peace is and where I am. I’m sorry for your grief but this is what is. You know what that means and what to do about it. For the rest of it, you’ll figure it out. I’ll be right behind you as you do. Watch how this unfolds. You’ll be amazed, if you let yourself.

Okay? So I love you. I’m in the place of no good-byes so we can talk whenever we want to.

© 2013 Denise Smyth

It’s What I Have

I have stories since Philip died, stories about the way he’s still in my life, what I hear him say and how I hear him say it. I’m blessed because really, he’s always around. It’s not weird or spooky, either. I just talk to him in my head, and he talks back. I also keep journals where I’ll listen to what he’s saying and write it down. Call it Philip, call it my love for him allowing me to tap into a deeper wisdom that’s “inside” me, a wisdom that’s available to anyone who’s willing to seek it – no matter. To me it’s Philip, to me it’s part of the bond I have with him.

I’m mentioning this because I just read a post on behindthemaskofabuse about a lost dog, which reminded me of something and I’m in the mood to write about something that makes me smile. I have a wanting to be chronological about things, but if you follow along at all, I’m not, not really. Theres’s a narrative thread but it comes out as it does. I’m not in control. The writing sort of leads me, and I get it out best I can.

This happened a couple months ago, when it was still getting dark by 7:30 here on the east coast. I’d been working on a post and felt stuck, when something told me to take a break and go for a walk. Now, we all have intuition that we’d do well to pay attention to, and the more we do, the stronger it gets. Me? Meh. I don’t listen as much as I’d like. And in spite of the fact that when I walk, the writing comes rolling through my brain, I didn’t want to go. I’m a homebody. Stick me on my couch with my books and my computer and a basket of knitting nearby, and I’m good to go. Er, to stay. So I’m ambivalent; if I need a break from writing I can just stop, what’s with the going out business? But since I’m trying to pay attention to that “little voice” inside of me, I said to the doggies, guys – let’s go.

(Have I said anything about my dogs other than that they’re my dogs? I have two shih-tzus, Zoe and Pippin, and one day I’ll get my act together and post some pictures of them.)

It was probably around 7:00, probably just before the gloaming , and I decided since we’re going for a walk, it would be a long one. We could all use the exercise. Before going downstairs, I went looking for my wallet. I didn’t need it to go out, I just realized I didn’t know where it was which makes me crazy so I started running around looking for it. And I asked Philip where it was because I cannot begin to count the times I’ve asked him where things were and then promptly found them.

Not this time.

Downstairs I went with the dogs, and I started running around there, too, frustrated because I couldn’t find it and really frustrated because Philip wasn’t helping. Then I ran back upstairs and looked again, and again back downstairs. Then I remembered I had laundry in the washer in the basement that needed to go into the dryer so I went to do that, hoping that when I came back up I’d find my wallet.

Nope.

By then it was almost 8:00. I decided to just cut it out, forget about it, ask Natalie to help me look when she got home from gymnastics. I leashed up the dogs and went out, thinking I’d still go for a long walk because even though it was now dark, it was warm outside. I took my time heading toward the corner where I wanted to turn, letting the dogs sniff and pee because once I started walking, I wasn’t stopping. So they’re rooting around the grass and I’m stargazing and that’s when I felt a tug. Looking down, there was a little doggy, sort of like a Boston Terrier but mostly all black, sniffing around with my two. She wore a pink harness, without a tag. There was no one around but me. And while it occurred to me to just go on ahead with my walk, the saner part of me realized you don’t leave a dog out in the dark that looks like she doesn’t belong there. This one definitely did not belong there. So I took Zoe’s leash off and put it on Stray Dog, because Zoe – being a girl and all – would not leave my side, while Pippin – being a somewhat blind, somewhat deaf boy and all – wouldn’t have noticed I was gone until he found himself staring up at the bottom of my neighbor’s Lexus.

First thing I did was ring the bell of the house we were standing in front of, thinking maybe she escaped from there. The woman that answered never saw her. Next I asked some guy who happened to be walking his own dog on the other side of the street – he couldn’t even see her in the dark, much less know who she belonged to. So I decided to bring her home for the night, call the police to let them know in case someone was looking for her, and deal with what to do with her the next day.

The four of us turned to walk back home, moving real slow in case someone happened by looking for her. Sure enough, I saw a van come onto my block, driving slowly, window opened. Hey, I yelled as he got near, are you looking for a dog?

Turned out he’d been driving around for half an hour looking for his dog, thank you very much. We briefly chatted about how she got away, where all he’d been looking for her. I was just glad I had her because he lived on this side of Bloomfield-major-thruway-Avenue and he was looking on the other side of Bloomfield-major-thruway-Avenue and had he found her on that side, it might have been in various, scattered body parts. Off they went and I was happy to have done my good deed for the day.

I turned back again to head toward the corner, unsure of what to do. I’d been out a while and maybe it was enough. Or maybe not. Maybe I should go for a short walk. Or maybe not. Maybe I should stay on my block. Or maybe not. And while I’m dithering over this most important decision, I heard Philip say, “Mom, you know what to do.”

I’m going home, aren’t I? I felt him smile.

And I’m going to find my wallet when I get there, aren’t I?

You get why you didn’t find it sooner, he asked?

Of course I went home and of course it was there, right there on the first floor, right on the table where I’d left it.

The story I’m telling about Philip and me doesn’t have a simple narrative. It could start and end with the story of his death, but it doesn’t. It’s a living story that keeps evolving even as I’m writing. There are happy things along the way, there are clear ways I know Philip is around and many ways he makes me smile. Not least of all do I rely on his confidence, encouragement and wisdom. I am blessed with this easy access. If Philip had to die, this was the best way it could be turning out.

But that’s just it. Philip has died. The other day I wrote to Ed, “When Philip died…” and if I wasn’t already sitting I would’ve been knocked on my ass. Did I really just write that? Will it ever stop shocking me? Because in all the ways life’s swirling around me and in all the ways I imagine it turning out, the one mad true thing in all of it is that Philip is dead. Please, I want to say; please. Please what, please to whom? I’d made sure to remind my kids that “please” was not the magic word they might’ve heard it was. Using it didn’t mean you got what you wanted, it was just the civilized way to ask for it.

And if the answers to my please are the living connections I make along the way, then there’s where I need to place my faith. For sure that’s what my son is asking of me, for sure it just doesn’t feel like enough. Please, then, may it be, because it’s what I have.

© 2013 Denise Smyth

So Tell Me

From Fourth of July:

Today is Natalie’s birthday; Happy Birthday to you, my sweet girl. I love you so.

Today I found us an apartment; Happy Birthday again, Natalie. It’s small, but we’ll make it work. It’s located exactly where we want to be, the rent is okay, and – the big one – they’ll take the dogs. Around here, that’s a Godsend. My application is in and I’m waiting for approval. The manager who showed me around wants us there. Assuming all goes well, we’ll move August 1st.

Today, I’m wondering how it got to be July again, without Philip. I didn’t want to use this blog to whine, but here I am. I think of him, my stomach churns, the tears at the back of my eyes spring forth, my voice has to fight its way out of my throat and the dark place is all there is. Natalie just turned 20; she’s closing in on him and I’m scared. One day she will be older than him. Do I have to add, ‘God willing?’ And I think I say this stuff because I’m reaching out for help, and I know people care, but no one can take this from me because if they took my grief, they’d take my love. And there is nothing that can “take” my love for Philip.

                                                    *******************************************************************

 So I piece together all that has happened and continues to happen. It’s the grace of connection I’m yearning for, the light of meaning, the knowing of what it is I am waking up for. My son – I don’t know how to live with him dead because the feeling is too much to bear. But these bits and pieces along the way tell a story, a story whose meaning I’m struggling to find and whose end won’t come until my own does. If, even, then. I’ve talked about some of it already: Philip, not yet two, saying his grandpa was, In the light;” the day at the beach, when I almost lost him; the desperate need I had that last year to let him know how goddamn much I loved him;  my “all bets are off” conversation with Natalie; my “dead in a ditch” message, which ironically enough makes me smile because that’s the sort of joke Philip and I would laugh at. And I feel him, smiling back at me.

Then the fact of where I was at spiritually, emotionally, psychically. For the six months or so leading to his death, I’d crossed a line, chosen to live, chosen to stop asking why I was here and accepted the fact that I was. Tried to figure out what I wanted to with the life I was given. Began to understand my inner state was up to me, that my emotions did not, in fact, control me. And I had the tools to work with all of this. Take a breath, take a mental step back from inner turmoil, look at it. No resistance, I’d say, which is the same as “accept it” except those words meant something to me in a way “accept it” didn’t. “No resistance” was a big, deep breath to which I had a physical response. My chest would relax, my arms and shoulders followed. My stomach remained tense and knotted. My stomach was always knotted; it was a question of it being background tension or being whacked-in-the-solar-plexus tension. “No resistance” helped me manage myself.

And, of course, I kept reminding myself, “Accept it, leave it, or change it.”

A year before Philip died, when he was a second-term sophomore, he took a creative writing class. He liked me to read his work and one day sent me an essay about a kid walking down the street, high on LSD, what this kid saw, what he felt like. Shit, I thought.

A week later he came to visit. You know that story I sent you, he asked? That kid walking down the street? That was me.

Well, duh.

“Philip,” I said, “listen; I know you drink, but now you’re doing drugs. Drugs are dangerous. I can’t force you not to take them, but I am asking you please, please, do not do drugs.”

To which he said that he’d done LSD twice, that he didn’t like it, wasn’t going to do it any more, not to worry.

“This is great,” I answered. “I’m your mom, you tell me this stuff, I can’t do anything about it, and when they find you dead of an overdose, they’ll blame me.”

We laughed.

And then there’s this:

The months leading up to Philip’s death, I kept seeing him dead. An image of him would float up in my mind, from the waist up, in a soft yellow button-down shirt (??), his eyes closed,  dead. I didn’t get upset, didn’t think I was having a premonition. I just saw him, dismissed it. Except for the couple times I thought about it a bit, thought about myself at his wake, pictured myself waist down, wearing exactly what it was I wound up wearing when I was actually there. And when I pictured myself, I wondered how I would act. If I truly understood “accept it, leave it, change it.” Because if I did, I’d have to be at peace. But how would it really be?

Since I’m not Jesus or Buddha, I’ll tell you how it really was. I was wrecked. I walked into that funeral home with Phil and Natalie and my brother and outside the room he was in was a plaque that read, “Philip Smyth Jr.” which made me just a little more sick and a little more dizzy.  The name that so touched me when I saw it on a birth certificate or passport or high school diploma or fencing award or even in his own uneven handwriting, now turned on me. Are you telling me that the last time I saw my son we were saying good-bye in the restaurant where we’d just eaten dinner, and the next time I’ll see him is when I walk through that door and he’s lying a coffin? Phil went in first. I waited a minute to follow. And there he was, handsome boy, lying dead, looking exactly like he always did and I fell to my knees and sobbed and all the wide world was Philip, dead. There was no life in that body. What am I to do with this? What the fuck is this? What does it mean to be dead? That’s not an academic question, it’s a blood-and-guts question because Philip was just here, just around to talk to and laugh with and eat with and hug and just like that he wasn’t. So where was he? Don’t tell me he’s in my heart, don’t do that. Of course he’s in my heart, he’s my son. He has been in my heart since the night I woke from my sleep and heard  – I heard – the whisper in my ear: you’re pregnant. It is not enough that he’s in my heart. He has to be where I can touch him, watch him, call him, hold him. Where I can feel he protects me because I know he’s got my back. What is this dead body, what has this to do with my son? I am his mother, I carried him alone before he was born and I’ll carry him alone now that he’s dead. Don’t tell me you’re there to help me because I don’t even know what you’re talking about. If the dictionary-def of help is, “to give or provide what is necessary to..satisfy a need,” then tell me what can be done to bring my son home because that – that – is my need.

So tell me what you’re going to do to help me, and don’t leave me alone when I say that you can’t.

© 2013 Denise Smyth