It is in the quiet that I seem to remember more of the feelings. When it is quiet, and my mind is still it all comes flooding back like water cascading down a mountain. There is a crack in my soul. As I sit here with the sun streaming in over my shoulders, feeling its magnificent warmth on this chilly November day, I am reminded that it is the anniversary of your memorial service here in the city where we lived, and I still call home. I always thought it was odd on the day of your service that your body was on a jet bound for New York for yet another service and burial in your hometown. You were already missing.
The days of November are usually sad ones for both our son, and myself and we hold onto a deep grief, a bond that forever holds us hostage to the pain, the cost of loving. You ceased to take another breath on the morning of November 5. We held a service for you here on November 9, and on November 12 we buried you next to your mother and father. My son and I returned home to an eerily empty house, and on November 20 he turned 13. Then the holiday season kicked off in full gear, but I could barely hold my head up to acknowledge any of the joy.
Today my body aches with some of that familiar grief, and I know that our son’s does as well. I wish I could turn back the hands of the clock, just as I did moments ago when I adjusted a missed clock in accommodating the switch to daylight savings time. I wish I could turn back the hands of time in order that my son would not have to carry this heavy grief mantle for his life. He struggles to know his father loved him. He struggles so, and he has every reason. You had a chance to make things right, and you failed him and you failed me. I don’t know if either of us can ever truly forgive you. What I do know is that for both of us our grief is a mixed bag. One moment we cannot recall the sound of your voice and want to see you and miss your laugh terribly, and the next moment we are angry over what you did to our family. He carries this burden more than anyone. How could you do such a thing to a boy on the verge of manhood? It wasn’t enough that he had to make the journey without a father, but to be pinned under the weight of not being acknowledged. I have tried in a thousand different ways over thousands of days (more than 5,000 to be precise) to make it right, to make it up to him, but I can never give him your blessing. He is always looking to have his heart healed, but there is a crack. . . and that is how the light gets in… there is a crack in everything, and that gives me hope.
Only in the darkness can you see the stars.