Tomorrow is his 28th birthday; another sad year has passed and we will celebrate by having dinner at home, just the three of us - it will be like every other week of the year; I will prepare dinner, we will sit in front of the television to ease his discomfort of the silence of the dinner table; he'll do his laundry and will ask if it's okay if he leaves before the last load is dry because spending too much time even with us is too difficult for him. The difference tomorrow night will be the present we'll give him, that he will receive awkwardly with a forced smile and a sweet "thank you." Even his kisses have become awkward, as if he were afraid to really touch, our cheeks barely brush skin and his lips kiss the air, the hug has become a brief touch on my shoulder. It's hard to act present when you have disappeared and live in a world so small and isolated that eye contact no longer exists. It is easier for me to be angry at his illness so that I don't cry my life away; I am so angry that looking at pictures of him as a baby and young child (until his 10th birthday, when he started leaving us), I realize that I have been robbed of all the sweet moments - I feel no joy when I see him playing, dancing, laughing - knowing he would soon be swept into the maelstrom of his confounding illness. I ache to hold my sweet boy in my arms, cry on his massive shoulders, tell him how much I love him and miss him and how painful it has been learning to let go of all my hopes and dreams for his happiness; and my mind does all that while I sit next him, not close enough to touch him, and take the little I can get which is all he has to give.
6S - C1
caccy46, author of Joy #1, is 60 years old, a mother of two, and has been married for 32 years.