Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Best Birthday Gift ever

Well, a week from now I will officially increase my age by 1.  This Baby Boomer will proudly declare that she is 66.  But with all the promises my tomorrows have brought to me everyday, I have always kept this thought nestled in the furthest reaches of my mind - "Why have I outlived my beautiful little boy".

I say furthest reaches as it is part of my grief and coping process.  The reality of Andy not being physically on this earth to hug me, to smile at me, to give me his Peace, has certainly been accepted.  And having accepted this undeniable part of my history, I have taken measures and precautions to put all in perspective.   So the reality is tucked away, safe among his beautiful memories.

The problem with that tucked away mechanism is that often times,  a beautiful memory gets released.  I hear Izzy singing our favorite Hawaiian song.  "Please, oh please let this memory be a single one" I beseech my soul.  "Please don't let his not being hear to sing with me piggy back the beauty of this moment".

Sometimes it works.   Sometimes it doesn't.  That is the grief process, Elaine.  And I certainly have devoted the majority of my blog to Andy and that very topic.

I am facing a break in the memory blockade so to speak.  As I face my birthday, I cringe.  I feel guilty.  My son died when he was 19 years old.   I was a Freshman at Thiel College when I was 19.  At that time, my life was just beginning to unfold.

Besides this birthday jolt to the memory vault, another event occurred recently that was bittersweet.  One of Andy's dear friends got married.  Last time I saw a picture of his friend, Andy was in that picture, too.  Then it occurred to me.  Andy would never be a husband, a father, an uncle.

I have been preparing myself for a period of diminished stamina to come.  My aging body, though accustomed to only seeing Andy in my dreams, has had much more difficulty in weathering some stormy patches.  I pray to God to give me strength.  And of course he never let's me down.

I decided to wear my Peace locket that encloses a picture of Andy with the engraving, "I'll see you in my dreams".  The darn clasp and my arthritic hands are a challenge, but the 15 minutes it took to have that beautiful picture drape over my heart was worth it.

That day, several patients commented on that locket.  It was so comforting.

But the best thing was coming home to my grandson Andrew.  He said, "Yia Yia, what is that".  I said that it was a locket and that it was very special to me.  "Why, Yia Yia?"  Because it opens up.  "Can I see?"

I opened the locket to reveal my beautiful Andy.  "Yia Yia, that's my name" and with that he gave me a hug.

My Birthday is coming up and I received the best gift I could have hoped for.  God knew I needed a hug.   I got the best one ever.   Happy Birthday to me.