I knew I had hope, but...
For just a moment, I felt...normal. Making the turn west towards my parents, knowing that they of all people would accept me for who I was made me feel like I belonged on this earth. I'd never signed up for a dead child and two divorces, but somehow that's exactly where I had landed. Reality sucks sometimes, but for a few miles the idea of going off on this journey had subsided.
The closer and closer I came to my hometown, my anxiety level began to build and I was questioning my decision to go home. It would have been much easier had I just driven straight ahead at the previous intersection, completely eliminating the need to explain why I was doing what I was doing. I would have to tell them a lie as to my mental state, but is it a lie when you're not really sure yourself?
I was this close and had made the decision to stop, at minimum I would at least try to fake it so they wouldn't worry. The battle that was happening within me would put the American Civil War to shame. The north was screaming for change and the south had dug in to fight off the resistance. Only time, and well-played mental strategy, and time in my trenches would decide my fate.
As I pulled into the driveway, my dad's shop door was open that day and I just sat looking inside. The reason I was horrified for the days, weeks and months ahead was that this rebuilding project would be so different. Before, everything I'd taken time to rebuild was tangible, this was anything but tangible, it was in my head. Only I could feel what was happening inside and know that change was needed.
This moment had been building inside for months, now those on the outside were observing and trying to catch up with what I was doing. I think this happens a lot and is why we look at people who are lost as crazy people. I’d been planning this time away for a couple months and for a lack of better words, I knew exactly what I needed, even if I had no clue what I needed.
After Blake’s death, I can’t tell you how many people told me to be strong, he’s in a better place, you will survive, the list goes on and on and on. I’m not upset at the things that were said, I know now from experience that people feel as if they should say something and have little experience in such situations. Nothing said is sometimes the best thing ever said. Closing the mouth and opening the mind to listen is often, the best option.
In this moment, sitting in my car looking at my dad’s workshop, I began to think about how bady I wanted a life so different than the one I was living. My son’s death was truthfully, one of the only things I really understood. It had a clear beginning and a clear ending. I could take you to the place I first felt him kick in his moms tummy, that kick said, I’m alive.
I could also take you to the exact spot he died, his death certificate said he died within seconds, I hope so. That’s something you never dream of thinking, that you hope death comes quick for your child. The thought now brought tears to my eyes and my friend saying to me “your son is dead, how do you choose to live?” I just sat looking at his little workshop, dreaming of such a space.
Somewhere in all those crazy thoughts, I knew I had hope for a better tomorrow, but I had work to do and answers to seek. I cleared the tears from my eyes, looked around the car that I’d turned into my home and I reached for the handle. Click, at minimum I needed to go tell my parents that I lovedthem and would be safe. I took a deep breath and disappeared back into a mind that was good at pretending. It’s where I’d been living for far to long, but the eviction notice would soon be served.