10 Sep mondays & aMasongrace
Today marks fourteen weeks since my 14 year old boy left this world with my heart in his hands. As you can imagine, I hate Mondays. I dread the ticking of the clock, the slow passage of time, and the eventual and internal ‘click’ that occurs when Monday hits. It’s tangible, and vivid, and emotional. I’ve never been superstitious, never given power and authority to days or numbers or stars or signs. I still don’t… but I will share with you that the clock has become my nemesis and Monday is my enemy, and if I could, I would shatter every one of time’s measuring sticks just to get to my boy sooner rather than later.
There is a moment every day, before I am really awake, in the space between dreams and daytime, that my mind ‘remembers’ and my heart prepares itself. For some weird reason, it’s doubly difficult on Mondays. I imagine that if I closed my eyes and reached out my hand, I might actually feel the slimy face of the angel of death. I can picture him hovering over every Monday, reminding me of my ‘loss,’ and sneering at the pain he caused me and those who love Mason. The knot in my stomach grows, my scalp starts to tingle, tears form in my eyes without warning, and I realize yet again, “It is real. He is gone.”
I replay the day at the mortuary, when I said goodbye to his body, held his hand, kissed his face. I kissed and kissed and kissed his face. It was no longer him, just a shell of who he had been, but I couldn’t stop myself from kissing him goodbye. I remind myself of the donations I chose to make, the skin I gave away, the corneas, the heart valves, the bones… I review the tender moments in my mind when it was just me and Mase, a mama and her baby boy, in that cold mortuary ‘viewing’ room. I examined him and the changes they made to his body when they took the donations. They prepared me for what I would see, but nothing prepared me for what I felt. I wept over Mason’s face and hands, I hugged him as best as I could, and I prayed for the ‘pieces of him’ to bless and heal each recipient.
Then I cut some of his hair to give to his grandmothers, along with a photo album I had made for them. I hope they treasure that little token of respect. It took all I had to cut that beautiful mane of hair. If you knew Mase, you know he had some pretty amazing hair… and he knew it too! It makes me smile to think of his love affair with his own head of hair. (How is it possible for one person to be blessed with so much dang hair?!?! Man, he was a stunner.) I played some of his songs while I sat with him, and I cried over different little memories that crossed my mind. I spoke to him as if he were sleeping, and fussed over him as I did when he was an infant. I think my mind repeatedly walks me through that day in particular because it is the only proof that this is real. He is gone.
Yeah, Mondays are hard.
I need to tell you about this Monday though… September 9th. It had all the makings of a typical Monday. Sadness swelling. Mood darkening. My girlfriend, Grief, scooting a little closer to me under the covers, getting ready for a good sob session. However, two very important things happened today that set it apart from any other Monday.
Firstly, I saw a post from one of Mason’s friends on Facebook… and I was blown away. She declared today “Mason Monday” and decided that she will spend the entire day making people smile, telling them they are valued, and asking them to push through their problems and stay alive. Then, she said, she would write an “M” on their wrist. (Well, she actually said she was going to stamp them! Hahaha I LOVE THAT!) I shared her idea on my Facebook & Twitter pages, and so did a few other friends, and without much effort it turned into an awesome day of love and laughter. Friends of Mason were posting pictures of M’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and encouraging each other to stay alive. They were doing for others what Mason had always done for them. One person posted that she was proud to be living Mason’s legacy.
<Insert wracking sobs here> Can you imagine what that feels like? I am so honored, so incredibly touched. There are no words (and you know I have more words to share than anyone you have ever met). One girl’s simple idea to cheer herself up on a day when she was really missing her friend evolved into a widespread, love demonstration of which everyone wanted to be a part! There are wrists everywhere sporting an ‘M’ in memory of Mason Chamberlain and how he made people feel. I am one proud mama right now. Take that, angel of death. Right in the slimy, sneering, self-enamored mouth.
Secondly, I realized that the website is ready. Whaaaaaaat? How is it ready? How is there nothing left to do but launch? My brother-of-sorts, Tyrhone, and my lovely sister, Sarah, have managed to create something out of nothing, and without a doubt, I know it will change lives. His creativity and genius, combined with her careful consideration of correct capitalization (my love of lower case drives her crazy), produced a website worthy of carrying Mason’s name, honoring his memory, and continuing his legacy. I am still stunned at the invoice I received, but that’s the topic for a different day. Love and kindness are free… and I am experiencing this firsthand. Stunned, I tell you. Simply stunned.
While I laid on their bed and complained of a sore tummy, Sarah tried to show me how I would now post new blog entries from the website instead of using wordpress. I tried to pay attention. Maybe I went to the bathroom, or found another chocolate in the fridge… but I ended up over at the kitchen table. While I positioned myself directly in front of the a/c, and tried to hog all of the cool air, Tyrhone attempted to explain how widgets work and their hidden purpose on the website. I looked everywhere but where I was supposed to look… You get the picture. They were committed, tireless, faithful, and diligent. I was lame, distracted, emotional, and in denial. I couldn’t focus, I had no energy, yet they worked to complete their part. Sometime after I returned home, it hit me. I needed to plug in, shape up, and decide if I was really going to do this project. The time for tummy aches was over; distractions and denial needed to get lost. I got busy. I did my part. We discussed edits, font changes, formatting alterations… and here we are on a Monday, with a website to launch and a message to deliver.
What a different Monday this has been.
I’ll invite you to browse through the website when you have some time, if you are so inclined. This is the first version, but as the Project develops, so will the website. The idea is still being formed, and the vision is coming into focus, but one thing we know for sure: Mason’s life was not an accident, and his death will not be ignored. Check out the tribute page to see what friends and family had to say. Check out the background pages to learn more about Mason, Me, and how the project came to be. If you’d like to be involved, there is a link to submit your suggestions, as well as an Events page to see what’s coming up. Please subscribe to the blog via the aMasongraceproject.com website to continue to receive updates, and follow me on this journey I never wanted to take.