30 Sep it makes no sense
Newsflash: I have been sobbing on and off all day. Shocker, right? Holly is crying again. Holly is missing her boy again. Holly is posting a picture of Mason on Facebook again. Will it ever stop? Will she ever move on? Lemme answer that: nope. I am forever paralyzed, forever suspended in grief, forever grappling with reality because this feels like a dream. It feels so fake, but I cannot find a way back to my real life. I am still begging God to give me back my boy. I cannot move on. Everyone else has, but I am still stuck here, in this moment, in THAT moment, trying to fix everything. If you’re as sick of me as I am, please feel free to stop reading the blog. I totally understand. It’s the same crap, different day.
I write these blog entries to get some of the grief out, to put into words this anguish that tries to smother me every day. Maybe this little blog will one day help me make sense of things. My stomach hurts every day. My eyes leak tears every other minute, and when they’re not leaking, they’re burning. I’m so tired. I just want to go to sleep and find Mason. I am absolutely sick of this life and cannot wait for it to end. How unlike me.
I used to post on FB about how much I loved my life. ILML!!!!! All the time, every week, invariably there would be a post about how thankful I was for my life and how much I loved it. I seriously loved my life. That’s not to say I didn’t have problems, I just never aired them on Facebook. I posted positive, fun stuff all of the time. Funny posts. Happy posts. Pictures of my travels. Stories of the conversations I had with my son, Mason, usually followed by ILML. I have never had the ‘FML’ attitude. Not me. Happy, happy, happy. I viewed FB as an avenue for fun, not a source of therapy or real friendship. Real stuff happens in real life, not online, right?
That’s how I used to feel. Now I get it. Now I understand why some people post their most personal thoughts on FB. Real life is hard, and real relationships are hard to find. Sometimes we need our virtual friends to chime in with a ‘like’ or a quick comment to let us know they’re thinking of us. I get it now. I have never felt more alone in my whole life… I am so thankful for an online community of support. Whether or not we have met, the encouragement is much appreciated. I need this outlet. It’s just me, and I feel alone every second of every day, even when I am sitting between two friends and laughing at a joke they’ve just shared.
I’m so sick of feeling this way. Seriously. I am not drawn to misery. I am gifted with inner joy. I am determined to thrive, not just survive. I have never, in my life, laid in bed, felt sorry for myself, played the victim, and expected someone to fix things for me. I won’t do it now, either. If you’ve met me, you know that I love to laugh. I absolutely love it. I am full of joy, I find humor in all kinds of situations, I tease my friends and I play to the crowd and I would do almost anything to laugh! Knowing that, you can imagine how foreign this dark cloud feels, and how repulsive it is to do battle with grief every dumb day.
So here I am… in an ‘unfixable’ situation, with a heart full of grief, and no light at the end of the tunnel. It is unfamiliar territory, for sure. It is beyond uncomfortable. It is scary and miserable and painful. Who will help me come up with a new ILML post for facebook? I’d really like to get back to that life. I didn’t grow up in a warm and fuzzy bubble of candy coated love. I worked hard to create an amazing life for myself and my son. I fought some tough battles to preserve a safe, healthy environment. I worked hard to earn the money to provide, and to have some pretty cool vacations. I invested a piece of myself into my son every single day of his life, and as a result, I was the love of his life and he was mine. I want it all back!
Sometimes, I blame myself for what happened on June 3rd. I hold my own hand to the fire and I burn it repeatedly, because I am convinced, somehow, I failed. I get angry at the universe, I want to blame anyone but myself, so I start thinking of every single person who failed Mason, let him down, abandoned or hurt him… and I want to blame them, but I know it isn’t their fault. They weren’t even on his radar. There is a small handful of people that Mason wrote off a long time ago. He recognized them for who they were, and chose not to chase them for love. He was waaaay smarter than I was at 13 & 14. No, it wasn’t their fault. They had nothing to do with him in life, and nothing to do with him in death. Inevitably, I move away from ‘them’ and point the finger back to me. That makes more sense, right?
Only it doesn’t make sense… not really. How can I blame myself? I loved him more than anyone on this earth. From the moment he was born, I protected him. I didn’t let the nurses prick his heel every hour just because he was a big baby (Uh, no thanks. He’s fine.). I didn’t let the preschool administrator get away with leaving him unattended on the playground (some other boy would bite him daily… hello? Unacceptable!). I defended him in 3rd grade when he got in trouble for protecting himself against the 5th grade bully (so what if the wine bottle opener he brought looked like a pocket knife? It was his version of West Side Story and they were about to have a dance off!). I held him while he cried after his 13th birthday because his ‘dad’ showed up drunk, then abandoned him for the second time in his life. (I was the one who begged his dad to stay involved, to stick it out, to stay in touch, anything but break my son’s heart again.) I was the one who bought him more shoes because they wouldn’t even return his shoes to him. It’s sad, but absolutely true.
I was the one who bought him glasses because it made his vision ‘crisper’ (he liked that word). I think he liked how he looked more than how it made him see… if you catch my drift. I was the one who dipped into savings to slap braces on teeth that were already perfect. He just didn’t like the gaps… which would eventually close up, but he couldn’t wait. I caved. Let’s get the braces! It made him so happy! Every smile thereafter was filled with a big, fat, metal grin! I was the one who comforted him when a girlfriend broke up with him, when a youth leader told him to never come back to youth group, when his best friend left him alone at the lunch table and made him feel left out. ME. I was there.
I was the one to handle the sex talk. I was the one who caught him smoking, and talked to him about choices. I was the one who picked him up when he was suspended for kissing at school and ditching the dean… I was the one who had the conversation with him: “It’s not the mistake that defines your character. It’s what you do afterwards.” I was there when he was hurt. I was there when the thunder and lightning scared him. I was there when he needed to shnuggle after watching a scary movie with his friends (don’t tell him I told you). I was there when he made mistakes, which FYI is a normal part of growing up, so let’s keep our little judgments in check. Even Dr. Dobson suggests that we want our kids to make their mistakes while they’re young when the consequences are smaller…
I was the one who was always there, without fail. Me. Mama. Shmuvver.
It makes no sense that he would be taken from me, when lousy parents keep breeding. I dedicated my life to raising him with love and respect. He was happy, fun, kind. He was energetic, hopeful, encouraging, generous. He was magnetic, and people were inexplicably drawn to him. The girls wanted to date him, and the guys wanted to be in his circle. He befriended the outcasts, preferring them to the kids who were so ‘mainstream.’ He was beautiful, outside and inside. It makes no sense that he would not be given another chance. It makes no sense that he was not saved.
We loved each other senselessly. We fought, sure, but we always forgave each other. We apologized to each other when we were wrong. Yes, I apologized to my son when I was wrong and he manned up and apologized to me when he was wrong. We had an amazing relationship – anyone who knew us can vouch for that. When my mind spirals out of control, and all of my blaming fingers point back to me, I have to remember the truth. Other parents wish they were as close with their child as I was with mine. Which brings me back to WHY? Why us? Why him? Why death?
I am somewhat comforted by what I found in his phone, if ‘comforted’ is the right word. I should have read his phone immediately, but I was too distraught. Too shocked. Too consumed with grief. Honestly, too afraid of what I might find. I eventually did go through his phone. I read everything. It is obvious that he meant this as a diversion tactic. He had no idea this would be permanent; he was pulling a major stunt to get out of trouble. A typical teenager thing to do, only Mason chose the wrong method and was killed instantly. He is gone because he made a terrible decision that he thought he could control… he is gone because he didn’t get a second chance. He made a mistake that went too far. It is unfair, incomprehensible, and insane. Soooo many people get second chances. Why not Mason??? I cannot wrap my head around it.
It. Makes. No. Sense.
So I write. I think. I read. I dream. I remember. I imagine. I cry, and I cry, and I cry. I’m no closer to finding a way out of this thick, painful fog, and nowhere near figuring out how to live. That’s where I am, folks. Seventeen weeks later, and I am still lying on the bathroom floor, pouring my heart into the rug, hoping my neighbors cannot hear me. I am still standing in the kitchen, begging God to return my son to me. I am still staring at the mother’s day plant from two years ago, hoping it never, ever dies, and wondering what I can do to climb back through the tunnel of time and find June 3rd again.
To live without him is crushing me.