IX

I still remember the first time I laid eyes on you. My heart nearly burst, in the best way possible. Carrying you in my arms to our home, making sure everything in my life was ready for you. It wasn’t of course. We learned as we went.

You were never good at playing ball, or even listening really, but it didn’t matter. You had the best qualities I could’ve hoped for; you were kind, gentle, full of love for everything and everyone. You were loved by everyone. It’s those innate qualities that can’t be taught that made you so precious, that made your loss hurt that much more deeply. The raw wound to my soul is still gaping.

Nine years ago I remember watching the life fade from your eyes. My heart nearly burst, in the worst way possible. I’m crying now even at the memory of that moment.

I loved you. I love you. I will always love you. You are my boy.

The rage that erupts within me every time I think about how you were far too young to be taken from us, from me, is only surpassed by the guilt I still feel. If only I had done more. If only I had seen the symptoms sooner. If only. I torture myself because I know it’s only a fraction of the pain you went through yet you were so brave for those last weeks, always with a light in your eye and love in your heart, even until the end.

We all grow. We all change. I can only imagine what you would think of the man I’ve become. I work hard every day to be better. I can only imagine how you would have grown by now, how much more pride I would have in you.

You will always be missed.

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