On Facebook, for the month of November, I post 30 days of thanks as my status. I knew this November was going to be a real challenge, but I committed myself to really digging deep and reminding myself that, yes, I do have much to be thankful for.
Today, November 18th, 2013, is six months without the greatest boy ever. Six months and one day ago I'd have never believed that, were this to happen, I'd still be alive six months later. If you've ever lost a child, or even someone you love, you will understand when I say, you are certain that the earth will swallow you whole from the pain. I was certain of that before Brandon died and I maintained that certainty after he died. Maybe I just hoped really hard that I wouldn't make it, I'm not sure. I do know that I fully understand not being able to think even one day ahead of where you're at. It will crush you.
Today, I am choosing to be thankful for the memories that I have. It's a very difficult thanks, believe it or not. Having your mind intact is a mixed bag; with the memories come the tears, the anguish, the hole in your life that you're aware of. I have cried every day for the last six months. The tears, blessedly, do not fall with the same frequency or volume, but they are always right there, just under the surface. I still recoil at the memory of the phone call that changed my life and the wailing that followed for weeks after. Those memories are absolute torture, for lack of a better, stronger word for the pain they cause. I wonder, sometimes, how much easier it might be if my memory just stopped working. However, I know that having 19 years of memories around my boy is a huge blessing. No one else had *our* memories, no one else spent as many days on this earth with that boy as I did and thank God that I am aware of what I had all those years. I can look at pictures and, although that usually brings the tears, I can remember the day or that time of our lives and all the feelings that go with it. The memories are there and I can get lost in them for however long I choose. Someday, those memories will bring smiles and happiness, instead of having to mop away the tears.