I rocked with my son for two hours. I memorized every detail of his face. He had just recently had the first of many scheduled reconstructive surgeries, repairing his cleft lip. He was so perfect, so innocent. I wept. My first love, my son, was no longer with me. I felt as if I was in a movie, rocking with him. It was as if every special moment I had with my son was replaying in my mind in slow motion. I wept some more.
I remember many things from that painful day. I close my eyes and I can see him looking back at me in the rear-view mirror and smiling. That was his last smile. I remember the fear I felt when the policeman spoke to me. It was at the time so many young woman were throwing their children away, and I feared I would be accused of harming my own son. I remember the way he looked and how he smelled. Mostly, though, I remember the two hours I spent in the rocking chair with him. The was the last time I ever held my son in my arms. And, I still remember how that felt.
The next day was my twentieth birthday. Instead of celebrating, I was planning my sonīs funeral and mourning my loss. I didnīt want any of this to be happening, but it was a truth I had to face. As I viewed samples of memorial folders, I kept questioning why. Why had this happened? What had I done to deserve this? Why was I being punished? Why me? I loved him and cared for him. I was a great mother, so why me?
I felt so many emotions. At times, I was numb and incapable of feeling anything. Other times, I was angry with the world. Mostly though, I was sad. I had lost the only thing in my life I had loved. I had lost the only thing in life I was good at, being my sonīs mother. I began to question the meaning of life, and the religious beliefs I was raised with. I even questioned whether or not my life had worth now, since the one thing that made me happy was gone. I wanted it to all go away. It wouldnīt. I had a reality to deal with, and I needed to be strong.
(as told by a friend, part 2 of 3)
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|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|