Monday, November 12, 2012

My Ghost Sings Haunted Heart

Ghost, you torment me night and day, day and night.  Your dedication to me is overwhelming. Really, you could take a break and it would not hurt.

Everywhere I go, I see you  . . . even in my sleep;

In windows, on streets, through school-yard fences;
I see your face in small children in their mother's arms -a time I did not have;
From the toddler boy in a stroller or playing with their toy car;
To the all-knowing tweens and teens around the city;
And in the young college men who surround me on campus.

Haunting and tormenting me through ways unimagined.  While I am not alone walking through this process.  Ghost, I tell you that I take no comfort that others share the same path.  I want you to know, it just doesn't matter how many others there are who are haunted by ghosts like you.

But I need to find a way through this abyss or you will certainly change me.  I need to find a foothold onto something, anything, that will not haunt me as you are doing.

And then the ah-ha moment arrives.  Lifting narratives and connections from something else can be yours as well.  Because you are always with me, hovering over my body, I am always trying to make sense of our path.

In the October 19th NY Times Magazine, writer Lisa Carver wrote about how she learned to love Yoko Ono that deeply resonated with my struggle.  Go figure.  Carver writes that, "Ono uses the negative positively, similar to the Japanese use of negative space in decorating and the unspoken in conversations."

She goes onto say that, "It’s paradoxical, but it seems that when you accept loss, it loses its tenacity to stay lost. Ono wived by letting husbands go; she mothered her daughter by letting her go. Lennon got the urge to roam, and she told him: Go! Go roam! And he did, and then he called and said he wanted to come home, and she said, No, you’re not ready. Ono believes in the right to drift."  

And then the light bulb went off in my brain and subsequently in my heart.  While I may give my life's work to preventing my ghost from troubles and assisting him when in the eye of the storm, I am thinking that I must learn to embrace the negative positively.  I must find a place to accept loss and begin to be whole in my life.  

If I cannot prevent the wholesale destruction that I can see from my rear-view window, then can I live with my role as the clean-up crew over and over again.  Can, I create a soft landing, such as a discarded mattress on the street for him to lay his head, or do I have to see him flutterr away like a plastic bag in a breeze?

Right now, this is unknown.  It is both a fear and an insight that rests in my heart.  It causes the beats per minute to to be dangerously high and the volume of tears to fill an ocean.  However, it maybe what will be.

In the night
thought we're apart
there's a ghost of you
within my haunted  heart

Jane Monheit, Live at the Rainbow Room, singing, "Hauted Heart" (2002)

Monday, October 15, 2012

10 cups of espresso with a packet of adrenaline

I am sitting here in the light of a laptop awaiting the return of the boy to his school.  This first home visit was one that we were so excited about and filled with much promise.  Coming in at gate 13 (omen or coincidence that is his birthday?) brought the light of my life into view.

Jumping up and down as the airplane landed and starring out the window at the gate filled me with such happiness and excitement.  Plans, schedules, input, hard work, and amazing insights brought us to this point some 409 days or 9,816 hours after this journey began.

I truly believed that we would see the cracks, but that they could be repaired without major structural damage.  I truly believed that I would be right in my insights into the bread-crumbs that were dropped at the last visit and in telephone conversations that followed.  I truly believed that I would be right, but that I was open to being wrong with every inch of my being.

I was right.

As I try to stay awake for what will be the ripping of the child from my arms, I will turn around, walk upstairs, and take a sleeping pill.  This, I hope will counter the enormous amount of caffeine and adrenaline pumping through my body.  I hope the nausea will retreat, that my psyche will be tampered down, and that my bundle of joy arrives safe and sound.

I love him and already miss him more than I could imagine.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The High School Years Begin

Today my son would be entering high school with his friends from many years.  However, he will make this transition in a few weeks in his school out of state.  It is at these rituals where I become a bit of a weepy mess.

Our normal is not one that feels familiar or right.  I want to be able to watch parents and children together, but find that I have zero tolerance for the sight of them and god forbid the sounds of a crying toddler.

I want to be able to watch the back to school commercials that run incessantly at this time, but the thought of not buying supplies, clothes, a backpack and getting it all ready for the first day makes me want to pull the TV out of the wall.

I want to drive the streets behind the yellow school buses and look in the windows during a red light and give a slight smile to the kids on their way to a new grade, a new adventure, but I am happy to be on a train with my dark sunglasses on and reading a newspaper oblivious to the school buses that take up the streets below.

During this time, I will have to come to terms that our firsts are going to be different. While I intellectually know this to be the case, emotionally, the loss is pretty close to the surface. I am certainly grateful for all the excellent work, grades, and growth that has taken place.

But I really just want to pick out his first day of school clothes, put him on a bus, and then hear how his first day of high school is over dinner.  We would then go to sleep and doing it again for 179 other days.  Just like I imagined.

I get so emotional, every time I think of you  . . .