the 10th of December

Because this is my life now.

It is the best explanation I have about why, for the first time since Gabe’s birth, I think I will have to work on his birthday. I have always been able to take the day off. In the midst of the merde 2 years ago, my former sys admin backstopped me. Standing between me and my team, he gave me a rare and wondrous gift of time and care, without ever quite knowing what he did.

There is no burly Australian this year. There is only me, and I am realizing that this is my life now. There is only me. Enough time has asked that I don’t want to ask for special consideration. I have to do it this year.

And so, on the 9th of December, I will fly to Victoria, just like I always do. I will get up on the 10th of December, and I will go to work. On the day my little boy would have turned 5, I will go to work and it will – somehow – be ok.

It’s this strange somehow I am reconciling myself to. For five years we have gone somewhere and ordered a piece of cake with a candle, and Mr. Spit and I have sung our son happy birthday, believing that he could hear us. I believe in that notion like I believe in gravity and kindness. It is a core part of who I am, how I manage the tragedy in my life.

In 5 years I have never been able to ask for the cake. I lose my words. Mr. Spit does that. On the night of the 10th, I will find the words. I will put my phone on speaker, and I will call Mr. Spit, and we will sing. I will take the photo in a dark restaurant, and post it on Facebook.

At 10:36 pm, I will wrap my arms around myself and close my eyes and let myself remember the son I loved more than life itself.

I hope, I think, I pray, somewhere around 11 pm I will pour myself a shot of bourbon and toast myself, the woman I have become. I will, for just a few minutes, remind myself that I have a backbone of steel. I am stronger and more durable than I think.

He didn’t get to stay, and I am still here.

Because this is my life now.

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10 Responses to the 10th of December

  1. Jen says:

    Beautiful words for a beautiful boy. With love from his wonderful Mom.

  2. HereWeGoAJen says:

    Hugs to you, now and then.

  3. excavator says:

    Such a dreadful journey, the going from there to here. And to know yourself strong.

  4. a says:

    Shared sorrow sometimes makes the burden easier…but sometimes it’s good to wallow by yourself. So maybe it’s time for you to order the cake, and time for you to remember Gabriel on your own, and then you can know (like the rest of us do) how strong you really are.

  5. debby says:

    From then til now is a lot of distance. You’re running yet another marathon. It takes tenacity to continue on, and you have that. In spades. You are a marvelous woman who continues to inspire me. Thank you.

  6. anonymous says:

    It may sound cliche, but your son would want you to live well

  7. Reese says:

    I can hardly believe its been 5 years, and life did in fact move us on….

  8. Catherine W says:

    Oh Mrs. Spit. You made my eyes fill up at work with this post. I will be thinking of you and Gabriel on the 10th and I will raise a glass to a woman, far away, with a backbone of steel and a boy that I wish could have stayed. In a family that believe in gravity and kindness and love him so.

  9. loribeth says:

    Oh, Mrs. Spit. Tears. I’ve always tried to take one or both of Katie’s days off work… but some years, it just hasn’t been possible. Some years, I’ve been off, but far, far away from home & the cemetery. Some years it’s OK, some years, not so much — but I’m still here. I survived.

    It WILL be OK. We ARE a lot stronger than we sometimes give ourselves credit for.

    There will be you & Mr. Spit on the phone… and a legion of us there with you in spirit, singing softly along.

  10. Lydia says:

    Here from stirrup-queens. Mrs Spit, I am so sorry for your loss, your five years of heartbreak. I will be thinking of your son on the 10th of December.

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