A friend-ish frequently comments that I am driven and determined. He simply does not get it.
I am neither.
I live with almost no fear.
It is simple and profound. The sort of thing that cuts beyond the quick and leaves you breathless (well it should).
I held my son for half an hour while he suffocated to death and died.
There is no amount of money that could stop his death. There was no Plan B. No risk mitigation. There were no guidelines, no checklist and there was nothing to be done.
He dies or you both die.
Sometimes that’s the way life works.
So I sang him lullabies.
Someone took a photo.
It sits on my dresser.
And then I came back, slowly. Painfully. Found ways to integrate the sorrow in my life. Reasons to smile again. New sources of joy.
I am not driven and determined, I am fearless.
What more can you take from me? What do you think you could do that I could not survive?
Gabe’s tree is taller than 6 feet.The main trunk is thicker than my arm.
I pruned it heavily this year, taking two branches to make a wreath. I think of this, of the little boy who isn’t, of the size of his memory, the size of his tree and the depth of my reserves.
And I am comforted.