My heart cries out to God today as the tears fall to collide with the memories. Memories of you as a baby. The fear when you developed croup when you were only 3 months old and I rushed you to the hospital. The fear at having to leave you in the hospital as you battled high fevers resulting from ear infections. The fear of watching you learn to walk on your tiptoes and run until you hit a wall and fell. The fear when you had outpatient operations for bladder issues when you looked at me with huge eyes and cried with the pain. Always, my son, I feared for you.
And I loved you. I loved seeing your tiny little hands and fingers that would one day become those of a man. I loved the way you made us laugh. I loved your spirit of adventure. I loved your blue eyes and the freckles across your nose. I loved holding you on my lap during church. I loved watching you play baseball and making T-shirts for you from your favorite chosen material. I loved watching you grow and praying God would bless you and watch over you.
The time came when you decided to live with your father, and I understood, but my heart broke. I cried at night when no one could hear me. I missed you so, but you were old enough to make your own choice, a teenager becoming a man. I rejoiced when you gave your heart to Jesus. I suffered along with you when disappointment and heartache injured you, and when you underwent skin grafts to repair the damage from being burned in that awful fire.
Son, I saw the way the alcohol became your demon. I prayed for God to bring you back to Him, to help you overcome your addiction. I rejoiced with you in the victories and the successes of your life. I hurt when you were disappointed and cried out for help in a suicide attempt.
Then came the time when things seemed to be better. You seemed happy, but you were so good at hiding deep thoughts or voicing them cryptically. I remember the last time we spoke and you told me you weren’t going to live to see 50. You spoke about being hurt and confused about your current girlfriend and your life. I asked you to come home for a visit and you seemed to want to do that. But instead, you hid your deep depression and planned your death. Your suicide was a calculated and well-laid out plan, which I never heard about until after you hooked the hose to the exhaust knowing no one would find you until the deed was done.
When I received a call from the coroner’s office, I couldn’t believe you were really gone. I didn’t get to say goodbye. I didn’t get to say how much I loved you. I didn’t get to save you.
I cry because I missed the signs. I cry because I wonder what I could have said or done differently. I cry for the man who once was a tiny baby in my arms. I cry for the lost life and I pray for your soul. I pray that God will let me see you once again.
I cry as the tears collide with the memories and the love that never fades.