June Gloom

It is the beginning of Summer for me. The school year winds down. Graduation tonight and then the last day of school.

All the windows are open letting the breeze flow through and this warm preview of a summer night has the air filled with the sound of a thousand frogs.

And all I am thinking of is that even after three years that this is wrong. My son, Ethan, should be on his way home. I should be looking forward to spending time with him. Or maybe this was the year we drove up for his graduation. And hung out in Fresno. Instead I have this empty grating feeling. I look forward to empty lonely days. To keeping myself busy to keep those things inside me quiet. Distractions. Distraction from feeling sad or alone or lost or wrong or angry…

I haven’t written about it… this more quiet chapter of grief- where the question of, “why God, why?” grows quiet and the tears subside. “I will hold you until the screaming is gone.” He said as he stroked my hair. I remember doing that to Ethan… holding my boy and putting my hand on his head. And I look up to a clear starry sky that doesn’t look real. There are no words.

And what feels real? What do I look forward to? What do I breathe? Outside the dog barks and she says she wants to sleep inside. And I keep thinking that this is wrong. And the sound of frogs blends with the ringing in my ears. I reach for words… for those questions…

Is it color or memory? Or the grainy silent memory like Super 8 film? Or the taste of burnt toast? Or fever fueled nightmares of claustrophobic spaces? Or the smell of fresh paint? I am so tired… and feeling old and fat and sick. Sometimes I just want it to be over. And I never tell anyone.

I manage to hold a memory for a moment. Sitting on the couch with a younger Ethan and his head on my chest. Too warm under that tiger blanket and the old grey cat… but happy eating pop corn and watching a rented video tape. It is a happy moment and it will have to do tonight. It will have to do.


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