~ I wonder if your mother awakened this morning thinking of you. I believe she did. After all, you were her son: the college hockey player, the great musician, the long distant runner, the one with the Master’s Degree.
And once upon a time, it’s hard to imagine, you swam inside her empty womb.
I’m certain the moment she opened her eyes, she remembered. She inhaled, exhaled, and perhaps said a little prayer, or fell to her knees wishing with her entire core you were still here instead of dead inside the cold, Minnesota soil.
She must question what went wrong. What happened. How did it end up this way? Did she love too much, too little, too passively, too aggressively? Was any of it ever enough for you?
I consider her sometimes, your mother, when I’m in a melancholy mood, especially on March 29th, the day of your birth. Does she go to your grave on that particular day, bring you a bouquet of fresh tulips. Does she have regrets about not stopping you from killing my sister? Does she cry for what might have been? I do. I will cry until the day I die.
Yes, it’s true, there are an abundance of tears to last a life-time.
By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask, what was it like before you took your last breath, before you shot yourself in the right temple? Did your whole life emerge before your eyes like we observe in the films? Did you see my sister’s face? Were you pondering going strait to hell, or heaven, or someplace else?
Anyway, my stomach tightened this morning like small fists with open claws.
I wanted to call your mother, ask her how she was doing. I wanted to hug her tightly as two mothers might, and tell her I didn’t blame her for your decision to rip our lives in a million unfinished, unfathomable pieces.
That’s what I wanted to do, but I know I never will.
When you were alive, my sister used to invite us over to your elaborate birthday parties, which I dreaded. She’d bake rice crispy bars with four inches of milk chocolate, her famous molasses baked beans, and she’d scatter multi colored balloons and bowls of M&Ms throughout the living room and kitchen.
I hated being there, watching her run around the house trying to satisfy us while you did nothing, said nothing. I hated that she had to make-up for your limitations like voids and vacant spaces that couldn’t be filled.
There was a darkness flowing there, a sort of Kafkaesque danger, but in all those years, celebrations, births, family dinners, and milestones, I didn’t believe you’d actually kill her.
I thought about your mother today because it’s your birthday.
I know she’s thinking about you, as well, reflecting on what was lost, who you could’ve been, and what will never be. It’s all so damn sad and unnecessary that any of it happened.
You were born and lived and breathed the same air as the entire universe. You could’ve been somebody with substance, a good father, husband, human-being.
You became a murderer.
( On May 26, 2010, my sister, Kay, was shot 3 times in the head by her estranged husband. He then shot himself in the right temple. It was the darkest day of our lives. )
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