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What of My Life?

on 9 June, 2018

What makes my life so valuable, when my son’s life was not?

I imagine that if I ever were in such a bad place as to take my own life, it would be because I failed my son. I failed him in so many ways that I spend hours debating the value of my life. And have come to the conclusion that my life no longer holds any value.

I loved that kid more than anyone has ever loved their child. I walked through fire just to bring him into this world and god dammit, 22 years was not enough. I want him back.

Of all the wonderfulness that he was and brought into my life, just makes my mind and soul ache. Oh, I put on a brave face most days, but I am really not sure how much more can I stand. As I am in this house, I listen for him. The far away sounds of his computer playing video games and the way he would take the stairs two at a time coming down in the morning. I miss his smell and his voice and his wonderful smile. The way he used to get so excited like he couldn’t sit still. He had such enthusiasm about even the minute things, but it was always there.

I used to describe his smile to people by saying that he smiled with his whole face:IMG_6683

Do you see it? Even his ears are part of his joy.

How do I communicate what an amazing and wonderful person he was? And how it continues to devastate me every second that his is not here with me.

Why didn’t I see it? It had to be there. Was I so hard to talk to that he preferred to die rather than discuss it with me?

And what of my life?

Streeter's Mom Final


2 responses to “What of My Life?

  1. geoffmitch says:

    This was another powerful post. And as I read it, two thoughts crossed my mind. One is that this is an unimaginable situation – the loss, and being in the home where the routines and habits continue to echo through the sudden emptiness. I can’t begin to imagine the grief and have deep empathy for you wrestling with how things could have reached the point they did without you knowing it. That’s got to be tormenting.

    The other thought that struck me, suddenly, is that you’ve never been “Streeter’s Mom” to me. You’ve been “JBG”. And I think that’s an important point to consider and be reminded of. Without, of course, at all taking away the importance of being Streeters Mom. Just… that’s not all you’ve been in this lifetime, and not what defines your value or influence on me or others.

    If memory serves me right, I recall your efforts to have him, and vaguely recall either seeing a photo of him or meeting him on campus once. Maybe. Honestly, I really don’t remember… I’m old and there are lots of blurs in my hindsight. But today, while shopping, as “Hanging on the Telephone” came on the store speakers, I thought of you. Just as I did when I saw Blondie in the Mountain Winery last year. I always do, because I recall how much you liked that song. Chris Isaak is playing at that venue this year and yeah, that’s another artist who reminds me of you, as does the time a few years ago I drove by what used to be “The Oasis” in San Jose. Same with the Living Books CD/Games CD we recently discussed. And a few months back, I was in an antique shop and snapped a photo of some Corelle-ware to send, but never did, yet when I see it on Mad Men or in person it makes me think of you. “JBG”.

    My point being, you’re not ONLY Streeters Mom. You were JBG before, and during, too, when your posts of quilts and detailed models with Mac’s and Corelle-ware were expressions of your interests and identity. And by no means do I intend to discount at all your horrible pain and struggle OR the value and importance and significance of your role as a parent, and such an unimaginable loss. I’m a parent too. I can’t imagine what you’re dealing with. But I just wanted to tell you that if you’re reflecting on the value or importance or significance of your life, it might be good to step back and recognize the vast scope it encompasses. That’s all.

    • MacCupcake says:

      See, what you don’t seem to understand is that I am no longer that “JBG”. Twenty some years has changed that person to the one who is here now. There is no going back to who you used to know.

      And those things that you mentioned: the music, the collecting, the delving into technology, has all been tweaked and changed the person I am today. I shared ALL of that and more with my son, and now I have moved on from that person “JBG” to “Streeter’s mom”.

      I haven’t been able to get excited for the creative work that I have done these twenty odd years, primarily because it was something that I always shared, even if only in very small ways. He was there to lend an opinion on how colors might go together in a quilt, or to help shift all the weight of an almost finished quilt when I was binding it. He was my lifting and fetching assistant, helping me to score new pieces of furniture. He helped in many, many ways while restoring furniture and was the creative genius in seeing one thing and how it could be turned into something new.

      He shared – most of all – his time with me. We appreciated and came to love the music each other liked. He would cook for me, critique movies with me, and shared a love of adventure with me. I doubt that 90% of that which I experienced in the past twenty years would have come to fruition if not for him being my best friend and co-conspirator.

      What is left is pretty much a hollow shell of the person I was just a few months ago. And as I mentioned, JBG no longer exists.

      On Mother’s Day, I posted a graphic titled “Trauma Permanently Changes Us” and there is a line that reads; “The is no “back to the old me. You are different now, full stop.”

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