It was the first semblance of a Thanksgiving Day since my 16-year-old academics-honor son, Sam, died from teen curiosity and unknowingly took a synthetic drug that killed him overnight. That happened three years ago. I died three years ago. I live today in the glory of love. I had avoided the holiday season in years past like the plague. This year I thought was different. Truth be known, I’m still in many ways dead to the world. I celebrated the holiday for my family that remains post-mortem because they deserve that. With what they have faced and dealt with in the past three seasons, warrants that they deserve a peaceful heart… if not a peaceful day as well for Thanksgiving.
What I deserve is not even a question. I don’t use the same measurement stick. Instead I lick my pointer finger and raise it to the air and see which way the wind blows, day-by-day. On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, I was busy with what the holiday provides... love. I was thankful. I was prayerful that God watch over those who are not here with us this holiday season except in our hearts… always, in our hearts.
The day after Thanksgiving, I slept through. What seemed five minutes was actually an hour and by the time I could groggily awaken my spirits the day was over. I existed that day no other way. I was thankful.
I thought I had sufficiently celebrated and survived the holiday until I was in grad school class Monday afternoon. My professor shared how his mother had been ill and his emotional roller coaster of the Thanksgiving break. As he concluded, I could empathize with his roller coaster and I felt I could share that my holiday, too, was emotional. As that led to his questions and my answers I only know to be mine, he shared how a friend of his had experienced loss and in the throes of grief had told him he had laid in the grass for a period of time one day. I then felt open enough to share that I too, had experienced a time with a blanket laying in my front yard in the late summer grass after my Sammy had died. As I had laid there, I had fallen asleep and a neighbor had passed by and disturbed my blanket to ask me if I was okay. I had told them I was. And I was. For my okay. Then as dusk approached, Nick had come out to the front yard and awoken me again. He helped me up and inside at that point. My professor then asked me what it was that I was trying to achieve by laying out in the yard like that. I was trying to achieve surviving I told him. And I did. I lived another day of the horror in losing my child. #muchlovetosam