I came across some of my early journal entries written just after my son, Kevin, died. This is what I wrote about "THAT" day, the last time I saw my son.
*Early on a cold, winter morning, I saw my beautiful son for the last time.
*I remember that morning, as if it was yesterday; how he looked and what he said are imprinted on my heart and mind.
*It was very early and I was still asleep, hunkered down under the comforter with no thought of waking up anytime soon.
*I remember that I was woken up by a gentle, warming presence in the room and I sensed it was one of my sons.
*When I opened my eyes, there he was . . . his cap turned around backwards on his head, wearing one of favorite surf T-Shirts, shorts and the sounds of his flip flops clicking against his heels, as he moved ever so slowly into the room. I remember that he was coming closer to the foot of the bed, as he was checking to see if I was awake (which he had done since he was old enough to walk into my room, where he knew he was welcome anytime (exept if the door was locked).
*He had come into our room at night until he was about 8 years old, sneaking in and ever softly and gently slipping in under the covers between his Dad and I - his being at the foot of our bed was a normal sight, and here he was again, at age 28, coming home to check in before heading out for the day.
*Seeing him was so comforting - he wasn't living at home anymore, so seeing him for an early morning "Hello" for his Mom was a welcomed treat for sure. I flipped over and said “Hi, son - whatcha doing.” He said, “Hey Mom - there’s an offshore storm that’s brought in 15-20 ft waves and Todd and I are heading down to Dog Patch for some rides!” Todd was one of his close surfing buddies and Dog Patch was his "sweet spot" on Earth - a famous surf spot in So. California where the Hawaiian surfers hung out in the 1950's. It's a classic surfspot with lots of history and stories of the "old" days, as locals say.
*When I heard that he would be surfing in stormy surf and big waves, I wanted to say “Oh, son, be careful,” but something stopped me -I choked on the words that I would be sending him off with words coming from my mother’s fears, because he was fearless and very comfortable surfing BIG waves -actually the bigger the better. But, I remember even now that I did sense the possibility that he might be harmed in some way, but I didn't want those to be my sending words to him.
*So, instead of saying "be careful," I said, “Kowabunda Dude! Have fun, I love you!” Hearing me say “kowabunga dude” (my attempt at being a cool surfer’s mom) made Kevin laugh out loud.
*And, after one of his throw-your-head back belly laughs, he said, “Ok Mama.” He then gently patted the head of our little Lhasa Apsos dog, Nikki, on the foot of the bed, then he smiled, turned and was gone.
*In that moment, I just laid there listening to the engine on his truck purr and time seemed to stand still and for some reason that I couldn't explain then, I held onto the sound of his truck leaving the driveway until I could hear the engine running no more. As I look back now, I didn't know then why I waited to listen to him drive his truck out of the driveway - but, I do recall that somehow I felt that was a special moment and so it was.
*I've asked myself a hundred times, "Why didn't you get up and greet your son? "Why didn't I show him how glad I was to see him by getting out of bed, offering to make him breakfast. If I had done that I could have had one more look at him, one more of his hugs, soaking in the scent of him, looking at his beautiful face and into those amazing Irish GREEN eyes that were the mirrors of his “beautiful soul.”
*Though I regret not getting out of bed, I treasure those moments we shared for the last " good morning," and I learned a very important lesson- - I never say goodbye to anyone that I love without looking into their eyes, giving them a hug and telling them “I Love YOU!”
Looking Back and Remembering,
Angie "a mom like you"