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11 Months

11 Months Today

I had a dream about you the other night Dylan. You looked so healthy and happy - busy helping out a customer in a health food store, spouting off all of the knowledge you had about a product they were interested in. I tried to catch your eye, but you would not be distracted from the task at hand and rather than being miffed at being ignored, I was impressed by your focus and your intelligence. I so miss being able to call you up to ask your opinion about supplements, technology… even politics. You were wise beyond your years and your ability to immerse yourself fully into a subject until you had a firm and complete knowledge about it was always so alien to me…. so absolutely wonderful…. and so uniquely, YOU.

We celebrated your birthday on April 4th. That was a really tough day for all of us and very bittersweet. I spent a lot of time in the morning going through the second huge bin of old photographs from the basement – so many wonderful and happy memories of you as a little boy, so many great experiences we had together as a family and so much travel and fun. Admittedly, we had our struggles, but it was very therapeutic for me to remember that we had many, many wonderful moments together even though there weren’t as many in the last few years of us living apart. I’m so grateful to have the photos I still have and have resolved to make a few albums so they don’t stay hidden in a bin in the basement. They are so precious!

Later that afternoon, Jim and Ayanna drove with me over to West Kelowna and I placed a stone on the West Side at Gellatly Park, the place where you and I would always go to swim Seymour. I bet we spent hundreds of hours there together over the years. I also remembered sitting on the dock there with you cradling your pet bunny Cottonball after a vet had told us we would have to put him down due to his wry neck syndrome. You were probably 13 and we both sobbed at the thought of losing him. You were holding him and you said to me after a moment, “Mom, he’s NOT in pain, his neck is just bent around. Look into his eyes, he’s NOT suffering”. Indeed, you were right and we took him home and he lived another two years. You spent hours looking online at ways to help reverse his neck condition. Again, your motivation to learn everything there was to know about nutrition was evident even then. Your stone is looking out over the lake in the sunshine. It’s a beautiful spot and is the first stone I’ve put here in Kelowna. Happy 23rd Dylan.

Justin got a memorial tattoo on your birthday. It’s your signature with your birthday underneath and the Japanese Reiki Symbol that represents the highest energy. It’s on his chest, over his heart. Normally, I don’t really like tattoos but I completely understand and approve of this one. Eden was really disappointed that she couldn’t get hers as she’s not 18 yet. She has a very definite vision of what she wants and again, I think it’s perfect and symbolic and… well, right. They spent most of the day together which was important to them. Your death has created a deeper bond between them than ever could have existed when you were alive and it’s beautiful to watch it evolve. I’m so grateful that they have come together like they have .

We took a family photo the next day at Kinsmen Park with Justin, Eden, Jimmy and Allie, Jessica, Karey, Emma and Ayanna. I held up a photo of you for our family picture Dylan. You are always part of every gathering we have. It was on Easter Sunday and we had a beautiful family day together with a big organic turkey dinner and team Pictionary afterward. Such a great time together, the stuff memories are made of!

Life is busy and hectic right now as my teaching practice ramps up towards the end of the school year, Kitsch and Smitten are booking gigs and the play I’m directing (and Jim is acting in) is getting ready to go up April 22nd. I like being busy… it is life affirming and it helps but I also need to find quiet, alone time… time to be sad, time to just sit and breathe, time to miss you. There are times when I still feel angry… why did it have to be you? It’s just so bloody unfair but then a tragedy like the plane crash that just happened occurs and 16 teenagers coming home from a holiday are killed and it reinforces the harsh reality that LIFE isn’t fair… it’s just not. Instead of asking “why me?”. I’m finding time to be grateful for all of those times when it isn’t me or mine. This shift helps me stay more focused on those that I love and the things I love to do. It can all be taken away in one heart beat so above all else, I’m learning to slow down and value what I value. This next year will continue to bring about a lot of other time management shifts and it’s all because of you honey.

You continue to teach me Dilly. I love you and miss you so much.

- Mom xoxo

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