Big Thoughts

Tonight, Owen was full of intense whisperings and kisses to me as I lay nursing Willow to sleep and the light slowly faded from our room. Our lives have been touched lately by death. Geoff’s mother Judy passed away several weeks ago. My mom’s dog died this weekend. We found a dead rodent in our back yard this afternoon. I’m putting this all down so I can remember.

He started off kissing my hands, over and over. “Those are for you to keep.” Me: “Of course, I’ll keep them forever and always.” “I love you, Mama. I will always love you. Sometimes I say I won’t love you, but then I forget about that.” Me: “Yes, sometimes you’re angry, and you say things out of anger, but then you change your mind.”

“Later on, when I’m a grown-up, if the house next door is still for sale, I will buy it and live in it so I can be close to you.”

“Will you hear my whistlings when you die?” Me: “Do you mean will I still be able to hear you whistle after I’m dead?” “Yes” Me: “I don’t know, love… what I know of death is that you can’t move or speak anymore, and that the body decomposes and turns into tiny pieces that are part of the earth and air.” “But could you hear my whistles in your ears, like remembering when I was a little boy?” Me: “I would love to say yes, that I could hear you whistle, but I just don’t know. I don’t know what happens after death. I could think about you whistling as I’m dying…” And here I start quietly shedding tears, imagining that particular scene, and feeling sorry that the hard part about living is the dying, that death is the ultimate period to life’s sentence, that we all eventually have to say goodbye. I don’t ever want to not be here, away from him.

Already I forget what his last thoughts were just before he fell asleep… I do know that his mind moved away from this subject and that we talked of other things. My face is freshly wet again, though, writing all of this down. I feel so lucky to be here. What a miracle that any of us are here at all. I hope it’s a long journey.