Once upon a time…
I’ve been trying so hard to tell a story and I don’t know where to begin. I have one child, a son. He was always a healthy, robust child, small for his age but athletic, incredibly gifted in the arts and intellectually. We lived a happy, normal life, his Dad, Jeff and I. At the age of thirteen he became ill, very ill with a rare illness that was swiftly diagnosed by world renowned pediatric experts. Despite this, he couldn’t get better, in fact he kept getting sicker and sicker. It is, we were to learn, a hallmark of the illness. He had an adverse reaction to the only medication that helped him, so was no longer able to take it. He was in constant pain, was severely dehydrated and was hospitalized multiple times within a short period of time. He lost weight rapidly, weighing in at eighty four pounds at one point at thirteen years of age. He became gravely ill. It turned into a lasting crisis that we, as a family, in our wildest imagination, couldn’t have thought would ever happen to him or us. He lost school days which turned into weeks then months. He eventually lost all but one of his friends. He lost his dignity. He eventually lost everything including both his parents and his still forming identity. He lost his soul. He did, however survive years of physical and mental anguish. He, miraculously, survived and is still, years later diligently working his way through picking apart the trauma that was inflicted on him at the hand’s of a couple of massive beaurocratic systems which his parents were rendered helpless against.
My son’s name is Jeff. The trauma of the events of those years took me from him and him from me. He has yet been able to return. It broke my heart and my spirit. I believe that what he endured broke his.
He has his story which I cannot tell.
I am, after many, many years finally able to break my silence and tell mine.
I survived losing him. I have had to find a way to breath without him, although at times, without him, breathing was the last thing I wanted to do. Because I’ve had no other choice, I have indeed survived and beyond. I have thrived.
Jeff does reenter my life when he finds his strength to do so. He once told me, as a young man, all of eighteen years old, that “I can never get close to you again, Mom, because I could never survive losing you again.” But he, my one and only precious child, forgets that sometimes and returns home to me.
It is the best thing in the world, for in the moment that exists, he is here, home with Mom. Then, abrubtly, silently or sometimes angrily as a cover, he leaves just as quickly as he arrived. And again I grieve.
We can never truly go back home again and we both know that.
But I can tell my story. If only I knew where to begin.
Perhaps it is here.
Once upon a time…
WordPress Daily Post Prompt: Imagination