Every year I try to find peace with these dates. I exist in two places. There is always a struggle with how to share and honor the memory of Timmy, allowing others to visit my veiled existence. Social media has changed everything. Although sharing the most difficult part of my life in a place where we have all become so overly exposed and jaded is not something I am comfortable with, I use it in hopes that people will remember my child. It's desperate and needy, but worth it if Timmy's name is spoken and people take a moment to reflect on that laugh, those twinkly eyes, and his incredible personality. If I am exceptionally lucky it may render a story or picture that I had either forgotten or never knew existed.
My finger hovers reluctantly over "post". I hit return knowing there will be that wonderful group of people, whom I have counted on relentlessly over the years. I cherish their responses because they knew my child and have worked hard to support our family. I have yet to find the words to express my gratitude for those cherished comments and often find, regretfully, I cannot reply. I do it hoping it will let my children know their brother was important and expressing emotion, even if it hurts and leaves you vulnerable, is healthy. I push that button because I feel my sister needs to know her pain is shared and the memories of the good were real. I do it to cope with those who have actively tried to forget. That is the most painful. Timmy was too loved for me to allow for that and to them I suggest they grow a pair.
Some people I am sure do their research to see what took Timmy's life and then cross it off their list of concerns as to if it could happen to their own child. We all do that, right? Once I had a young mother tell me how she would have never let the doctor's miss such a thing. I handled it well, I did not punch her ........wait, that doesn't sound very nice. I did not express my internal reaction to her insensitive and ignorant comment. Better? I did go home and "unfriend" her. I never said I was mature. Then, there is always that one person who means well and decides to inquire, share or express at a large event with lots of people present. I am still not at the point where I don't cry each and every time I speak of Timmy so these occasions I don't appreciate. The people who put themselves out there to offer a kind word or ask me about the child they had not met are sweet and I am grateful for those moments and thankful when presented in a more intimate manner. I know it takes bravery to inquire and offer support. Even if I cry, it's ok. Maybe now they understand my strange response when I was asked how many children I have. Definitely the most dreaded and painful question.
Today, I found the story below. It was written by Tyler when he was ten. A little gift from the past to nurse me through March, along with four beautiful smiles I can see, voices I can hear and faces I can touch. I love you.