28 years old. So young and full of life. Gone. In an instant.
Now. Another moment in time. Another year passes.
Now. It is all we have. This moment. The moment you are reading this. Soon your brain will begin to think and go into the past. It will go to the good times and then it will go into the future and the sense of loss will find it’s way to your heart. The cold, stark reality of what is. Loss. It is the brain’s cruel way of torture. If we could stay in the present moment, there is no suffering there.
There is no way to deny for long. There is only human survival. We create a new normal in our brain and wrap our daily activities around it so we can balance out and continue on and survive. We tuck the tragedies somewhere inside us and they become part of who we are moving forward.
All suffering occurs in the past or in the future. If only we could remain in the present. Either past or future is driving decisions or feelings.
The now is being in the zone. Just BEING. So difficult for humans. We either look back or forward. Fuck. I hate the longing. Longing to see my child. To hear him. To have another mother have her daughter. To hear her daughter’s laughter. To see her smile.
I quickly recall the event that took my son. I feel sad as I contemplate my beautiful son. His smell. His laugh. Then I feel happy remembering the joy he brought. So much joy.
Phil. The Connector.
I have dreams he is standing next to me giving me the look he had. You know the one if you knew him at all. The smile. His smile. The nod of his head with no words. The way he tipped it back at you and smiled with a glint in his eye. As if to say, I see what is going on and I am okay with YOU. No matter what YOU do, you are accepted by me. He was the connector. He could connect with a look. He didn’t need words. His smile was infectious.
I see this photo and stop and say, it was just one moment in time. Locked in for eternity and yet I’m certain it moved quickly to the next moment. Only this moment was captured. Captured and memorialized in a photo. Forever. Phil at 14?
I remember him at 14. Shy. Funny. Quiet. Contemplative. Kind.
Today I honor Alyssa. It’s her birthday. I think she would be 28 years old. That is how old I was when I had a 2-year-old Phillip. So young. So full of hope. A new mother filled with joy over my boy’s life.
Alyssa seemed to be a struggling young girl looking to find her way. Sad from her own loss. Looking for a way to cope with the sadness of life. Learning to keep herself upright in a world of loss. A beautiful spirit who was a friend to many and a friend of my son.
She could not have known her fate that day as she stuffed her bag in the trunk of the car and the boogie board in the back seat. Visions of the ocean dancing in her head.
My hope is she was able to have some fun future thoughts about the beach and some great conversation with my son.
20 years old. A moment in time. Stopped. Forever.
Happy Birthday beautiful girl. I have butterflies for you all around my home. You are not forgotten by the Shelton Momma. I know you in my heart. I’m sorry you didn’t have more time beautiful girl.