My Dear Sweet Joey,
I’ve thought about you so much this week. I’ve been depressed a lot this week, too. I’m not sure which came first – the thinking about you then getting depressed or the being depressed so I thought about you.
School started again. That’s a change, and you see, I don’t do well with change. Sometimes, it scares me. I don’t do well with moving on and starting something new. It makes me look back and feel sad for what is gone. The summer went by and wasn’t as fun as I wanted it to be. The summer wasn’t as fun as the ones we used to have when you were here.
Everyone fought and yelled and snapped at each other, and every time that happened I wondered what they would all be like if you were still here. I wondered if you would swoop in and lighten the mood with a joke or a silly face or the suggestion of a crazy game.
I wondered if we need you in order to be happy.
I wonder that a lot.
I know there are happy moments, content moments, but I’m really fooling myself and everyone else, Joey, if I say that we are all healed. That I am healed. It still hurts that you are gone, and it always will. And I never know when that hurt will rear its disgusting head.
Like on the first day of school. Your brothers didn’t want me to walk them in to school. They were quite mean and hurtful about it, and I came home and cried. I cried like a child who wasn’t included in a game. I laid on my bed and looked at your picture and thought, You would have let me walk you in. You would have wanted me to walk you in.
But honestly, Joey, that made me even more sad because how do I know that for sure? How do I know that at eight years old you would want the same things you wanted when you were five years old? How do I know that you wouldn’t have thought that you were big enough to walk in without me, too, to run ahead with your brothers and run away from me, too?
I don’t know. And I’ll never know.
Things are changing, and they’re never going to stop changing. People are growing up. Their hearts are changing, their bodies are changing, their minds are changing. And I’m scared. I’m scared that just like the changes that were made to our family three years ago, these changes will just bring more bitterness, more divisiveness, more sadness when all I want is to find joy each day.
Do you know that I look at your picture and ask you to help us? Do you know that I whisper to you to give me strength? To put a joke in my mind, a smile on my lips and a positive attitude in my heart? I don’t ever want to forget the life that you lead, one in which you could always find something to smile about even when you were sad or scared or unsure. Some of that must have come from me because you were half of me. Help me find that half of you that is in me, will you Joey?
I don’t want to be sad and depressed. I don’t want your brothers and your dad to be affected by my sadness, but I can’t do it all by myself. I need them to be able to find the joy in their hearts and minds, too. So, could you help all of us? I know you are with some pretty powerful people who would love to work with you.
In the meantime, please know that there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about you. And it’s not all sad. Most of it is happy because you made me so, so happy. I’m trying so hard to hold on to that happy. Help me hold on to that happy, will you Joey? Because some days it’s so much harder than others.
You are my Sweetface, Mommy’s little Sweetface. You make me happy when skies are gray. You’ll always know Joey, how much I love you. Won’t you be my Sweetface today?
I love you my sweet boy.