Tonight I had to do one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Last week, my stepfather and my son had to go to the town where Jonathan was living and get his things. There was a car but other than that, my gypsy son didn't own too much. His ex-wife had gathered what she said was all of his belongings and they fit in a big suitcase and a backpack and a laundry basket. There was mostly clothes, some poetry he'd written, some cards, a photo album, some other personal things. I've not been through the stuff yet until tonight and while Matthew was still here I wanted it to be just he and I that did that.
His smell was on his clothes. It brought me comfort. When we opened the suitcase Matthew and I said it at the same time, "It smells like him." A leather jacket, what he was wearing when I got my last hug goodbye, is going in my closet. His brother kept a few things, and I'll donate the other things.
With Matthew beside me it wasn't as painful as it could have been. But it was hard.
Jonathan has owned stuff in his life but in the end this was it. There are some other things that I know for a fact he still had but whether we will get them, who knows. A prized possession that was actually at my house up until February was a little cedar table he and his brother had made from the wood left over from Matthew's deck. They did this together when Jonathan was living for a while with Matthew in Washington. He took it with him in February which was the last time I saw him. I hope to get it. I know he wouldn't have gotten rid of it and I need it. I need it because I know how special it was to him.
We have to see attorney to close out his estate. Even though there is nothing much, I have to prove I am next of kin to get the car into my name so that I can sell it. I have to see about getting death certificates. You know, everything is complicated. But it keeps you busy for sure and not too much time to think yet.
And so I am doing pretty well, considering the circumstances. I've only cried one time today. Tomorrow morning however the tears will flow when Matthew leaves. But I am going to put on my big girl panties and be very brave. And as soon as I get through the treatments for the cancer I'm going to join him and his family in Washington.
But you know, it is still just not real to me yet. It is but it isn't.
I once thought if anything happened to one of my kids I could not possibly go on but you find out there is strength you had no idea you had. I am no stranger to what mental illness does to a person or a family. My own father suffered until his death at an early age. It is painful for us left behind but I just know he is okay now.
I was suppose to go back to work tomorrow but I have two extra weeks now. Physically I am feeling pretty good. But it set me back a bit I think, and I feel like sometimes I've lost all my senses. I can't remember much, I lose things, I can hardly carry a thought all the way through in my head. But I have left my other beautiful son who brings me strength and love and stands right beside me as strong as can be. And I have two granddaughters that need me.
Hold the people you love close to you and let them know how much you love them. Accept them for who they are and love them unconditionally. But I don't have to tell any of you that, you know that already, we are none of us guaranteed tomorrow. This I know for sure.