It’s January 6, 2014. Another calendar year without my son has begun. I haven’t posted anything because its been too hard to write anything for public dissemination.
I spent New Years Eve alone. It was my choice. I wanted to reflect on 2013 and contemplate 2014. It was not easy. I recalled many moments of total despair in 2013, along with moments of healing. Healing a broken heart is a slow process. I believe that a heart broken by the death of a child never truly heals. Scar tissue forms over the deep, jagged edges of my pain. A part of my heart is missing. It left the moment my child died and will never return. There is a hole which remains dark and empty, until we are reunited in Heaven.
I am especially sad today. My son, like me, was a lifelong Auburn fan. In fact, he was probably one of the most loyal, avid fans of all things Auburn. We both loved football. Tonight, Auburn will play in the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, CA for the national championship. This comes after a dismal season in 2012, the year my son died, in his apartment in Auburn. In 2010, while Donald was a student at Auburn University, the football team had a phenomenal season. They went on to win the national championship for the first time since 1957. Donald wanted to go to the game. I refused to pay for it, telling him that if anyone went, it would be me because he would see Auburn play for another championship, but I would not. Actually, neither of us went to the game. Today, as I wait for tonight’s game, I ponder what I told Donald that year. I never imagined that I would be alive to see Auburn play for another championship and he would not. It is still impossible to grasp that my son, who would be 23 and living and working in Atlanta, GA, is not here to cheer on his beloved Tigers.
I’m sure many readers do not understand the fascination Southerners have with college football. I accept that. However, I’m sure that my readers can think of something similar in their lives. Some activity or place that your child enjoyed as much as you do.
I miss hearing his voice. I miss his texts saying War Eagle! I miss talking to him about everything, and today, I miss talking to him about one of his favorite things.
War Eagle Donald! Mom is going to be watching and cheering as loudly as if I were there.
3 thoughts on “Another year begins”
Katherine, I think I have shared with you that Brandon was an Alabama fan along with his dad. Of course, being Southern, I am very well aware of the football connection. I know your heartache. Football has a very bittersweet sound to me and I can hardly stand to hear the roar of the crowd and the commentators, etc…it is a painful experience in light of our losses. I wear Brandon’s Alabama tee shirt to bed…the one he had hoped to have signed by Julio Jones (Brandon worked with his aunt) …and it never came to be. All those things that could have been…should have been…seem to be weapons used already on our wounded hearts.
I love your sign off photo of the War Eagle. Donald is soaring with them. Just look up. This one is for you and Donald…WAR EAGLE!!
Thank you! I’m wearing one of Donald’s game shirts. I’m not sure how I didn’t give it to his best friend, Matthew. I went searching through his stuff earlier today and found it. I don’t wear orange very often because my red hair and freckles just seem to clash with it. Today, wearing this shirt, which reaches halfway to my knees, is big enough to put another person in, and which I’ve had to roll the sleeves up five or six times, makes me feel as if he’s here and will be watching with me. It’s a good thing it’s so cold here or I would be burning up with two shirts on!
Glad you like the picture. It came from another AU alum on FB.
Wishing you peace . . .