I was meant to write this a few days ago, but, as usual, time got the best of me and the craziness of life kicked my ass. As usual. But let me do what I should have done, now.
Dear Tristen: I am sorry I wasn’t there in your last hours. I’m sorry I didn’t persist in the insistence that your cast was too tight. Even though it was too late and the damage had probably been done. I resent myself deeply for not pushing harder. It was a domino effect-everything that could have gone wrong, did. A series of screw ups that took you away from us. And we all (your family) blame ourselves in some way or another for your death, and the agony that you so bravely endured until the very end. It haunts me, still, to this day, when my mom told me how you said to her; “Aunty Paula, I’m going to die.” How you said “Tell Lia I love her.”. You brave, brave boy. I would not have had that courage.
Your funeral was unbearable. I had my brand new, 4 day old son. I sat there with my baby, holding him so tight, while I watched slide shows of your short yet full life. You did so much. You experienced so much. You weren’t like other kids your age. You were different. You weren’t into girls, and experimenting with booze and cigarettes…you were more interested in fishing, and identifying wildlife, kicking ass at poker, a complete computer genius, and finding snakes with your dad. You were a child of Africa. You were different. I watched your little coffin being taken out and a piece of me went with it.
I have tried, this past year, to repress thoughts of this whole tragedy. I get angry and ruffled up when people other than your parents bring up your tragedy. I feel it’s not their place to mourn. I guess that’s a defense mechanism. I think if I allowed myself to feel the pain I have pushed down into the depths of my mind, I would break down. I would cry, and probably not stop.
Last Friday was the one year anniversary of your death. And it was beautiful. We sat in a beautiful candle room, and even though we didn’t say it, we were all thinking of you, in our own special way. Just after 9 P.M, your dad went out, and he cried for you. And I cried for you, and for your dad, and for your mom. You no longer feel pain, you are free. You left this world unblemished. No heartbreaks, no hardships. You’re in a better place, and I believe that. You will never be forgotten. And it’s important to remember what amazing things you did and experienced in your life. Not the way you left. I will always see you as a little baby, trying to teach you to crawl, babysitting. I remember being left alone with a poopy nappy and being completely petrified. Your’s was the first I ever changed. You should see me go now! *giggle* I see bits of you in my beautiful son every day. I wish you had met him. Your dad is his godfather.
Oh baby boy, Indigo Child, how we miss you. But keep sending signs, your mom and dad need them. You were a gift, an angel on loan, and I know you are happy, wherever you are.