Two weeks after my last post, over a year ago, my youngest son, whose lasagna I had featured in the post, took his own life. There is so much I could say about this, but where would I begin and end? Mostly I would say that, stilted as it sounds, you don't know what you've got til it's gone, I wish I had yelled less, listened more. He was a beautiful, cheerful child who skipped around the house and wanted everyone else to be happy. He battled depression from the time he went to college, maybe earlier, but never found that happiness in himself, and on April 3rd, 2010, all alone, he made the irrevocable choice to end his life. It left all of us with shattered hearts, shattered family. Anger, Confusion, Guilt, Questions. I write about this now because on Father's Day, Ron & I were in Home Depot and I saw a father bitching at his son that "this is why I didn't want to bring you"...Obviously the kid was bugging his dad about something ("I would have yelled less, listened more"). The little guy, about 8, sat down cross-legged on the cart and looked sad. I nearly made it out of the store without crying. I should have 1) hugged the kid and told him -to quote the lines at the end of an incredible book "The Help" - "You is kind, you is smart, you is important", 2) I should have plinked the asshole father on the tip of the nose and asked him "how bloody dare you? Do you have no idea the gift you have been given and the damage you have just done." Because, as I witnessed it, I regretted every single time I yelled at my kids about things that really didn't matter even one day later, or that interrupted "my quiet time".
Life gets more exciting as you grow older. That might sound like crap, but I raised my kids - three wonderful boys - and now I ski and scuba dive, have a partner I adore and life is so much better than when I was younger and struggling with alot more "stuff". That said, I lost my youngest son to suicide in April 2010 and am amazed that, wrenching as the loss was, it is still possible to be happy and feel grateful-not only that I had him for 26 years-but that what I do have, friends, family, love is that much more precious.