You don’t get many choices at birth. Nobody asks what you want to be. Take birth order, for example. I was the first-born of four girls. Given what I now know, I might have chosen to be born last, but nobody asked me. You don’t get to choose gender either, or hair color, or shoe size. Siblings, it seems, are left to chance. If you happen to click, that’s great! If not, you’re stuck with them, like them or not. One of the best…maybe even THE best thing about aging is that the older you get the more choices you have. By the time you become an adult, you get to choose most things. You choose a career. You choose your lifestyle. Heck, you can even choose your hair color! By the time you get to be my age you might have chosen several different hair colors!
No one ever chooses to be the mother of a dead child.
And yet, here I am. It’s as though life started, for me, all over again on February 26th just before 11 pm. All the other choices I’ve made take a back seat to the one no one would make, ever. Decades of living life on my own terms ended with a single gunshot , because no matter what else happens from here on out, I am the mother of a dead child.
I can sell my house and buy that loft I’ve had my eye on…the one downtown, right in the middle of everything. And, I’ll still be the mother of a dead child.
I can quit my job in order to pursue a life-long dream. And, I’ll still be the mother of a dead child.
I can learn a foreign language, lose 20 pounds, and even dye my hair the only color I’ve never tried. Then I’ll be the raven-haired mother of a dead child.
At a time in my life when who I am should be up to me, it’s not. Because, nothing I am matters as much as what I’ve lost.