July 6, 2016, another birthday in heaven
We are trying to sell our house. It's been a more difficult process than we anticipated with two contracts falling through (one after we'd spent about a thousand dollars and several weeks complying with their wishes following inspection. Oy!) but we think we may be winding to an actual close. It seems odd to be leaving the house where Thomas from nine years of age to 18 and where he returned to visit during his time in the Army, but I am comforted by a dream a friend had a year or so ago, with Thomas, silent as always, leaning on the tree in the front yard and nodding approvingly as we carry things out of the house to a truck.
Today would have been Thomas's 32nd birthday. Had he lived, maybe he would have finished college, been married, even had a child by now. It is more than useless to speculate and I almost never let my mind go down these paths. This is not what happened. He's gone. What did happen instead? Truthfully, I have been blessed by the events in this alternate universe. I have made friends for life among the mothers and among the men, no longer so young, who served with Thomas. I have found some purpose in nudging things toward the better for veterans, and for the bereaved. It doesn't make up for his loss, but it helps me make sense of his loss. I've learned to just be grateful for these friendships and for this different purpose in my life, despite the reason they came to me.
It's not a betrayal to be selling this house, but a moving forward. My husband and I are planning to move to Washington state where I grew up and where Thomas lived the last year and a half of his life. It is some comfort to me that he spent time wandering the waterfront in Olympia, a place I spent a lot of my childhood because my maternal grandmother lived there, along with, at various times, my aunts and uncles and my cousins. Members of my mother's family were among the earliest settlers in Olympia--I am so glad my son got to spend time there.
This is a little disjointed--as I said, it's been a long day--but I wanted to observe Thomas's birthday. We got to the cemetery to place flowers and a couple of flags, but it was incredibly hot and we did not linger. He's been on my mind all day, from my 2.26 miles in the humidity this morning to this very moment . . .