Isaac Julian six months ago today was a friday, also. I was getting ready to go to work and you screeched into the driveway in Bennett Schmitt’s Saturn to get our Monopoly money for a hot game at school.
You were shining and I was so happy to see you as you had been at your dads all week for your first attempt to do week on week off with each of us. I smooched you and followed you back into the house, trying to soak you up because I missed you and was grateful for a few quick unexpected minutes with you! You were so funny and happy that day– we talked about your parent teacher conferences & senioritis 😉 and I said “see, im not so tough” and you gave me a noogie (sp?) and a hug and said “i guess not”. I asked if you were hungry and you said “starving!!!” I said how about some hummus and veggies? You said “how about 10 bucks for subway?” I obliged…. And then you said “i love you so much mama! i gotta go but i will come see you and Paco tomorrow!”
And that was the last time I ever saw you….
This is still outrageous to me– that in less than 24 hrs from that beautiful, happy, normal moment, you would find yourself afraid of the consequences of an argument with your true love….
It hasnt gotten easier. But one of the gifts since your passing, which I feel is a testament to your legacy, is that the boys you grew up with have, despite broken hearts and existential ponderings beyond their years, have become men before my eyes. They have risen up with fierce grace and big love to show up, week after week, month after month, checking in, visiting, texting, calling, and today, two of them asked me to take your place at prom.
They carry you with them still. And they have embraced me because I believe they have vivid recall of how we were, together. They knew you werent afraid to love your mama. Even if they also knew she drove you crazy, alot, bein a mom!!!
Without a word spoken, they show me how much you loved me, they show me how much they saw that I loved you– and i think also, how much they love their own mamas…whether intentional or simply their own innate compassion, values and character, revealing itself unequivocally.
So, although no one could ever take your place, I will accompany these boys and laugh and dance ridiculously, in honor of you.
Thank you for being the kind of kid who chose friends like these.
It is fitting that they asked me today, one more way you’ve brought a gift to me from beyond, on the days I need them most.
I cant believe Im going to your senior prom!
I cant believe someone caught this moment!!!
I love you.