Friday, July 31, 2009

Places, July 27, 2009, 7:37 p.m.

We all have a place where we feel perfect. For 23 years I was fortunate enough to have two places. One was at my son's side, the other was next to a horse. Today I find I have neither. Instead, I have a gaping hole where the center of my universe used to be. For without my son, I am so nervous, distracted, teary-eyed and upset that I know I can't go to the horses I love so much.

Horses are very intuitive. Seeing me like this could remove months, years, of relationship building. It could remove their trust in me as a steady, stable person who will lead them out of danger, should there be any. I know the time will soon come when I am ready to be around my four-legged friends again. And, I know they will do their magic and finish my healing faster than any doctor possibly could. But that time is not now. Not yet. Not today.

What I do today is visit the place where Colby died. (I can't tell you how foreign those words look to me. "Colby," and "died." It's still an impossibility in my brain.) A wonderful young woman who was with Colby in his final moments walks me through the scene. We brought flowers and we kneel as, one by one, we lay the blooms across the path where my son left this Earth. It's a shady spot and sunlight flickers through the leaves. We talk about Colby, and together, we cry. I take a picture of the flower laden path and realize with deep gratitude that I have found a new place. I can come here anytime and when I can't physically get there I have a photo to carry with me.

I hope each of you has a "place." And when you are there, I hope you treasure that place and hold it tightly to you. Someday, in the blink of an eye, it could be gone. And while we are fortunate to have had the place at all, for whatever short time is allowed us, when it is gone, life is irrevocably changed.

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