I have not had one of these days in a long time. I just feel so heavy inside, so down. My chest feels heavy, my eyelids feel heavy, my arms and legs. It is as if my very soul were a rock in my mortal body and I just want to sink into the earth, to be one with it, quiet, warm and without outward sense or feeling. I didn't sleep well last night and I am sure that has something to do with it. I was out of sorts for other reasons today anyway. Then Stewart told me he found some disposable cameras in his home and took them to be developed. There were pictures of Joseph on them. I look at them and feel like I am starving for him. I almost wish I had not looked at them. That I could find enough pictures of Joseph to put in a box and take them out, one at a time, one a week or one a month for the rest of the years of my life. That there might be still new expressions to discover from him still. That these are not really the end of my experience with him. Not the end of his life. My throat is clogged with tears. It is awkward and exposed to sit here at my desk at work. I don't want to go home. I don't want to be here. I feel right now like there is nowhere for me to be that would offer any safe haven or relief, nowhere that would guard me from this onslaught. It is not unfamiliar, but it did take me by surprise. I was not prepared for this today. I miss his smile...his antics...the way he was such a free spirit and so unconcerned with what others thought of him, but not in a rebellious way. He didn't feel any need to be "different" outwardly, just to accept his differentness inwardly. He held onto his youth in a way that was so uncommon for his age. He still enjoyed the parts of his life in which he was a child, yet also definitely had distinct inclinations toward becoming a man. I remember watching him pick up Seventeen magazine in line at Target and the intensity on his face as he started flipping through it to find the pictures of the girl in a bikini on the front. How he would keep my Victoria's Secret catalogue on the floor beside his bed next to his Pikachu and origami creations half finished (I kept waiting for him to make origami out of Victoria's Secret pages). How he still talked to Santa the Christmas before his relapse. How he still would hug his mother far more often than get exasperated with her. I have not had a day like this in so long. Every beat of my heart is painful. It literally aches in there. I yearn for something I cannot have.
I love his smile. Big badass two handed sword with a precious "Aren't I cool?!" smile. This was from when we went to Medieval Times Orlando on his Make A Wish trip.
This was in the NASA gift shop on his Make A Wish Trip. Silliness with him and Alex.
This was at Santa's Village the Christmas after he got out of the hospital. The police officer was, I think, calling Santa for him.
The last picture we got of all the boys together with Santa. Christmas 2005.