When I Think of You
For Nicholas Ferrante

The hours in each of my days are of no consequence.  They accumulate and tumble haphazardly into the hours of the next day without rhyme or reason.

There is little thought or logic to any activity whether scheduled or otherwise.

Chaos runs rampant in my thoughts, only to be held somewhat accountable by the constant sadness that inhabits my mind and body every minute of each nondescript day.

When I think of you.

Self preservation rears its narcissistic head constantly and is sometimes successful in bullying my grief into hiding, granting me temporary respite from the overwhelming sense of loss that dominates my very existence.

When I think of you.

Everywhere I look, I see your photos, always with a smile on your face.  I see you as a baby, a four-year old, an eight-year old, a 14-year old, an 18-year old and a 20-year old (your last birthday.  Depending on the day, I either look you squarely in the face and smile or sneak a quick look at you and become teary eyed.

When I think of you.

You follow me everywhere. On a routine trip to the food store, you sit next to me in the car, as you always did. In the store, you remind me to pick up Mountain Dew and Doritos for you. You insist on putting the groceries into the car for me, and when we arrive home, you carry everything into the house, always overloading your arms as you reassure me, “Mom, I can do it, I’m a strong guy.” What I wouldn’t give to have you sitting beside me in the car again or going food shopping with me one more time. My heart aches for the hundredth time today.

When I think of you.

I’ve become very good at pretending, as I go through the motions of “living” every day, although my purpose for living was so unmercifully taken from me. As the days pass and turn into months, I find myself more and more living for the future. There will come a time when we will ultimately be together again as mother and son. This “future” has taken up permanent residence in my mind and heart and has enveloped my entire being with hope. I embrace this hope every minute of every day, and smile.

When I think of you.

-Jayne Ferrante

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