Today is a “good” day. It’s hard to say that – what kind of Mom has a “good” day when her son is gone? But for now the definition of “good” is different from what it used to be. In the beginning I had horrible minutes and barely survivable minutes. Then that changed to hours – then it changed to “okay” hours and now it’s days – even “good” days. A good day means I am able to smile, to find joy and peace in running, reading, or hanging with friends. It means I’m able to eat. It also means I thought of you all day, Drey. That’s still the common denominator in every day… good and bad. When I hear songs we used to enjoy together and when I hear new music. When I look downtown and wonder if you would’ve worked here in Columbus. When I see girls your age, guys your age, and nice cars. When I see little blonde boys with glasses. When I eat raspberries. You’re always here in my mind. I’m learning to have “good” days even though the pain is here, too.

I remember the first time I went for a few minutes without thinking about you… It was several months after you died. I woke up one morning and went to the bathroom. While I was in the bathroom I realized I hadn’t thought of you yet. Wow did I ever feel guilty. I’d been awake for all of 3 – maybe 4 minutes – and hadn’t thought of you. It’s a lot of responsibility being a parent to a child who’s gone, kiddo. Thanks for that! I don’t know who told me it was my responsibility to keep your memory alive, to make sure your legacy continues. But it’s something ingrained in my thinking. I wonder if it’s like that for every grieving parent? I don’t want anyone to forget you. I don’t want people to stop saying your name. I’m slowly finding ways to honor you and your life, baby. And as I find those things it takes a little bit of pressure off of me. It’s like a beach ball… trying to swim the length of a pool while keeping it completely immersed when it’s fully inflated is exhausting. But little by little when I let some air out, it’s not as exhausting to do laps with it. It’s still with me, I still hold on to it tightly and I always will. A bench at the zoo, a walk to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention, even a zombie 5k with your friends. All these things let a little air out of the ball. Do you see how many laps I can swim now, baby? In the beginning I couldn’t even pick up the beach ball let alone get in the pool with it.

I love you.