There are always things in your life that evoke certain memories no matter how much time has passed or the paths your life has taken. It can be a song, a smell, the sound of breath, something simple that reminds you of something that touched your life. For me that’s Time McGraw, the songs of my youth, we saw him in concert once, and years later when his songs play a part of me wanders back. My oldest is an orphan of sorts his biological dad is dead. People our age shouldn’t be buried and yet he is. It’s the anniversary of his passing and I still remember the exact moment I found out. I remember having to tell my son. I sometimes wonder if he still understands what that means. He’ll never have the chance to hear his laugh, he’ll never look him in the face and see he has his nose. He’ll never get to decide for himself whether to love and forgive him or to be angry. In death he has given him more than he gave him in life and for that he can be grateful.
Some would say I have a thing for guys who need fixing, the ones with troubled homes and weak egos. Ones who have lots of potential, but can’t see it in themselves. Long after we had both found different paths. I found God and he found alcohol he would sometimes resurface. I would ask why it’d been so long and he would give a lame excuse. “I know you take good care of him you don’t need me screwing it up”. Never once did he doubt that I would do good/be good. Looking back I think he knew deep down he was really doing us a favor, better to not be there than to drag us down. I sometimes let him pass out on my couch when he had no where else to go and he’d be gone before sunrise. I think sometimes that’s why I always left my house number the same for year. Just in case he needed someone to talk to in a rough patch. God has always given me a soft heart.
The phone rang late one night. I was tired from the stress of running a home a lone. My husband was on the other side of the world and who would be calling the house phone? Some months later I realized it was him, his mom had passed and for the first time I didn’t answer his call. I would never hear his voice again, but when Tim McGraw plays it’s a voice I can’t forget then I feel guilty. It’s a heavy burden to carry; the what ifs. I pulled his football jersey out for D once; it sits in the bottom of his drawer now. I sometimes wonder which of his dads he mourns more, the only he barely met or the one he wishes he could forget. I’m sometimes grateful he didn’t have to watch his dad deteriorate the way he did with man I married. D has a half brother and he’s the one who found his dad’s body. I can be glad my son was spared that horror, only he stumbled into another heartbreak that I can’t ease. The son who lost two fathers, he’s my baby. I’ll never give anyone the chance to abandon him again. It was selfish of me to bring one into his life to begin with, but I add that to the load a mother bares and then I work all the harder to mold him into the man God plans for him to be.
Sometimes he catches me when Tim McGraw plays I get a tear in my eye and then I smile it away. He is my blessing and my joy and like all my kids, will always be enough to make me happy.