In 2011, my first grandson and favorite nephew both took their lives, 5 weeks apart. We had shared family times together, and good times alone together. It was the times when we were alone together that we talked and shared the most. I learned more about them and their hopes and dreams during those times than when in groups. Sometimes even their concerns. They seemed more relaxed during those times. We would laugh so much. Tell so many stories. I had not been able to see either for a while before they died. So, one more day is something wonderful to imagine.
If one more day was possible, I would take the boys to the place I grew up. We would walk along a hard-to-see small trail, along a spring creek through the woods to the harbor and along the boardwalk to the beach. We would take a blanket and lunch. We would look at the birds and flowers in the woods and on the beach. Look at the seashells on the beach and spread the blanket under where the palms give shade and the water sounds sing to you gently and only the occasional chug-chug of the shrimp boat motors remind you that other people exist.
We would eat fried chicken, potato salad, and good bread and cheese. Then we would lie down and talk of the things they love, love to think about, and love to do. I would be so proud of the things they had done and tell them so. We would go back to the harbor and go crabbing. Take the crabs back to the house and cook them up with spices, potatoes, and eggs in the boil mix. Then we would sit at the picnic table out back and eat the crabs and tell jokes and stories until the light of day faded and it was over. There would be lots of laughing and hugs. Like it used to be the times I saw them.
Both of them had been there in their life, not at the same time. One loved the woods, the other the beach. We were family, friends and a comfort to each other when together. We would be one more time.
The house is now gone, courtesy of Katrina. The boys are gone also. But that is what I would do if given the gift to be able to do so. I do it in my mind sometimes, not often anymore. I do tell them on the wind how loved they are. Those are good things in this now I am living in.