Mark and I went to the Camping and RV Show at The Big E Fairgrounds today. There was everything there, from pop-up campers to $250,000 Diesel Pusher Motorhomes and everything in between. We walked up and down the aisles, climbing in and out of ones that interested us. Or ones that were just exciting, and maybe a little different, a color scheme we hadn’t seen before or a different layout.
We quickly ruled out the pop-ups (I need a bathroom), as well as the triangle shaped hybrid travel trailer/pop-up campers. They are way too claustrophobic in my mind.
From the time I met Mark, camping (in a trailer) has been a part of our life. Our summer vacations were spent at the beach, that didn’t change when Kyle and Connor came along. They just became campers too, riding there bikes all over the campground, crabbing with Mark, boogie boarding in the waves, toasting marshmallows in the campfire and staying up way past their bedtimes.
While walking in and out of those trailers today, I swore I could hear him in my ear “Mom, this one isn’t big enough, it doesn’t have bunks. Where are Jordan and I going to sleep? We like the beach too you know!!” More than once I turned around, he wasn’t there, there was no one there, but yet I know what I heard. There will never be a time that I don’t think he is with me, a time that I won’t carry him with me.
Today is 15 months, 15 months since I made the decision that no Mom should ever make. The decision to let him go, because he would never be My Connor again. My silly, crazy, sarcastic, loving young man. It doesn’t mean that a day goes by that I don’t think about him, or miss him.
Off I went to the orthopedist yesterday and to run some errands. Just a typical day off Friday for me. As I was driving down Main Street in Greenfield, my music cranking away I glanced to my right and I felt like my heart stopped. There getting into a little gold car was Autumn. But no it couldn’t be Autumn, I blinked and when I looked again she was in the car. My brain kept saying that wasn’t Autumn, but my eyes were arguing yes it was, we know what we saw!!
The traffic started to move so I kept going and in the lane next to me was his car, that black Mazda 3i Sport, with a young man driving, a young man with a ball cap and sunglasses on. I see his car everywhere, usually with a young man driving and it always makes my heart stop. I always want to tell the driver to get out of Connor’s car.
But this time I just knew, knew that he sent me the sign. That wherever he is, he and Autumn are together. They are ok, they are rocking it up there. It sure doesn’t make it any easier, and by the time I got to the lights at Main and Federal Street the tears were streaming down like a river. Running faster than I could wipe them away, luckily it was a day without makeup. Because it would have all been gone anyway.
I wish I could say that after 15 months the pain was less, but I would be lying if I said so. It is just less acute and I can do a better job of keeping it under control. Then there are times like yesterday where all that goes out the window.
Before I felt comfy publishing this post I reached out to Autumn’s Mom for permission. Permission that was granted, we chatted about our common loss, and about how Autumn really adored Connor and his death hit her hard. Things that I didn’t know, that he was kind and nice to her, when at times others weren’t. It made the tears run all over again, learning that he was the boy I raised. Makes me miss him so much. This pain is like a carnival ride, up and down, twists and turns and parts that take your breath away, coupled with the calm sections just before the drop offs that make your heart and stomach rise up into your chest.