My oldest son turned twenty yesterday.
My, oh, my; that doesn’t seem possible. Twenty years ago we experienced his joyous birth; twenty years since the painful separation brought about in his death.
And now I celebrate his life once again.
We went to the cemetery on Mother’s Day, dug out the few weeds that had surfaced since Easter, removed the Easter decorations, and placed more pine needle mulch around his stone. In keeping with tradition, we held hands as we circled his small gravestone, and celebrated him. “Twenty years on Tuesday, Gavin. Enjoy your day!”
One of my other children offered up a message to him, which made me ask, “The last time we were here, one of you said he’d graduated from driving clouds. What is it you said he’s driving now?”
My daughter said she’d indicated he was no longer driving clouds, and my youngest replied, “I said he’s probably driving stars now, shooting stars.”
I spent yesterday working and volunteering at my children’s high school, signing students up for Project Graduation (a safe, fun, drug and alcohol-free) graduation event. I then attended my daughter’s track meet.
Tuesday was so cold here in the Northeast, about forty-five degrees and raining. At one point it began sleeting. I hung out on the icy bleachers, sitting beneath an umbrella, catching up with a friend I haven’t seen in many, many months.
And now, as I reflect on yesterday’s weather, I see a mirror image of the climate on that fateful day, twenty years ago.
Figuratively and literally.
Literally in that the air around us was wet and cold and dreary. Figuratively because of the excitement and anticipation and wonder that existed.
Next time I will have to tell you about my epiphany as we neared Gavin’s sixteenth birthday. But for now, I’ll end with this: Gavin is twenty years old. And he is probably driving a shooting star.
If he’s not, I’ve no doubt he’s dreaming about how glorious it would be to be at the helm of something fabulous, fast, and, oh, so fun.
Have a great day, friends!
p.s. My oldest living son told us last night he has decided he’s not going to pursue the 1984 Corvette. Amen.