Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Arms Wide Open (Video Tribute)

Arms Wide Open by Creed

If I had just one wish only one demand
I hope he's not like me I hope he understands
That he can take this life and hold it by the hand
And he can greet the world with arms wide open

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Secrets of Heaven

There are nights I wish you would tell the secrets of Heaven to me

Are God’s root-beer floats better than mine?

Do you come and go as you please?

Does He even listen to me?

There are days, I want you back no matter the cost

I wonder if you walk with Alighieri

His Hell is nothing to compare or boast

This bitter bread I chew, Paolo and Francesca kiss too busy to see

There are times, I look at the clouds and see them part

A shaft of sunlight warming me on a cold day

A violent death, where no one is to blame

I have to be honest, I don’t feel the same

If I could see you one time, but not in a dream

Would you sit and stay, share some mint chocolate chip ice cream?

Do you go for rides, listening to your favorite songs?

Sometimes, I feel my grief is selfish; among my wrongs

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Don't Look for Me


Don't Look for Me

Don't look for me in the darkness

Look past to the stars

Where I smile down

From where the Angels flown

Remember the babe I was,

You carried in your arms

The world seemed so big, when you held my hand

I remember the songs you sang to coax me to sleep

I know you cry for me tonight

I tried to reach for you

I love you as I always have

Please know I feel no pain

Don’t look for me in the night

I am next to you

Even when you smile as my sisters sleep

Or tell stories of our travels

Friday, March 16, 2012

Stuffed Up Shadow

Nearly every child has something to take to bed with him or her.  It can be a favorite toy, or something else iconic, that will give comfort and a feeling of safety from nightmares or the monster under the bed or hides in the closet.  For a little girl it could be a doll, for a boy a G.I. Joe…it doesn’t matter the item it the security that is felt that matters.  Timmy was no different.

When Timmy was about three or four years old, and Shadow was still a pup, he wanted the dog to sleep in his room with him.  There wasn’t any carrying on or temper tantrums, he simply loved his dog and wanted that comfort.  However, Shadow wasn’t house broken yet and Timmy was a very sound sleeper.   If that was to be the problem there came a solution.  It is by chance on the day-trip to the toy store, he found among stuffed animals, a black stuffed dog that resembled Shadow. The toy dog even had floppy ears much like Shadow. Tim wouldn’t let it go.   

“It’s a toy Shadow. It looks just like him!”

I don't know if it was my son’s observation, the fact that the toy did resemble his pet. At night, Tim held that toy dog. He couldn't go anywhere to stay overnight if he didn't have what he called “Stuffed-Up Shadow.” Of all the toys that Tim had all his life, ‘Stuffed-Up Shadow’ was a constant. During storms, chickenpox, and even sleepless nights when he soon discovered horror movies and the world of R.L. Stein’s Goosebumps and later Stephen King; Stuffed-Up Shadow gave Timmy security. I would check on him when I came home at night. I don't remember any time that toy was not in his arms when he was little. Strangely, Tim holding the toy reminded me of Christopher Robin and his beloved Pooh Bear.

When we buried Tim, it was a hard decision for both his mother and me to either send the toy with Tim or keep it in his memory.  We both felt it was right to bury our son with the toy dog and knowing that he would be more at peace with it nestled in his arms. I can imagine Timmy refusing to enter the Gates of Heaven until he had Stuffed-Up Shadow; his real dog Shadow growling at Saint Peter as he begged Tim to come home.  It's strange how a simple toy can become an everlasting and powerful totem.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Saved Voicemail and Dominoes

There some days I listen to my voicemail messages.  I have a voice mail saved from Timmy from two months before he was killed.  I sit and listen, save, listen, save again, listen again...some days afraid that if I don't listen to the voicemail, it will be gone.  I also have the message from Mayor Nutter calling me to express his condolences.  I can hear his voice cracking...it has the sound of fear - the fear that any decent father has for his children.  I have that saved, listened, saved again, listened again.  I don't know why I save it.  Its a painful memory, I save and listen to over and over.  I just sometimes need to hear Timmy's voice.  Sometimes to remind myself that he called to say good night and that he loved me. Sometimes I imagine that I am talking to him.
The night he called, I was working overtime, and I didn't pick up the phone when he called.  I have moments of guilt for not picking up the phone and talking to him.  Other times I am glad I didn't; I have his voicemail message to save.

I had taken his dog to the pound a few days before, maybe a week.  He didn't speak to me for about a week.  The dog had bitten me during an argument Tim and I were having.  A stupid argument that should never had happened.  An argument that began and set in motion because of a stupid argument over a computer virus that some jerk-off somewhere in the world loaded up onto the web. I have days where I wish I could take back that day and start over.  I have days where I wish I never yelled at him.  It wasn't his fault.  It was all because some ass wanted to destroy someone’s computer out of spite; vandalize a hard drive and hijack freedom at its ultimate expression.

Its all part of the What If game.

What if Tim hadn't gone to the Internet that day?

What if Tim hadn't gone to school on May 17th?

What if I got there ten minutes earlier?

What if I didn't suspend his cell phone for a month?

What if...?

What if...?

I lost my son to a series of stupid moments.  All the moments lined up like dominoes in my head...in my imagination.  One domino sets everything in motion - a cause and effect; a cascade effect of calamity.  One domino equaling one moment set in motion other moments. I play it out in my head sometimes.  I watch the science shows on quantum mechanics...time-space continuum, the foam, the bubble, worm holes, branching universe, decision trees.  My sorrow meshed with a disdain for Stephen Hawking and his ilk.

I write my memories down - not to show myself as "Father of the Year" - but to one day leave as a gift to his sisters.  I write my relationship with him.  I don't want any mantel or award - the pedestal is too high should I fall off.  I simply write of my love and life with Timmy.

Like it or not.  He was part of me, is part of me, and will forever be part of me.