After No Tomorrows

The last good memory I have of my son, was my being too damn lazy to get off my arse and put him to bed. So, instead of being a good mommy, I grabbed him and cuddled him on the couch for an extra half hour. He didn't fight it as he normally would, instead, he just burrowed in for more. When Boo came passing through the living room, I mentioned it was past Bug's bed time and insinuated he was a lousy father for allowing his son to stay up so late. At 8:29 p.m. my husband reached into my arms and took my son from me, as I smothered him with kisses.

After that, all my memories are akin to those from a cheap dimestore horror novel. And hours later, the Redneck mommy was born.

I didn't know what to post this weekend, it being the first anniversary since his passing. I didn't even know if I wanted to say anything at all. After all, how many times can you write you miss your son before even you get the point.

Enough! I get it! I miss him! Move on already!

But as I've discovered, moving on is not always so easy. This past year has been torturous, hard and somewhat miraculous. I have discovered more about myself and my family than I have ever known before.

Some of it good, a lot of it not. What amazes me, is the unrelenting love I still carry for my Shalebug. Shale was my life while he was here, and somehow, in death he has managed to shape every decision, every choice I have made since then. Little bugger. Of course, I needed an outlet to vent my grief, anguish and ultimately, love. So I bought a computer. Thank you, my most beautiful Mac baby, I love you. And I started surfing the net, looking for other parents who have been through what I have been through. I didn't find many. But what I found instead, was what ultimately saved me.

I found you.

At first, I lurked. Then I started commenting. And it wasn't long before I launched Redneck mommy. With every comment, every post, I healed. I grew stronger. Yes, I stumbled this summer, but who wouldn't? But I've picked up my pieces, my life and carried on.

And that is what I've learned this year. That I can do it. I am invincible. I am Supermom. (Just kidding. If anyone is still reading this drivel, I apologize.) I've learned I am a lot stronger than I realized and that love doesn't die just because your child does.

Don't get me wrong, I still panic at the thought of living to a ripe old age and not seeing my Bug again. What if I don't remember him? Worse, what if he doesn't remember me? What if, what if, what if. I've learned there is no such thing as a what if. There are only what are's.

I ache at the thought of not hearing his laughter ring out. Of not being slobbered on, shit on or puked on. But thankfully, Nixon, the World's Greatest Dog. Ever, stepped in to help out in that department. My kids, Fric and Frac, they've banded together like merry little thieves and wrapped themselves tighter around my heart.

All this love and missing has done one thing: expanded my heart. I want to love the whole damn world. ( Them's some good happy pills you've prescribed, Mr. Small Town Doctor.) But seeing as how I'm too damn poor to support the whole world, I'll settle for one. After all, I am not Madge or Brangelina.

Ultimately, that's my tribute to my son. Not the tattoos, the piercings or the posts. Just the simple ability of being able to love harder, longer and larger. That's what his life, death and the year since has brought.

So this Oct. 21st, I urge you all, to grab hold of your kids and drool all over them. They might fight you, squirm and wiggle. The older kids might roll their eyeballs and think you've lost what little of your mind you have left, but do it any ways.

Because that's another thing I have learned.

Sometimes, there are no tomorrows. Only the moments at hand. Enjoy them.