Waiting to Exhale Through September

 Today marks the anniversary of my son Chase's death. I usually mark this date in my heart and outwardly keep going through the motions of the day. And then his birthday comes a few weeks later. I mark it on my heart again, sometimes send him a Facebook shoutout on his page. It's been more than ten years and the loss is still just as painful. The tears flow just as heavily. The he'd-be-this-age-now-and-doing-these-things-now thoughts wash across the floor of my mind, leaving behind minefields I step on at the most random moments.

I tell myself that if he were alive, he would have left my house by now like all my other kids, living his own life. It's just like he moved away farther, to a place I can't visit, without cell reception. But then there are times when I feel his presence so clearly that I don't need a phone call to reach him anyway. I feel his happiness at being free and doing whatever it is that he is doing. 

With cystic fibrobis I would still be counting every one of his breaths instead of holding my own until September is over. September has become a month when so many people die. My friend's husband and my other dear two friends' parents. There seems to be more celebrities that pass in September as well. Jimmy Buffet was the first I've heard of this month late last night. Or maybe I only think more pass in September because I'm more attuned to it. I don't know.

But as years pass there is also joy in September. My grandchild who shares Chase's name was born this month. Chase probably loves that. And two days before Chase's birthday we're celebrating the marriage of his brother to an amazing woman. 

Perhaps this September I can release the breath I'm holding a little bit earlier.