By Anne Dionne —
It was Mother’s Day, 2001. The boy whom I cherished the most, my son Michael, was 19 years old and slipping out of my grasp too quickly.
Where was that little boy with the infectious laughter–the boy who brought so much life and fun into our family? Wasn’t it just yesterday when I took that photograph of the excited little boy all dressed up for his first day at kindergarten?
I remember feeling a little resentful because I hadn’t seen Michael smile much lately. His smile was the physical attribute that could melt my heart and make everything all right with my world. Due to our conflicting schedules — he was usually in bed when I left for work in the morning, and I was in bed before he was in for the night — we didn’t see much of each other for days at a time. But on this day, Mother’s Day, we would spend precious time together, just the two of us.
Michael invited me to have lunch out with him that day. I’d had lunch earlier; however, I was so happy to have the opportunity to spend a few hours with him that I never told him I’d already eaten. Michael filled the gas tank of his prized 1968 Firebird, and off we went.
I will treasure the memory of that special day for the remainder of my life. Every detail is videotaped in my mind to replay over again whenever I choose. On that day, I got to see my boy smile and laugh as we shared funny stories together.
In retrospect, I believe that Michael gave me a priceless gift that day — the gift of his presence and precious smile. Neither of us could have known that only two short days later he would be gone, killed in an automobile accident.
There is a new Mother’s Day tradition in our lives. My husband takes Michael’s Firebird out of storage, and we go for a drive. As I climb inside the car, I feel and smell its interior. I close my eyes, and I remember…
Anne Dionne has been actively involved with The Compassionate Friends (TCF) organization since the death of her son, Michael, in 2001. She currently serves as Coordinator of TCF Online Support Community. She has been a workshop presenter at the National Conference of The Compassionate Friends for the past three years. Anne is a registered nurse, wife and mother. She co-authored the grief book, Every Step of the Way: How Four Mothers Coped with Child Loss, and was a guest presenter on the web-radio series, Healing the Grieving Heart. Anne continues to share her personal story of loss and hope with various church groups and local communities through writing and public speaking. It is in reaching out to help others that Anne finds healing and recovery through her own grief journey.Tags: belongings, funerals, money, grief, hope