I’m worried I’m using his death to get attention. Just like my mother did when Dad dropped dead. A massive coronary at work. Dead before he’d hit the floor. You’d have thought, with time, her grieving might subside. It was nearly twenty years ago. Mine certainly has.
At that time, I was twelve, so there were many more years we shared a roof. But Mom persisted, dropping Dad’s name into almost every conversation. Mostly with strangers.
We’d be at the Wal-Mart checkout, Shirley rang our items. She’d give the total, “That’ll be 34.87.” Then Mom would turn to me, a look of shock on her face. And I knew what was coming. “Ever since my husband died, I swear, I’m just so darn loopy! Can you believe it? I left my purse in the car again.” Then Shirley would shake her head as mother ran out, giving me those cow eyes and say, “I’m so, so sorry.”
Well, now it’s George who up and died. The difference is he’s a child. And in a way he’s a child who never became a child. I carried him full term, took nearly twenty- four hours to deliver him. He lived less than an hour.
See, it’d be easy for me to be like Mom. Hell, she’s already used this latest tragedy to fuel her overblown need for empathy. I have to remind her, “Mom, this is not about you.”
During his funeral service, someone said that George was a blessing. I guess so. I mean, he came and went so fast it all feels like a blur now. The percocet doesn’t really help matters much. My husband, Dirk, wants to try again. Is he crazy? No way, I tell him. No. I just don’t know if I can go through that again.