Originally posted October 2017.

George loves selfies. A year ago when George turned 14, the hot topic around our house became the Illuminati. In full research mode, George spent the afternoon outside practicing his new moves under half-cover while snapping photos to share with me upstairs watching him through the Arcadia door. I loved his new pics but had to ask what was up with the hand in front of his gorgeous face? My son’s in-depth explanation lost on me after he said the I word with an enthusiasm this mom recognized as all George. The Whip and the Nae Nae Illuminati Style. The last photos I have of my little boy.

Fascinated by the rich and famous actors and singers he was starting to worship now a teenage boy, the seed of mystery was planted in his always curious mind.  George was only 11 years old when he began his three-year occupation of all things  Titanic as soon as the credits started rolling from his first Cameron voyage across the North Atlantic.  Every passenger remembered by name, no matter their fate that April night the century before George was born. Over 2,000 souls George respectfully recited in alphabetical homage.  

That Fall afternoon, I braced myself while secretly looking forward to my daily briefing of new discovery relating to the half-human, half-reptilian jet-set crowd. Getting a peek of the next four years as George’s mom made me smile.  My son caught me looking his way and smiled back. This same memory that should have brought me joy for many years now brings me to tears.

I wasn’t there for his 15th birthday. Our first spent apart. I haven’t heard his voice or seen him smile in over 10 months. Thursday starts a season of firsts as Thanksgiving will come and go without him. Our first Christmas and New Year will round off our firsts alone. January 9th will be one year but I won’t need the calendar to remember our last kiss goodbye or the I love you to go with it. 

I have learned to control my grief to the point I am self-inflicting daily doses of painful memories just to feel anything at all. I take myself back to that morning. I can hear him asking for a kiss, calling me mama, while I zipped up his jacket before he raced out the front door off to school. George never came home again.

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