Chapter 12.

Today is June 20, 2021, and it’s 2:14 am. I’m now wide awake, again.

Thinking. Remembering. Missing.

Just a few minutes ago, I thought of Joseph’s Celebration of Life, so many people. People I had never met, people who loved my son enough, they stopped a day in their busy lives to pay their respect for Joe one last time. I remember turning my head for a glance behind me; I could hear the quiet tears. It was like seeing the horizon on the ocean; it was endless. My mind was moving so fast; I felt like it would burst at any moment. I wish I would have had the courage to stand up there and share my heart about Joe. However, I remember barely having the strength to stand on my own two feet; my husband held me up the entire time. Missing my son, the day was June 9, 2018, and it had only been 12 days since his final day here with us, living and breathing.

It’s 2:25 am. I’m thinking of the notes and words on all the cards I had given Joe. Letters I had written years ago; surprisingly, he kept them all as I learned while sifting through his shoebox of papers. His receipts, unopened mail, doodling notes, a resume, my letters and cards, his signature on various documents; so many pieces of paper proving his life existed. Sometimes, I look thru the pockets of his jeans or t-shirts, button-up shirts, hoping I missed something, anything. I’ve probably done that at least 100 times or more! I’ll lift his mattress thinking maybe I forgot to look underneath. Nothing is there.

Or, the corner of his bedroom; that one corner where his desk remains in place. There’s nothing because I’ve picked up everything. Nothing in his shoes that still sit in his closet; every couple of weeks I clean each pair and remove the tiny particles of dust built up inside his closet. I desperately try to find anything, I tell myself there has to be something I’ve missed! But, there is nothing. So, I sit on his bed, remembering how he laid there watching movies on his MAC computer or listening to music. I remember going into his room asking him to turn down the volume. Sorry, Momma, he’d say to me. Dam, I should have let him play his music as loud as he wanted!

I remember how I would tell him the importance of life choices. How every decision has an outcome, some are good, and some are bad. He was making choices that were not helping him or his body. I’m sorry, Momma, I love you, he’d say to me. I would remind him of my unconditional love, and he would say, “we’re a team, Momma.” God, I’m missing my son and I wonder if he misses me? I remember our conversations for hours, did my words mean anything to him? Did he think of me that final night? Did he even know what he was doing? My reality, I’ll ever know.

It’s now 2:40 am. I’m thinking about the birthdays coming up and he’s not here. His two younger sisters, his niece and nephews, his dad, mine, and his birthday. Remembering all the birthday celebrations he was here, not ever thinking one day he would be gone from this life. Missing my son, it’s now been 1,150 days.

It’s 3:02 am. I’m thinking about how pissed off I am now! Dammit, Joe! Why did you not listen to me! I’m thinking about the days before May 28, 2018. Thinking about his friend Mick, how I want to desperately call him and ask what did he say to the guy who my son was with that night. Did Mick see Joe lying on the floor? His lifeless body. Thinking, does it make a difference anymore? It’s not going to change anything! Will I ever know why? Do I need to know why? Does it even matter?

Remembering how three years ago, all I wanted was to die. The pain was beyond comprehensible; it was more than I could handle. I wanted to be gone from this world. I remember how gut-wrenching it felt to breathe; I could not live in a world without my son. So, I attempted to take my own life by taking prescribed Xanax that was helping me to sleep and combined with coke & rum, along with several shots of patrone. I was leaving, everything suddenly turned dark, and I could no longer hear anyone not feel anything. Then, I suddenly opened my eyes to the sound of my two-year-old granddaughter Ella; I could hear her crying. I looked up, not knowing where I was or why I was in an ambulance. The EMT was asking me who the President of the United States was? I asked the EMT, where is Ella? I later found out that Ella was nowhere near me or our home. She had to have been there, in the house, I heard her crying. I now know without a doubt, my beautiful Ella she saved my life that day. It was not meant for me to leave, not yet anyway. Missing my son, thru all of the jacked up emotions, mindblowing life changing experience this has been, I’m still here; there’s a reason I’m till breathing. I have a purpose.

It’s 3:45 am; I’m thinking and remembering about my life over the past three years. I want to live now, so I’ll keep taking small steps forward to keep living. Missing my son, my heart beats slower now but it still beating. I’m good with that for now.



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E.M. Suarez

E.M. Suarez

I’m a mother of 3 children. I unexpectedly lost my only son on 5/28/18. I love to write about Joe’s life. Say his name. He deserves to be remembered.