Joe’s room.

I opened the closed door and took a giant breath.  It still smells like my son.  His room.  Frozen in time from five o’clock, March 30, 2011.  I had closed the heat vent.  Stopped the circulation of air.  Hanging onto the smell as long as possible.

Typical of a 19 year old, the bed is unmade, dirty clothes on the floor.  His jeans, just as he stepped out of them, the purple belt looped through the waist. 

Baseball hats on every surface.  The closet door, open, shelves overflowing and messy.  I look up at the wall.  An arrangement of frames.  Photos  of my boy holding a football or baseball, running across a finish line.  A metal for setting the long jump record for his track team.  Achievements.  A small shelf contains a license plate, “Run Forest Run” that we bought in Chicago, a joke between me and Joe.  A tiny pair of Nike high tops, little boy cowboy boots, and a track shoe.  Steps through a lifetime. 

I sat on the edge of the bed.  I looked at the shoes on the floor.  Shoes are the hardest to see, for me.  Still shaped like his feet.  Empty.  I began picking up the clothes and putting them in his hamper.  I made his bed, hugging his pillow to my chest as I inhaled. 

I miss Joe.  Think about him every day.  Where is he now?  What is he doing as his life continues on in Heaven?

I shut his closet door.  Putting those clothes in the hamper and making the bed are a giant step for me.  A step forward.  I imagine that Joe is watching me.  I am certain he would be proud.  “Good job, Mama” is what he would say.

Please leave a comment

  1. Debbie Says:

    Oh Sue,

    You did do good. One step forward. I wonder is it everybody who lost somebody or just me and you? The air “smells” also remind me of April! The spring air! Everybody else swears I am crazy and that the “air” has no particular smell, but it does right? She was born in the spring, on Good Friday, I’ll never forget that day. I remember her birth the most out of the other 6 of my bothers and sisters! And when I go into her room, it’s her shoes that are my proof that she really was here. Her footprints are still in most of her sandals…………… and Joe, Joe is busy in heaven always trying to make is mama know that he is safe and content and that things are okay…. He is worried about her….. ♥ you gurl!

  2. Caroline Says:

    Christopher’s room has changed a little. I needed to change his bed when I had an overflow of relatives and I couldn’t let them sleep on the floor. Well maybe I could have, but that wouldn’t be very charitable of me :) But his dirty clothes still sit in the basket. I have many plants in his window and they all seem very happy in this spot. I actually had a poinsetta and an orchid bloom over the past few months, absorbing the sunshine from his window. His black lab, Spirit, spends most of her day in his room, sleeping on his bed and looking out the window. Occasionally I hear her running around upstairs. I’d like to think that Chris has come to pay her a visit.

    But it is his toy chest, in the living room, that sits as he left it. If you walked into my house you would still think a little boy lived here. Legos and other toys sit, waiting for a child to come and play with them. I just can’t bring myself to do anything with his toys, not yet. That will be a big step, when I’m ready to take it.