You've been heavy on my mind the last few days. Mother's Day was a little empty without getting your call. I miss you honey. I'm so glad I was chosen to be the one you would call Mom.
My gosh Honey we walked a bumpy road. Didn't we. Looking back and with 20/20 hindsight, had God given me the chance to bow out of the problems that your addiction presented me, I would do it all again because of the man you were beneath the addiction.
There are times my darling that I feel guilty. I know. If you were here, you would tell me I have nothing to feel guilty about. Your siblings will do the same. But all the "what ifs" seem to creep into my mind. What if...
When you moved to Alaska, I was so happy to see the pictures Haley and Jereme posted on Facebook. Pictures that showed you and your boys with your fish you'd caught. You put on weight and would joke that you were becoming a real "Whiting" because you had. And the rest of us would joke that it was time you realized what carrying extra weight was all about and be able to empathize with the rest of us. But you looked so wonderful in the pictures. Gone was the gaunt, even though your being gaunt still left you so handsome. But when you got to Alaska, you looked so healthy and happy and well. And that presents one of my "what ifs".
It was after we moved there with you, you searched out your drugs again. What if your Dad and I had not come to Alaska, had not moved in with you. Did our presence unearth feelings that you had started to bury. Was it a memory that we carried with us that would haunt you again. I know my darling boy. You are telling me "Stop it Mom." But the truth is, your emotional foundation had been weak. It had been for many years. I guess you now know the complete truth. Had we not moved to Alaska and moved in with you, would you have continued growing and holding your addiction at bay.
I can't change anything now honey. I can't change your dad dying. I can't change it was you who found him and tried to resuscitate him. I can't change a darn thing. Oh God Honey. Had it be in my power to do so, I would. I would change so much. "If wishes were fishes, we'd all have a fry, your grandma Sophia would say. But I can't change a thing, so I just sit here with my regrets and wonder what if.
And so to preserve my own sanity, I will sit aside my "what ifs." I will replace them with my memories. I will remember my young tow-head little boy, my handsome grown son. I will remember how much you loved me and how much I love you. I will remember how you loved my Spanish rice, lemon jello, apple cake, potatoes and onions and everything else I cooked. I will remember you telling me that you wanted me to bequeath to you my recipe box and you didn't want me to rewrite my apple cake recipe even though it was so worn it was hard to read in places. I will remember your telephone calls asking my advice on anything from doing your laundry to a girl you were dating. I remember you loved the smell of Gain laundry soap. I will remember your words of wisdom you handed down to your sons. "Wrap your hammer before you slam her." That one is a classic along with your teaching Vinnie the secret to a good worker is "head down, ass up" because that is how a real hole was dug.
I'll recall your taking me out to dinner at the Italian Restaurant on College Road and how you ate my pasta and I ate your beets.
I'll remember how long it took you to shower. (That you passed on to your sons.) And how good you always smelled.
I'll remember your quick wit. And I will remember how much you loved your family. I will remember your blue Chevy truck and hunting elk up Dry Fork Canyon.
I will be happy that everyone of our telephone calls were ended with you saying "I love you, Mom." and my saying "I love you."
I'll love you forever, I'll love you for always. Forever and ever my baby you'll be.
I'm glad you have peace now my darling boy.