Sharing my mourning journey as my family learns to live a new normal after the death of my 19 y.o. son in an auto accident on 10/12/08.

Posts tagged ‘music’

“I Love You More Today Than Yesterday”

There are so many sweet memories of Jordan that make me laugh and smile. Memories that always felt precious. I just didn’t know they would have to sustain me because he’d be gone. This morning as I drove my daughters to school, Lindsay broke out in Aerosmith’s song, “Dude looks like a lady.” I smiled as soon as I heard her and chimed in. That song is a part of our soundtrack because of Jordan. None of us know more than the refrain, because it’s the only part we heard Jordan sing. He was notorious for bursting out with a random song, just like his mother. 🙂

Jordan filled my world with his eclectic taste in music. He could come home from school singing Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” and by the time he sat down at the table with a snack he’d segued to Marvin Gaye’s, “Trouble Man,” and then tidbits of hip-hop from artists like Nas or Common. In his sillier moods he would turn whatever you were saying into a song. My music-loving son turned,“We’re having salmon for dinner,” into an operatic refrain. I was also guaranteed to hear him sing, “This Christmas,” by Donny Hathaway, throughout the year. Jordan loved Christmas. Before he left for college the summer of ’08 he asked if our family could see the Joffrey Ballet’s performance of, “The Nutcracker,” when he was home for Winter break. It had been a couple of years since we’d gone and I was excited that he wanted to go. I told him I’d get the tickets early so we would have good seats. I had the Ticketmaster website bookmarked on my computer and planned to buy the tickets the week Jordan died.

As October 12th approaches, memories of Jordan and the gaping wound caused by losing him are colliding. I can barely breathe as I remember the last weekend Jordan was alive. I bragged about him while on the sidelines at the girls’ soccer game the Saturday before he died. The last phone call he and I shared plays on a loop in my mind. My last words to him were,” Be safe.”

I want time back. I want to hear Jordan singing as he moves through the house. I want to continue my debates with him on politics and society’s ills. I need the comfort of his frame seated near me on the couch as he reads or watches TV as I tell him to stop cracking his knuckles and his neck. I want another chance to watch him tease his sisters and brother and hear them yelling, “Stop it,” as they race after him.

Jordan’s love for his family especially his siblings was transparent. In their eyes he was larger than life. He had them convinced that the pound cake their grandmother, Oma, made every Thanksgiving was his and that they had to ask him if they could have a piece. Even after I told them the cake was for everyone, they still formed a rotating sentry to make sure he didn’t eat it all.

8/9/08-Oma's pound cake is Jordan's birthday cake

Every time the girls peel an orange they say, “remember when Jordan peeled that orange and there was just one long peel?” I tell them I remember, because I do. In the summer of 2008, I know they pestered him to show them one coiled peel one night before they were going to bed. Jordan slightly annoyed kept saying, “No, I don’t want an orange right now.” The girls went off to bed and a little while later so did Mark and I. My night owl son was the last one up. The next morning when I came downstairs I smiled when I saw the orange peel coil on the counter. The girls came downstairs and at seeing the orange peel said, “Jordan did it,” while taking turns holding it up.

At times I can close my eyes and have videos of Jordan come to life in my mind. The memories of time spent with him and of his antics are vivid and comforting. This time of year especially, the traumatic images borne of the horrific loss of him are just as vivid and compete for space in my mind. Flashes of seeing my son lying in a coffin mesh with all the vibrancy and light Jordan brought to me. I’ll never understand why he’s gone. I miss my boy. Having an anniversary that marks time after he was alive hurts so much. I don’t think I’ll ever stop saying when I’m sitting alone, “Jordan please come home.”

Pictures that always make me smile:

Jordan crooning to the sky-This picture always makes me laugh

Jordan’s Soundtrack:

\”Wanted Dead or Alive\” by Bon Jovi

\”This Christmas\” by Donny Hathaway

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Soundtrack

I just left Lindsay and Kendall at school where I watched a fifteen minute presentation of what they’ve learned in their Monday after-school dance class. After the presentation they are off to another school project that won’t end until five. I have an hour to fill. I always call the time between my driving shifts as limbo time. It’s not enough time to go home and get anything done, and too long to sit and wait for them. I decide to head to Walgreen’s to pick up poster board for Lindsay and the spiral notebooks Merrick requested. I then head to Starbucks, book in hand to kill the rest of my time.

I already know dinner will be takeout. I made peace with myself earlier today about that fact. After traveling last week, it always takes me a few days before the fatigue induced by traveling and the effects of  lupus subsides.

So, here I am sitting at Starbucks drinking a tall skim latte, waiting for Lindsay and Kendall to be done. I try to read, but my mind is too restless. Every attempt to blend in with the patrons who are reading, pounding away on laptops or talking with friends is futile. My mind is racing, taking me to thoughts of loss and what now. Being still too long without distractions pulls me into grief and longing for any day before October 12th, 2008. I pull a piece of folded scrap paper from my purse and start to write. I’m realizing how hard it is on this day to sit still without crying or  screaming.I remember reading the book, “Damage” by Josephine Hart over 20 years ago. In the story the main character upon learning of the death of her son, beats and punches her face and body to still the pain in her heart. Of course she learns self-mutilation does not quell grief.

I think of “Damage” and I want to scream out, “Do you people know how hard it is to sit here, drink coffee and read? My son is gone. He died, he’s gone. I need you all to know his name.”  I want to pummel his name into all of their memories. I don’t take any of these actions. I sit, sip my latte and continue to alternately read and write on my scrap paper. I wait for it to be 4:50 so I can pick up the girls.

I realize as I’m writing and my heart is swamped with sadness, my feet are  tapping along to the beat of the jazz-real jazz(as my father would say) music playing in the background. Here I am writing about my grief, how hard it is to suppress tears and screams, and my feet are on another journey, keeping beat to another tune. I look up from my writing and really listen to the song. I smile and hum along. It is a song from the album, “Black Talk,” by Charles Earland.  I’m swept back to childhood and hearing the cut, “I Love You More Today Than Yesterday” wafting from Daddy’s basement stereo system. I close my eyes and remember him whistling and singing along, “I love you more today than yesterday, but only half as much as tomorrow.”

It’s 4:50 time to go. I let my feet lead me out the door, a new song in my head. “I love you more today than yesterday.” Thanks Daddy.