When Grief is too much, you write about a vase instead… Happy Birthday Emmanuel Langston

August 13th 2015

Dear Diary,

                         I broke my vase today. My favorite one; the only one actually. It was in the center of the mantel above the fireplace. The vase was one of a kind nestled between a bushel of dying roses and a picture I hardly noticed anymore.

                          Glass went everywhere. I saw shards of glass run and hide under the carpet, some flew by the baseboard, and a few tiny pieces escaped into the other rooms. Before I even had time to acknowledge the breaking, sharp pain climbed up from my foot, rushed around my gut, and rose all the way into my chest before exploding into every corner of my being. And I begin to see red.

                         It took me about an hour to clean it all up- the blood. People were coming over and I didn’t want my mess to be a topic of discussion. So I cleaned. Washed the blood down the drain and swept the glass where no one could see it. Then, I entertained.

August 26th 2015

Dear Diary,

                         I just stepped in that glass I swept up. It was to be expected, the pain that is. I guess because I swept it up and not cleaned it up, I was bound to encounter it again. And damn, it hurt! There is blood everywhere now! The most embarrassing part is that I didn’t realize the blood had splashed on my cotton white pants. Not until someone pointed it out. “There’s blood on your leg. Did you cut yourself?”                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, a few days ago but I thought I had bandaged it well! Sorry.

Sept 1st 2015

Dear Diary,

                         I had damn near forgotten about that vase I broke til I was in the store today. I wasn’t paying much attention, just roaming up and down the aisles, shopping like normal people do. Without realizing it, I was in the vase section. Row upon row of vases in all shapes and sizes. I’m tempted to pick one up again. But how can you replace something that’s one of a kind. Besides, I’d probably just break that one too. I feel uneasy about thinking this way but I can’t help it. That spot on the mantel feels empty without a vase.

Sept 21st 2015

Dear Diary,

                         There is glass in my foot! I didn’t even see it coming. But here it is, just as bloody and as messy as the first time. Laying there in plain sight but I didn’t see this situation coming so I couldn’t avoid it. I guess it’s my fault. I should have known there would be glass eventually.

                         People are starting to forget now. Forget that there was ever a vase on the mantel. Forgetting that that vase broke. Forgetting it hurt and all the blood and the red. But I can’t forget, I haven’t found anything good enough to put on the mantel. And I cant seem to find and clean all the broken pieces. I guess I should watch wear I walk. I guess I should wear shoes in my house. I guess I should buy a new house.

Image result for colorful vase art

To Emmanuel Langston, my son

Happy Birthday! Today, you’d be 4 years old! Old enough for picking our your own clothes, hanging out with your cousins, telling me how you feel. We wouldn’t have a party or anything but I’d cook your breakfast of your choice and let you watch an hour of TV. Maybe even two! Then we’d go to the store and I’d let your pick out 3 things. Educational, silly, and fun! After that, we’d go visit your grandma at work and then see see a midday movie. Lastly, we’d end the night with a dinner. Something fancy where you’d wear a bowtie and I’d wear a matching dress. All of your favorite people will be there and when we remove the silver dome from the plate, it’s chicken wings and mac-n-cheese!

Today, however, I’m sitting here alone. It gets a little sadder every year. I have to keep making up milestones and moments. I pretend to know what you would look like at this age. I think I can hear your voice. I assume your personality and write in the details of your day. But mostly, I try not to burden people with the responsibility of loving you like I do. I hold you like a secret some days. I can’t trust people with knowing you and not hurting you at the same time. Other days, you are fireworks and air ballons. People stop and stare, even if just a while and they marvel and how you come and how you’ve gone.

Needless to say, I still love you like the day I knew your existed. I will do that forever, of that I can promise. The time we had together was too short. I don’t have enough pictures to last this lifetime and not enough cry to even whistle along too. I will though, continue to honor your life and respect that you choose me to be your mom while you lived it.

Happy Birthday Emmanuel Langston. I love you.


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