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Remembering Isaac *warning: this may be hard to hear*

Please...Do not enter unless you are prepared to read raw emotion or if you cannot handle sadness.

WARNING: This post is emotional…it involves sadness, heartache and truth…and it is not intended to draw pity or a response from anyone. I am not saying anything negative about my husband or my son...this is simply me, being REAL.

Those that see me on a regular basis, and some of those that occasionally run into me, say that I am always happy. They say that I never lose my smile. Some even ask me, "do you EVER have a bad day?" Well, the purpose of my blog is to help other people. I want people to see my struggles, my good times, my hard times; I want to show people the real me to inspire them - to give them hope - so I decided to share something I wrote back before the holidays. I never had intentions of sharing this; however, lately I have been reminded that people need to see the real me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - today I had a minor setback…I did not know how to handle the experience I was facing… props to my husband for holding me up (literally) when I became too weak to stand on my own. It is okay that the only thing he can do is whisper, “I know baby, I know.” But honestly, he doesn’t know. He doesn’t know how many times I really break…how many times I pick myself up off our bedroom floor…he doesn’t know that this is the third time in five days…he doesn’t know what it is like to have a little boy, to raise him on your own, for the two of you to only have each other, and then have him die in your arms as 20 years of his life flash through your mind …he doesn’t know what it is like to look at your youngest child, but only see your oldest standing there.

See, Caleb is growing up…growing up very fast…and while we are very proud of him…it also hurts.

Yes, he is standing on a bar he will not fall.

Over the weekend, I see Caleb standing in the living room, earbuds in, controller in hand, playing Fortnite…most people (especially parents) cringe at the thought…but not me…it is a reminder that I have a son, that he is alive and well, that he is at home and, just like his older brother, he picked up my (old) habits of gaming. So, when I hear the callouts while I am cooking in the kitchen…”He just launched”…”I have a mini for you”… I continue to gather the dirty clothes around the house because I am used to being in the battle zone …“The guy by the tree is a one shot”…”Move towards the bubble”… but Caleb isn’t talking to some stranger out there in the land of Fortnite…he’s talking to Bradly, my husband, who is on the couch, wireless Beats over his ears, microphone turned up, white controller in his hand, calling back…”Dude, where we gonna land”…”You want me to jump off the cliff?”…”I’m in your house”…I sit down in the floor to work on my newest string art design, and Brad calls out to Caleb…”The storm is getting closer”… ”Do you have any heals?” I leave the room and no one notices. I collapse, hitting my knees beside my bed, burying my face into the comforter, screaming out in anger…sadness hits; tears fall; I can’t catch my breath. My strength is gone and I am overwhelmed with the pain of losing my son. There should be THREE people in that room gaming together. Isaac should be the one making the call outs…leading them through to the Bubble.

It is NOT fair. I just want to SCREAM out loud as I cry out in literal pain while fighting the urge to throw anything I can get my hands on. I WANT MY SON BACK. I don’t want to live this way anymore. I just want the sadness to end…You have no idea how hard it is to look at Caleb and see Isaac standing there…he looks and acts so much like him. Caleb does all the things Isaac did and would be doing…he says the things Isaac always said, like “I gotchu” and He calls me “mum”, and when he speaks (especially over the phone) you would swear Isaac was talking to you in that very moment. Oh, Dear. God. help me…I love Caleb so much and I am super proud of who/what he is…but sometimes it is so. Very. Hard. You just don’t know. You do not understand, and you will never understand. No one knows what I go through every single day in my own house…not even the ones who live there.

Pictures are a window to our memories.

I dry my eyes and get up off the floor. As I walk back into the living room I pass Isaac’s pictures in the hallway. He was so handsome. Then I go right back to working on my string art thinking to myself, Isaac would have loved playing this game with Caleb and Brad…and he would have caught up with his friends online – his whole FAM working together, as a team, in the Battle Royale…the fight to be the last one standing…yeah, he’d be right up there with Ninja (if you don’t know who that is, you don’t know Fortnite). Dinner is almost done, so I get up to fix everyone’s plates…all as if nothing ever happened…because no one knows it did…

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