*Jake has not been found. Thank you for checking.
A year + 1 day since I last saw Jake. Today marks the last day he communicated with me via text. Happy birthday, mom. I love you. And then no more.
Yesterday was difficult because I kept running through that last hour I saw him, castigating myself for not being a better mother, more present, more alert, smarter. None of that does any good, but it was the day for it. I fought back by grading papers. Focus squeezes everything else out.
Today is going to be as pleasant as I can allow it to be. The path is ridiculous, the kind you look at from the base of the mountain and say, ‘oh, hell, no.’ But it’s a spring day, and flowers are everywhere, fierce from the winter rains. The air smells like cilantro, and hummingbirds have come to call. And I don’t have to climb the whole mountain today.
I will hear this week about whether the dental charts match.
I will start teaching a memoir class on Friday.
I will have finals, grade papers, go to meetings, visit with friends.
I love Jake, and miss him, and life doesn’t stop.
I love Jake and I love life.
I wish I knew whatever I need to know to breathe right. Is he safe? Is he alive? Is he hiking the Pacific Coast Trail? Is he holed up in a bus in Alaska living off the land, happy, oblivious? Is he going to text me a happy birthday? Dreadful hope.
It’s a gruesome, ruesome day. But.
I love today anyway.