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I was interviewed about this situation a few months ago, and I won’t be able to breathe right till it gets published. That Jake is still in the public’s mind means a lot to me, but dredging up everything wrecked me. I’m riding a relentless keen. Sneaky at first, and distant, and then you think, “Oh, shit.” You ask me if I’m ok, and I’ll tell you this: I’m as ok as someone surfing a tsunami.
But I do present well.
I’m more than Jake’s mom, and other things are also important to me. I can’t wallow AND show up, and although most days I choose to show up, I’m getting tired.
I’d really love to take a train vacation–just me, my laptop, and a sleeper car for what, two weeks? I don’t know if they have that kind of getaway where you don’t have to get off the train, you just ride the train from California to New York and back again and no hotels in between. (If you know, please do comment and tell me about it.)
Eh, but not like this.
What keeps me afloat is all the other things my life is about. I read or heard somewhere that suffering is optional. Sure, life events can sting you, but then they’re in the past, and it’s how you think about them that hurts you. It’s what you make them mean that hurts you. The events themselves are in the past–they’re not happening over and over except in your head.
So Jake is missing and that’s done. He isn’t going missing over and over. He’s just still not found. And I’m afraid I’ll learn something horrible happened to him and while this will shatter me, it will only happen once for real, and then all the other times I’ll be imagining scenarios in my head. So would I do that to punish myself? Or could I distance myself enough to recognize my son’s free will and natural and logical consequences?
That is the question. Always has been, perhaps.
I keep coming back to the fact that we are to raise our children and then let them go. Many days I feel it is rotten and unfair that I get to do this to such an extreme degree. To not know if he is okay is excruciating. Is he okay or is he dead or is he suffering or is he . . . what?
You know, when I gave my baby up for adoption many years ago, I was so thankful that I got to know where he was. This knowledge was a painful yet peaceful treasure. But now, this son I thought I got to keep, he’s nowhere to be found and I’m made aware that although we hold eternity in our hearts, we have no power over anything but our own selves.
Same as it ever was.