Elliott

I cannot picture you at 51

Only the living age


In my mind you are forever

The lanky teenager, so

Brilliant, so deep, so fearless

Thinking you were invincible

Free climbing, black diamond skiing,

Breezing through the calculus,

Theater, German club, Latin class,

Inventing, loving, hiding your emotions


In my mind, you are full of life

Is it coincidence that they chose

Your birthday to be Earth Day?


What lead you that faithful day in

February now so long ago to

Dress for adventure, write a note

About exploring a new life, and

Put a bullet in your head?


For decades I have blamed myself,

Hated myself, cried, with the battle king,

“My son, my son, would that I

Had died instead of you!”


For decades I have been torn

Between love for you, my

Firstborn, my joy, the baby for

Whom I prayed, over whom I

Rejoiced, the son of whom I was

So very proud, and

Anger at you for the devastation,

The incurable pain you caused

All of us who loved

And who love

You so very

very much


But today, on your 51st birthday,

With tears making tracks down my

Cheeks and an ever-bleeding wound in my

Heart, I have nothing but love


Sorrow and love mingled

Tender brokenness, as I commend you

Into the everlasting arms of the

One who is Pure and Perfect Love

Believing that one day, I will hold and

Hug you, with tears we will forgive

One another, and I will, at last

Regain my son


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