Friday, June 7, 2013
He talked the entire time, beginning from when we got into the car, until we said our goodbyes. I wouldn't be able to tell you what he said, I was too busy thinking, trying not to let my will power down, while at the same time battling the feelings of a mom.
He had come to visit for the afternoon, we hadn't seen him since several weeks before the accident. When he arrived at the front door, he knocked. None of the other kids that have moved away have ever knocked when they came to visit, it was unsettling, like he felt he didn't belong.
He looked tired when he came up the stairs. He was dirty and the smell of homeless life covered him and filled the living room. He apologized without anyone mentioning it to him.
"How long has it been since you've had a shower?"
"About two or three weeks. I don't want to take one and then have to put dirty clothes back on."
I felt the tears stinging my eyes, but was able to hold them back, on the outside, but not in my soul.
I asked if he wanted some of his Dad's clothes to change into so he could take a shower and wash what he had on, the only clothes he had left, the only clothes to his name. He looked surprised and accepted the offer.
Soon he came upstairs, smelling fresh and clean. He began to talk, sat in a chair, then quickly fell asleep. I left him there, I'm sure he hadn't slept well in some time. While he slept I went to the grocery store, came home and began to prepare the evening meal.
At dinner he ate as if he hadn't eaten in awhile. He probably hadn't, but then again, it was Chicken Teriyaki, his favorite. We had to hurry through dinner, he had to be at the shelter in time to line up in hopes of getting a bed for the night.
He took his time gathering what few possessions he had left, a backpack, a water bottle and a note pad, more time than usual.
I went out to speak with his Dad while I waited for him. Soon he came out of the house looking, well, looking homeless. He hugged his father carefully, but held on for what seemed like an eternity.
He was smiling as he got in the car. He had a difficult time speaking and listening to my CD at the same time, so I muted the sound. He started his maze of difficult to follow conversation, and although I attempted to listen, I could only think of my son on the streets of downtown.
When we finally arrived at our destination, I put the car in park to say our goodbyes. He opened the door of the black car, but remained seated, staring into my eyes. I knew then he didn't want to leave us, his family, but knew he had to. He hugged me tightly and wouldn't let go.
When he finally sat up in the seat, he looked at me as if he had something to say, but the words wouldn't come out. We sat there for the longest time. We both knew what he wanted, and we both knew what the answer would be.
He picked up his backpack, his water bottle and his note pad, got out of the car, and stood there looking at me, unsure of what to do next.
Then he said, "Don't worry Mom, I have a plan."
"Ok, Joshua, keep your eyes on the goal. Please check your Facebook, it's the only way I have of reaching you."
"Yes Ma'am. I love you Mom."
"I love you too son. I always have, and I always will. We are here, and always will be."
"I know Mom, thank you. I love you. Goodbye."
He closed the door and slowly walked to the MAX pick up point. He looked back and waved, and his mother cried.