It's been 10 days.
It's been 10 days now since Allen died.
I wake up every day, and I know how many days it has been.
Allen was not my child, but my love for him was huge.
I first held him/met him at DFW Airport. I tried to get to North Carolina in time for his delivery, but the flights didn't work out in my favor. I met him in Dallas, and I was instantly in love.
Allen is biologically my nephew, but he lived with my parent(s) for 13 years, I think. I think it was that long.
So---our relationship is beyond the aunt/nephew relationship. It's just different. But how do you say, "He was brother & nephew" without sounding like an episode of Jerry Springer?
I last saw Allen at Easter at my mom's. I am so thankful for that time with him. I haven't posted the Easter pics here on the blog, and to be perfectly honest---I don't know if I will post them all. There were a ton of happy memories made. When a bunch of us were in the woods and fishing, inevitably, a pole would be launched into the water. This time, it was Allen's. He was so frustrated and mad. In the moment, I was trying to calm him down, let him vent his frustration, and just listen for a minute. I'm so glad I did. We sat in the woods and just talked for a bit. You don't get that often with 15 year old boys! I never dreamed that I would be soooooo thankful that he unintentionally threw that fishing pole into the water. If he hadn't, we wouldn't have stopped what we were doing to just---talk.
That Saturday before Easter was a long day. At one point in the evening, I walked into the house and this is what I found...Gage and Allen fast asleep.
Naturally, I couldn't stand it that Allen didn't have a blanket on him, so I covered him up.
When I returned a bit later, I found Gage snuggling up to Allen. And this is the last picture I have of Allen for that Easter weekend. It may be the last picture taken of him.
I still have a hard time believing all of this is real.
I have a hard time believing that this has really happened.
I have all of these thoughts in my head. I have anger. I am angry. And human nature wants me to assign blame and I struggle with the anger and need for blame that I have, because it doesn't align with what my personal beliefs are. Or what I thought my beliefs were. Just the fact that the anger I have doesn't fit in my belief system makes me uncomfortable. It's all very incongruent. It doesn't fit together.
Was it God's plan, or was it somebody's fault?
Is it both?
Where do I put this anger?
Surprisingly, I am not angry at God.
I selfishly wish Allen were still here, if even for just a minute...but I'm not angry with God. I don't blame him for wanting Allen in Heaven at all. But I am angry....
.....and then there's the media coverage of all of this.
As someone who LOVED this child, I do not want to see him laying in a street getting CPR. Who does that? Who puts their need to impress their boss with a 20 video clip above the dignity of a dying child? Where is journalistic integrity in that? The photos of his mangled bike? We can't forget that. And the word, "dragged"? To think of his little body, and knowing what I saw of his little body in the ER, and to repeatedly use that word? Yes, it hurt. Every time to hear it, read it, see it, or just THINK about it HURT.
....maybe at some point I will understand their need for sensationalism, or maybe I'll have some hope that this will all raise awareness for bike safety....or that some good will come of it. But, right now---I don't feel that way.
While I appreciate the efforts in the arena of bike safey, the truth is: Allen was not a member of the avid-bicycle-club. He was not a cyclist per hobby. He was trying to get his ass to school on time. That's the story.
Trying to get to school.
And now he's gone, and I'm left with anger, sadness, and appreciation. Yes, I just listed "appreciation." I am so lucky to have ever known him, loved him, heard his laugh, got hugs from him..... I'm just so angry that the rest of his story was never to be told, and the years were just erased. I'm angry about all of the moments that have passed that I didn't smell a little deeper, hug a little longer, or tell him repeatedly how very much I valued his little life.
I just miss him.