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Monday, February 16, 2015

Nine Years

This morning A took me by the shoulders (she was sitting on my lap) and told me that this was the day that Joey died. And she hugged me tight for a long time. And without crying I said, "Nine years ago today, right now, he was still alive." We did not expand upon the topic, and the day went about as normal as could be. We took turns watching her practice riding her bike, we went to lunch together and brought pie home for dessert. I did dishes and laundry (mundane chores are soothing) and watched a lot of tv. It was just another day for most of the world, but we missed him in our own ways I think, not talking about it much, and just being together.

I still hope he is happier in whatever came next for him. I still hope there was something more for him. No matter what he did as an addict, he was still my little boy, still R's brother ready to laugh and be goofy and draw monsters and aliens, and have I mentioned he was only four when he wanted the training wheels off his bike? He was a good boy, and didn't deserve how his life shook out, and I will always shoulder some of the blame for that. One of my worst memories is of him yelling at me, "What chance did I have?" And one of the best was him holding on to me with all the might of his strong arms when he was just little, and depending on me to protect him. Ironic?

In about an hour and a half nine years ago this night he will be killed in an alleyway in Oakland. What a waste. What a nightmare. How does one live with that?

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