I’m crazy… I mean really crazy. As I raised my first born, Alec, I seemed to have “wish his life away”. Not really but all of us mama’s do it… we say, “I wish he could hold his own bottle.” Or how about “I will be so glad when he can do his homework on his own”. And are you ready for the worst one… “I cannot wait until he can drive his own self around, I feel like a taxi service”. All of those milestones came and went faster than I can tell you… and then all of a sudden he was a grown, 24-year-old, self-sufficient adult in the blink of an eye.
I read something a few years ago that has stuck with me. It asked, do you remember the last time you washed your child’s hair? Truth be told, no I do not remember the last time I washed his hair, or held his bottle or did his homework… I honestly felt like I couldn’t get through those time fast enough when they were happening. But, I can close my eyes right now and see my fun loving, energetic toddler running the aisles at Target looking for his next power ranger toy. I also remember a sweet old lady saying, “Enjoy him while you can, it goes so fast”. At the time, I thought she was nuts!! As a single parent, I felt as if these were the longest days of my life. Days that would never end… EVER…. But they did. Those crazed toddler years transformed into the school aged years where he loved for me to come eat lunch with him and argue over homework. He was obsessed with Star Wars, Pokemon and Legos just like any boy his age. We embraced our Friday night movies, snuggles on the sofa and carefree weekends Just the two of us!! As the middle school and high school years came and went… so did many injuries from skateboarding, emotions, phases and stages. Some I am thankful they are gone, others I remember with a smile and wish I could have back again.
We saw all the Star Wars movies together- even when he was grown and could have chosen to go with friends, he chose to go with me. I am still amazed at how fast he could put together the biggest Millennial Falcon and Death star Lego sets we could find. He loved it. And I loved him and his obsession to finish them into the wee hours of the mornings. I loved that I knew where he was and he was safe… at home with me. As they grow up, we cannot always say this, even though we want to say we do.
Although I cannot remember the last time I washed his hair, there are many “last” I do remember… I do remember the last time I hugged him. I remember our last dinner together and the last text message we exchanged. I remember the last place he lived and the last car he drove. I remember the last day he was here on earth. I remember the nine days he was missing and I remember everything about the moment I heard he was found, dead. That was the last moment I was whole. I savor all of those “last”. I replay them all in my head day in and day out… and I try to remember of more. I try to remember anything I can to keep him living.
So, now I am that crazy old lady in Target admiring the young mom and her little one. Even though I cannot bring myself to say to her “enjoy it because it goes too fast” It takes me back to some really great memories that bring me such joy and sometimes tears. One day I will say it… One day I will say it because those truly were some of the longest days of my life, but by far the shortest years. Would I go back? Absolutely!!! In a heartbeat. And I would listen to those crazy old ladies… especially now that I am one of them.
Remember- the days are long, but the years or short.
A little about me… I am Amy Durham. Wife to Jeff. Mother of 3- son Alec, 24 and daughter Layla, 8. Step-mom to Chase, 19. As of May, 4, 2019 my oldest son, Alec, went to live heaven. In months to come I will share with you about my sweet baby boy Alec and our life together. I will expose what it was like for me to be a single, teen mom, a mom of addict and a recovering addict as well as living without him on this earth with me. Even though it sounds like a lot of sorrow… there are some wonderful times I want to share as well. God has given me this story for a reason… in hopes it can help
someone else along the way.