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Saturday Song & My Beloved Son

Photo of guitar with lyrics from Drift Away
Drift Away Artwork

Call me a lyrical soul (I've heard this more than once) or call me a lifelong student of a good song or great lyrics, either way you won't go wrong. My son once called me a "lyrical soul" when we were listening to music. We would do this activity when he would visit where he would play me a song, then I would play him one. They couldn't be songs we already knew the other would know. Harder for him to accomplish as he was the younger of us. We could go from Bread to Pantera, Rolling Stones to the Irish Rovers & Tammy Wynette to Evanescence & back around again. One of the songs he introduced me to was Dante's Prayer and he followed up the introduction with the movie, Dante's Peak, from which he heard it in. I obligingly watched the movie with him and actually liked it well enough. But the song he played prior was haunting & made its mark.

Dante's Peak Movie
Dante's Peak Movie Jacket

Because he told me "If I ever...".

I told him "Do not to finish the statement you're going to make as it would likely upset me, Bubba". (Remember, I just heard the song & it's lyrics)

He comes back with "no, no mum, it's okay. It's a good thing. I just hope you remember me, that's all & I really like this song & when you hear it, it'll be okay".

A direct blow meant with love.

The Nature of Love Quote
The Nature Of Love

We chatted about what the song meant to both of us, as clearly it touched us. To me, it was about being left behind and wanting to join the one you yearn for. To him, it was about leaving behind those you love & are remembered. I thought, how could we both be so touched and be on opposite ends of what the song meant. But that is in fact what music does, doesn't it. It leaves itself open to interpretation to the individual listener.

It wasn't until my son was taken from me that I realized, we are not on opposite sides of lyrical understanding. We were just at different points in the journey. But in reality, it was the longing in between that was being addressed, differently by both of us. The lonely time of waiting, if your beliefs lie with God, for the promise of meeting again.

Direct hit with logical reasoning, check.

If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as new character, Would slow down or speed up?

I would call myself an introverted spiritual person. I have my core belief system which is flexible to change; I do not attend any organized church (though I did try many denominations) & I 'judge' others by how they treat another when no audience is present, or accolades can be had & how they help lift up others. I don't believe in 'bible bashing' or 'shame teachings'. I don't abide do-gooders or those who threaten to get what they want by trying to silence another. I really do not like people who indoctrinate others to fight their battles so they can play the victim. I'd rather be around no one or keep my circle small & live my life to the best of my ability then tolerate such nonsense.

In that thinking is where my son & I were very much the same.

Compassion isn't about solutions.  It's about giving all the love you've got.  Cheryl Shtrayed
Compassion isn't about solutions.

My son was blessed with unbelievable compassion for people because he saw what I had gone through at certain times and for what he had endured from bullying in school for being 'different'. For all the flaws others see in those with neurodivergent brains, there are still those of us who see the wonder. In our home we used to say, "Bubba knew more useless facts than anyone we knew & he'd give his last dollar to someone in need". He'd say, "one day you're going to need that answer and I'll know it". If I had a dollar for every time, he was correct, I'd be a rich lady. I let a giggle every time it happens even now. My husband & will just look at each other even now and say, "Bubba would know".

My son who knew 1,000,000 useless facts, and then you need one. Humility.

My son had very intelligent but blunted thinking. He was extremely smart, both of my kids are, but the way something would come out would just set you back on your heals. With an Aspie mind, you take the good with the bad and the soft with the jarring. Many times, my son would say something out of context because expression of emotions in general chatter was foreign to him (and many Aspie's). Unfortunately, many of their emotions come out in "meltdowns" or "excitability" and even then, it takes work to get to the source of the pain or anger. So black & white statements were a standard. It could cause issues to those who have not experience (daily) with Aspies. The most you can do is play clean up, explain why quoting is important & hope it would not happen again.

Then there were the small conversations had in a moments time.

The little things?  The little moments?  They aren't little.
The little things?

To him, his interpretation of the song was cut & dry. What would surely be the worst thing a parent or person might go through, could somehow be fixed with a thought & a memory of a song. It was just that clear to him. This would be one of those times, I just agreed, told him "I love you Bud" and placed his words in my memory. And we listened to the song again (which was always a sign he really liked the song).

Little did I know I would have to absorb so many statements like this & live out his request, without him. I had forgotten I placed this song on my playlist, and it randomly came up one day recently, as do all my songs on shuffle, and set me back on my proverbial heels. I cried, no, I bawled. I felt all the feelings. I felt all the longing, the missing, the moments. The boy, the young man. The old man he'll never be. I fell apart. 3 months shy of 2 years since he was taken from us. I was mother. A child of God who lost her child to God.

It was a moment ago. It is right now.

He's gone they said
He's Gone Quote

It is still to this day shocking, partly because I have not yet 'properly' grieved my son for various reasons, partly because of the actions of others, an investigation of fact finding & also, because I had foretold of this very situation years 5 years prior, to my husband, my therapist & my son's therapist. It was not prophesizing in any way, but I won't get into why at this point in time. Suffice to say, a mother knows even if & when her children don't want her to know, she knows. My therapist once told me "a woman has intuition, but a mother has God given Instincts". That statement hit me hard with impact and I never forgot it & my first thought was my kids when I heard it. She told me my instincts were sharp and never doubt them & I would not be led astray. I never did & still don't. Most if not all my decisions are based on instinct when reason fails to be a clear path.

Which leads me back to my son.

Good Character
Good Intentions

My son was very fact based. If he was told it would be okay, he thought that meant it would be right according to how he needed it to be. Remember, Aspie's in general tend to see Black vs White. Grey is harder for them. I told my son the truth no matter what & I never made promises I couldn't keep to my kids. If someone lied to my son, he would not forget and had excellent recall. Don't sugar coat, don't make fantastical promises you can't keep and don't bullsh*t him". And don't ever make him feel excluded or left out because he couldn't interpret that pain the way you or I might. A straight line from him to you is all he needed. He didn't do hills and valleys of emotion or nuance. There are always positives AND negatives to raising an Neurodivergent. There is great love & great pain. There are blessings and sacrifices. There are moments of great calm & clarity & times of chaos. You either learn all you can & adapt while loving all the parts or you lose out on all that can be. People are not short on opining & judgements, nor do they see the real work it takes in a 5 minute 'Hey, how are you doing". It is a 24 hour a day commitment almost always born from love when all else can & will fail throughout their upbringing. No two are alike. Not all have the same ratio of Intellect vs emotion. My son was high intellect but much lower emotional intelligence. It makes them hard to read. Which leads to this whole post.

Not many people can take my breath away
Take Breath Away

When they speak shorter sentences, listen with intent and absorb what they are saying to you.

"No, no mum, it's okay. It's a good thing. I just hope you remember me, that's all & I really like this song & when you hear it, it'll be okay".

I wait.

When the dark wood fell before me And all the paths were overgrown When the priests of pride say there is no other way I tilled the sorrows of stone I did not believe because I could not see Though you came to me in the night When the dawn seemed forever lost You showed me your love in the light of the stars Cast your eyes on the ocean Cast your soul to the sea When the dark night seems endless Please, remember me When the mountain rose before me By the deep well of desire From the fountain of forgiveness Beyond the ice and the fire Cast your eyes on the ocean Cast your soul to the sea When the dark night seems endless Please, remember me Though we share this humble path, alone How fragile is the heart Oh give these clay feet wings to fly To touch the face of the stars Breathe life into this feeble heart Lift this mortal veil of fear Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears We'll rise above these earthly cares Cast your eyes on the ocean Cast your soul to the sea When the dark night seems endless Please, remember me Please, remember me Please remember me Please remember me Please remember me Please remember me Please remember me Please remember me Please remember me Please remember me Please remember me Please remember me

Songwriters: Loreena Mckennitt.

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