Seventeen years ago I stood on the banks of Alaska looking out over the water, watching the tide ease out towards Japan, leaving the shoreline barren for over 1/4 mile. I had never seen anything like this. I have seen other beaches with tides ebb and flow, but never one that seemed to tip towards another continent.
As I stood there enjoying the magnitude of the tide flow, I looked over to my son, Kalani, running up and down the dock. We had found a common link between us that seemed to involve water and trains. We spent the day doing both of those things.
It felt like the perfect day.
That is the memory that I carry in my heart and mind of my "little" boy. Although it has been many years since I have seen him, this is always the way I picture him. I can't seem to imagine him as anything but this joyful, smiling boy. My "sweet cheeks". He used to grin from ear to ear when I would call him that. The cheeks that he sported were certainly worthy of this term of endearment.
I knew at this time that... I was his Mother. It was a title that was not easily won or earned, but at this time on the banks of Anchorage, I knew that we had formed a bond that was definable as mother and son.
Many years later that relationship was changed forever by decisions out of my control. And on a similar day that is vivid in my mind, I watched this boy walk out of my life and I was powerless to stop him. I mourned for the loss of my child because he was my SON.
Today I received a phone call from my daughter telling me that HE died.
...I didn't know what to feel.