If we had known that a few weeks after this picture was taken our lives would be changed forever… I don’t know that we would have done anything differently. If we had, would it have made a difference?
I use the term “we” loosely. No, it did not happen to one of my own children nor am I the one who’s had to adjust to this new life but I’d like to think that WE have been just as much a part of this journey as Rick and Roxanne.
There is no handbook that tells you what the “right” thing is to do when your sons best friend/best friends son/yes,he’s my kid too has something as significant as this happen. There were days we didnt know whether to keep calling or give them space, times we weren’t sure if a night out was what was needed or to simply leave them alone. We handled the days as they came, one by one, trying to do what we thought was best in the manner we thought was appropriate. Sometimes that meant showing up with pizza and wine, completely unannounced, and other times it meant just sitting home wondering if everything was ok. And each decision we made ALWAYS left us questioning if it was the right one.
Over the years, seven now, things have settled into somewhat of a routine; the unexpected visits are a little more expected. We no longer get annoyed (as much) when Rox doesn’t answer the phone or respond to a text for several days, although she knows I will show up with the police and a bat if TOO many days go by. We no longer avoid talking about THIS DAY and what happened. Instead we talk about what we’ve learned and what we miss. We (try) and focus on the good, like that smile that continues to light up every room he rolls into.
We’ve learned to adapt and adjust and not freak out (as much) when he says he doesn’t feel well. I, specifically, learned that a frozen margarita pouch is great for getting body heat down (not so good for the margarita).
We’ve learned to appreciate the changes that we, as friends and individuals, have made and learned what true admiration and bravery look like. Vangie and I sat there in awe as Roxy finally found her voice, even if I was the first one she chose to use it on 😜
We learned that some days are good, and others, not so much.
We learned this by example – Isaiah’s example. As we sat there and talked about what the next best move was, he sat there and stared at us like we were crazy, taking each day in stride, laughing at the wild suggestions we sometimes had for making HIM feel better…. And all along, it was him making US feel better.
Alot has changed in seven years, the boys aren’t as close as they used to be but, my guess is, it would have happened eventually anyway. The girls may communicate more than ever but it’s not to talk about anything other than the love they have for a certain little someone who has brought us all so much joy, but US – our little group of friends – we are the same.. Still don’t talk every single day, still show up completely unannounced, and still drop whatever we are doing if we even THINK Rox needs a night out.
We still enjoy the not-so-funny jokes Isaiah tells- but we did stop pretending to laugh. And I still, to this day, feel nothing but enormous love for the kid who used to hide from me in my closet when he knew I was mad and pride for the young man I see before me.