Sometimes when I’m not doing well I find myself on treasure hunts for lost pieces of the boy. I’ve searched his computer and his phone for photos I may have missed, or something he may have written that I haven’t yet read. Or I re-read ancient text messages. Most recently I’ve been searching for his voice. I found a couple of old voice-mails on my phone and a couple of memo recordings he made on his own. There’s a lift that comes from finding something new. Each piece brings him a little closer. The best recording I have now is a reminder he left for himself about an idea he had for a project. It was for one of his more esoteric hobbies so may as well have been greek to me, but the words are irrelevant. It’s his voice I crave – with its familiar tones and rhythms and speech patterns.
I love these memory souvenirs. They let me hold onto a small part of him. I have been wearing his ring on a chain for weeks now. I pull it out and hold it sometimes when I am alone. Just knowing it’s there is a comfort. He hadn’t worn it himself for a long time. It was a danger around tools and his hands changed shape so much with the side effects of treatment that most of the time it didn’t fit. Still, it was his and the weight of it helps keep him close. Pictures and recordings do the same. They bring back memories and remind me of happier times. It’s painful but satisfying to be reminded of just how happy we were in those early years, before we knew.
I want to keep him locked in my memory and in my heart. I want the whole world to do the same. He was so very special. He deserves to be remembered.