7:30 PM and the sun has not set, though it’s weaker and covers only parts of trees, a spot on the redwood fence and a bit of grass. Shadows gradually overtake the yard and soon it will be completely dark.
I have always loved this time of evening when the day is winding down, people go inside and the streets are almost empty. But the last thirteen years (it’ll be 13 in August), this time of day fills me with sadness.
Thirteen years ago, Scott, my youngest son, shot himself in his apartment in K.C. He was my best friend, and, for some reason I don’t understand, it’s this time of evening I miss him most. His death was sudden, a shock and he left no note of explanation.
He’d been hospitalized for suicidal thoughts weeks before but was discharged and seemed to be okay. Two days before he died, on the phone, he talked of future plans. My husband and I wanted him to come back to Springfield to live. He found a house he liked but said he needed to return to KC to keep a dental appointment. He never came back.
I felt, and still feel, I let him down. I should have known, I could have done something to save him. I vowed to myself I’d pay more attention in the future, to be alert, and to relate to everyone as if I would never see them again. People I loved and cared about, even strangers, became more precious to me. I thought about how precious life is, and what a gift and how we must make the most of it while we’re here. But as the years have gone by and I’ve become involved with other matters–death of another son, my husband’s death, my illnesses, even everyday mundane matters–that foresight has been dulled. Appreciation and joy for the beauty of life mostly eludes me. I take my loved ones for granted. Only nature touches me so that I really feel it in my soul. A sad state of affairs.
I want to change before it’s too late; I even know some ways to begin; I’m so focused on my physical problems and my fear of dying, I’m distracted from my resolve. But I’ll keep trying. I so want to open the door to my heart.