History Mystery

I spent my afternoon with Nat, driving through the west county, and ending up in Occidental.  I haven’t been in town, that town, since the day of Owen’s memorial service.  Nat and I parked, got out of the car, and stood by the bike rack at the entrance from Occidental Road to the parking lot of the Union Hotel.  We’re sure the bike rack hasn’t been used in years – who rides a bike into town when the roads aren’t wide enough for you and cars?  We talked about our anger and our hopes, our history and our mystery.

Nat, of all of us, has long had the most vibrant sense of humor.  The rest of us seem to fall on humor without recognizing that what we’re saying is actually funny.  He always knew.  He used to keep (I don’t know if he still does) a box of funny lead-ins to stories that were hilarious.  These were little scraps of paper on which he wrote these prompts, and in the old days (hard to think of them as old days, since he’s only 25), we often talked about how much money he could make on the comedy circuit, if he were so inclined.  He was not/is not so inclined.  But, he’s got some stuff that would make you pee your pants, and cry with laughter…and sorrow.

I’m not at liberty to write about my conversations with Nat.  This is not a Tuesdays with Morrie kind of story.  Although Mitch Albom and I have much in common with the “looking back” attraction, we have nothing in common with our actual life experiences.  Nat and Mitch, well, probably, nothing.

Nat and I have something we can’t share with anyone.  We have the loss of Owen, as no one else knows it.  I can’t know what it’s like to lose a brother at such a young age, and he can’t know what it’s like to lose a 20-year-old son.  We both acknowledge this, and accept our different approaches to dealing with our individual losses, and our common grief.

Nat is a passionate man, a sweet and caring man, your best friend – if you will let him be – and an amazing son.  He is our firstborn, and Owen’s mentor.  He feels Owen’s loss in a way I cannot imagine.  He feels so many things I won’t ever truly feel, as my brother is still alive and well.  Nat regularly validates my loss as different than his, and knows that we share the anger, the pain, the questions, and the void.

Owen called Nat his “best friend” in his journals.  I hope Nat really gets that.  Because they led such different lives – oil and water, black and white, day and night – I fear Nat doesn’t know how much he meant to Owen.  They are brothers – that most fierce and committed of relationships, and they are now separated by time, distance, and the unknown.  Nat is determined to solve and/or serve the mystery, and I honor his mission.  I am in it with him.

We almost lost Nat when he was 13.  This is a story for a different day, and many of you remember it well…but let me share just this much.  He knows what it’s like to see the light.  He may not remember it the way I do.  I hope he understands that Owen saw the light and chose peace.  Nat, on the other hand, chose to stay here, and live out a life as yet unknown, in the big picture. 

When I look at the sunset, I see two young men walking toward me, and away from me.  Both of them are laughing, and talking about what’s wrong with Mom, and what’s right with Mom.  All of it is true.

Right Now, “time is having its way with you.” 

Song for the night (thanks, Teg):  http://youtube.com/watch?v=WCkQZOnCN3k

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~ by Linda on September 16, 2007.

3 Responses to “History Mystery”

  1. Wonderful video.
    wonderful blog.
    wonderful mother and son day.

  2. Hi: I am so sad that I can’t view the songs when they are done this way. All I get is the Quicktime logo with a question mark in the middle. Does this happen to anyone else?
    But I can only imagine the intense loss that both you and Nat feel, and Dave as well. And Lea. And so many others. Each of you related to Owen in a different way, but each of you loved him deeply. I am glad that you have each other, to remember, and to search for the answers together.

  3. Lonnie, I’ll add the URL, so you can go to the song addresses. Thanks for letting me know. And, yes, we’re glad we have each other, too. We’re each lonely in our own way, but these times we spend together, whether in person, on the phone, or on the internet, are so important to us. L.

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