I got back from Atlanta this morning. As I exited the gate and headed to baggage claim (my fellow traveler checked her bags), I saw the empty seats where just last October Dan and Alexander were waiting for me when I arrived from Kansas City. I could clearly see Alexander sitting on his daddy’s lap with his face covered in face paint from the neighborhood fall festival they’d just attended. I knew Alexander wasn’t going to be waiting for me today but I was still sad that he wasn’t there.
For the most part, Atlanta was good. The conference kept me pretty busy. In one of my workshops on public speaking, we all had to speak for 2 minutes about our passion for the Junior League. As I began to talk, I started to break down. I wanted to share how the friendships I’d made through the league helped me get through these past few months. I took a few seconds, composed myself, and quickly dicussed league friendships before discussing our community programs.
During the week, I did cry several times when I was alone. Inevitably, when you get a group of women together, the talk turns to family (i.e., children). My heart was breaking as I walked through the hotel and heard the conversations the other women were having about their children. I know people are going to talk about their kids and it doesn’t always bother me. I think it bothered me this week because it was such an overload of conversation from so many women at once.
One friend did recognize that I was getting upset and suggested I come up with a code word so it would give her a clue when it was becoming too much for me. That’s a good idea. I’ll have to think of something that I can weave into a conversation without it being a noticeable conversation changer.
This week was an international conference. I socialized a lot with the other women from my league and the 7 other NJ leagues. I’m not sure if all of the ladies from the other NJ leagues knew about Alexander but none of them asked me about children.
The only time anyone asked me if I had children was during my pedicure. Even though Alexander is no longer here with me, if asked, I will say I have a child and then explain that he passed away on December 20. It might make others uncomfortable but for me I’ll always be Alexander’s mother and he’ll always be my son.
Dan was away visiting friends in Dallas this weekend. When I got home, the house was so quiet and just a bit lonely. After watering our very thirsty outdoor plants, I ran a few errands. While I was out, I visited Alexander.
All the trees and flowers are blooming in the cemetery. Despite my sadness of why I’m there, I must admit that it is beautiful to see all the greenery.