I don’t remember what your favorite color was. I don’t know that I ever knew. But I do remember the day we shared raspberry popsicles that turned our tongues purplish.
I don’t remember how old you were when you started actually reading (as opposed to pretend). But I do remember your holding a book in your chubby toddler-sized hands and babbling to your classroom of stuffed toys who listened attentively. I remember how books became your friends.
I don’t remember exactly when you outgrew peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (you ate them every single day for years. Years!). But I do remember that moment in the restaurant when you impressed us all with your discerning palate and knowledge of cheeses.
I don’t remember what your laugh sounded like. But I do remember how you threw your head back and an occasional rogue snort would make you laugh even harder.
I don’t remember your scent. But I do remember the aversion I had to your sweat-soaked hamper of funky teenaged-boy clothes.
I don’t remember what sport you were best at (just that you were fast). But I do remember that long conversation we had when you almost made me fall in love with baseball (a sport that bored me to tears and that I had always loathed). Your enthusiasm, knowledge and ability to turn the game into a story, with likable characters as well as villains, plot twists and deeper meaning, was so engaging. I remember thinking, “This kid could sell me anything!”
I don’t remember what car you fantasized about driving. But I do remember the two vehicles you totaled, and how grateful I was you somehow managed to walk away unscathed.
I don’t remember what your favorite “adult” food was. But I do remember the lobster ravioli and grilled asparagus you ordered the last time we shared a meal. I remember thinking, “Oh thank goodness; he’s eating vegetables!” Such a mother.
I don’t remember the feeling of your head against me. But I do remember the day I realized you’d grown tall enough for me to rest my head on you.
I don’t remember all your therapists’ names. But I do remember worrying and crying and losing sleep over what I could not control.
I do remember there were times when I wanted both of us, all of us, to be free of the drama.
But I don’t remember ever wanting to be free of you.
Today is the 7th anniversary of your suicide. Let there be no doubt: I remember you. With love. Always.