Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I Visited My Sweet Austin’s Grave.

I visited Austin’s grave.  The morning was cold and rainy, I drove with the heater and windshield wipers on, fresh flowers for Austin laying on the car seat. As I pulled through the cemetery’s gates, the rain ceased, the sun came out...

As I wiped the dust off the polished black granite I noticed movement nearby.  I turned my head and waited.  Up came a little chipmunk!  He stared at me then down he went.  A few seconds later, he rose up again.  Down again.  Up again.  He kept doing it, as if he was playing a game.  Austin loved chipmunks.  A week or two before he died, I was sitting on his apartment step, talking to a little chipmunk.  The chipmunk was playing within a foot of me and it entranced Austin.  Austin was on my cell phone talking to a friend and telling the person about the chipmunk that was making friends with his Mom.

I visited my wonderful son, Ryan in Ohio last week

Ryan is struggling with work-related lower back pain.  The company he works for (family owned!) does not provide health insurance to him and unbelievably, they are denying workman's’ compensation.  Their reasoning?  It would make their business insurance go up.  All of Ryan’s money is going to pay for medical expenses.  I flew to Ohio to “mother” him.  He wasn’t able to do anything too active, the constant pain is limiting his activities and causing depression.  We spent the time sitting in his living room and watching movies.  

His apartment was spotlessly clean and tidy, his sweet little dog, freshly shampooed.  Ryan had rescued this dog from an abandoned van, out in the country by an ATV trail. Ryan inquired about the homeless dog at the closest house and was told that the owner had moved to an apartment in Columbus and wasn’t allowed pets.  So they left the dog in the woods with a bag of dog food in September.  Ryan found this pitiful little dog in November.  Ford, as Ryan calls him, was starving, frightened; his fur was dirty and matted covering a bony frame.  

Ford is now plump and healthy with bright, shiny eyes. He looks like a larger(12 lb.?), long haired Chihuahua He welcomes being petted now.  Ryan said that initially, when you started to pet his head, Ford would hunch down, as if anticipating a beating.  Ford has never had an accident in the house, does not get up on  furniture and has never chewed on furniture, shoes or caused any mess.  He goes outside in an unfenced yard and does not wander off.  Ryan can walk around town with Ford, unleashed, and he stays alert at his feet. 

I wanted to give Ryan some money, but I first had to ask him if he was taking any drugs.  After all I had been through with Austin, I didn't want to give money to Ryan if he was going to use it for drug money.  He wasn't offended.  He said, "Mom, I couldn't do that to you.  I am not taking drugs."  I believe him.  I gave him the money.  

I can talk to Ryan about Austin.  Ryan misses and mourns Austin as much as I do.  I know that it is a brothers love, not a mothers love, but it is immense, never the less.  Ryan keeps a framed 8X10 photo of Austin in his bedroom.  The ashtrays in Ryan's apt. are pottery that Austin made in high school, his name carved on the bottom.  Austin didn’t leave Ryan and Ryan keeps him close by.  They are two brothers that have found a way to always support each other, in ways that is beyond comprehension to most.