It had been a week since they buried their eldest son; something that no parent should ever have to do. She sat alone in the den, her husband having long since gone to bed. There wasn’t much communication; it seemed there was nothing left to say; only grief, sadness and deafening silence hung between them.
She emptied the wine bottle into her glass, pulled the blanket tighter around her shoulders, picked up the remote and pressed play; and there he was, alive in her eyes once more. Running across the lawn with their old dog Dixie, splashing in the bathtub, bubbles flying everywhere, as he giggled and smiled into the camera. She sobbed into her glass and reached for a tissue; images, memories and a life that was no more, flashing across the screen, illuminating the darkened room.
Then she heard her husband’s voice calling out from across the room; “Tommy, get daddy a beer,” he said, as the little boy, just barely two, ran in front of the camera, bare feet slapping across the tile, his diaper sagging as he stopped and took the empty can from his father’s hand.
The camera followed as he made his way up the step into the dining room and on into the kitchen, where he stopped at the trash to dispose of the beer can, but not before he raised it to his lips, tipped his little head back, emptying the remaining contents into his mouth; his parent’s laughter, captured forever, as they delighted in his shenanigans. A moment later the refrigerator door opened, the light came on and back into view he came, all smiles, holding out the cold, full can, “Here, dada.”
She didn’t dwell on why her son was dead, the cause and effect of actions all his own. All she saw was her precious child, taken too soon, lost to her forever. And she didn’t stop to think about the mother on the other side of the city, who was grieving the death of her own child, whose life was snuffed out by the drunk driver who crossed the yellow line and hit them head on; begging for just one more moment to hold her baby in her arms, driving herself insane wondering what she had done to deserve such cruel fate.