June was another big month in our household. Michael and I would have gone on a solo road trip to Kentucky for a family reunion. Stu couldn't go with us and so we were to have hit the road ourselves. We were going to spread the trip out and stop at my alma mater, Berry College, along the way. Michael had been to campus once, but he was three and didn't quite remember it. I wanted to show him where I lived while on campus. Where I worked. Where I had class. Where I got sprayed by a skunk my freshman year. I think he would have gotten a kick out of the school.
We were going to make CDs of our favorite music. Because that's what we did for road trips. And we would have stayed in hotels along the way. Hotels with pools. And we would have jumped on the bed. And we would have laughed.
Michael would also have started camp this month. A camp that is held at his elementary school and full of fun field trips. He would have brought his DS and played Pokemon or Bakugan or Star Wars or whatever else was on tap for the day. He would have swam and skated and taken trips to far away places.
We would have planned big things for his double digit birthday. We would have maybe had a sleepover. Or maybe just a couple of friends over. Or maybe another screen on the green. We would have planned. Michael would have been so excited that he couldn't hide it.
I think of the things I have missed in these two months: the smooches. The hugs. The "I love yous". I think of the movies we would have seen. And the trips we would have taken - to Star Wars Weekend. To Kentucky. To the grocery store. I think of the games of UNO. The celebratory dinner for completing 4th grade. For making an excellent score on FCAT Writing. For just being an all-around good kid. I think of the rolled eyes when I would make him pose for yet another picture. Or brush his teeth. Or pick up his room. I think of how involved he was in his play that his room was scattered with tons of his figures. His tanks. His battles. I think about how I would ask him to clean his room. And would find him playing with the toys as he put them away. How cleaning was a game. It took a lot of time ... but he made it fun.
I find myself wishing for more time. Wondering what I would have done differently if I had just known about this April 9th deadline. I wasn't given the timetable. I didn't know.
It has been two months. And I am focused on keeping Michael's memory going. To let his name be spoken. To talk about him and his life. That he will continue to impact others.
I am overwhelmed by the response to my call for photos of Michael's name. I have already received quite a few. I am amazed. I stand in awe of all of you. Thank you. Thank you for speaking his name. Thank you for remembering. Thank you.