Rain

rain falling gently now

I do not sleep

Freddie said “I love to hear the rain” and I said “I do too.”

To walk through his house again to smell the smell of his house and the redwood trees to visualize him pushing his walker down the hall stopping briefly at the living room door where I slept on the couch to say “Mom I am sorry about the things I said last night.” and I would answer “I am sorry as well for my behavior. I love you.” and he would go into the kitchen to make his breakfast or take his medicine.

To see him feed his worms; work in his tomato pots on the gorgeous deck, in the sun; eat watermelon with his friend, Ron, who came for an hour each Wednesday. He did not have many visitors dropping by because of his illness.

I wish I had not said “Stop playing with your phone and try to sleep”

The phone was his connection to the world; I should have known because it was my connection to the world as well, then as now. Oh, that hind sight could be zero and present sight could be 20/20.

to hear him call me during the night “Mom, I am going to be sick”

to hold the basin and clean it after he vomited

to pull up the syringes for him even though I simple could not bring myself to give him the shot, rescue shot, in the abdomen. I wish I could have but it hurt me to much to think about it. My fear of hurting him. He hated giving himself the shop but he needed it to live.

i could have learned on an orange.

I must tell all the stories before I forget.  I have to write my way through this if I am going to live.

Another Year; A Different Time

The year slipped in. The zeal for writing died with the old year. It was too difficult to read what was written without becoming deeply depressed knowing there was more to write and not knowing how to write what had to be written

Then the questions with no answers. Having always written for myself; not ever soliciting new readers, perhaps even discouraging those who did click “like”; knowing it is so easy to go down the Reader and click “like” on every blog followed without reading one word; it is my position that I would rather have a few quality readers who actually read than those who simply clicked “like” without ever reading one word. This is so unacceptable in my world. This action by some readers was when I lost it and wrote “Do not talk to me about God.” It was so obvious that the previous post had not been read. It was then I came close to making purpleborough private, yet there were those who read and they were my virtual friends. I did not want to lose them. My world had already closed in around me and they felt closer than the friends I spoke with occasionally. There were a few exceptions and those exceptions know who they are.

Yet, I write again to let you who read know, I am not getting better and intellectually know this is called clinical depression. Tomorrow I see a psychiatrist. I do not know him nor have I ever heard of him. I wanted a clean blank slate sitting across from me. Maybe I could speak to this blank slate words that I cannot even write here. This blank slate is not suppose to judge me; this blank slate is only supposed to listen to me until the words are all said and the vessel is empty and devoid of “what ifs” and “regrets”.

Will going to a psychiatrist work? not a clue. I still smile and say “I am fine” because by now folk think I should, ought, needed to have moved past such debilitating grief. I have not. Part of my heart went with Freddie and it will never come back; however, I want to remember the good memories, if only I could find them to remember.

There is too much clutter; too many “bits and pieces” not finished now nor will they ever be finished. I cannot finish them. They are not mine to finish; Freddie only talks to me in my head; is that enough to “finish” those things needed to be finished between the two of us? Will that free me from those things I regret?

Sitting here in the silence; staring out at a beautiful January day, wishing he were here to finish those conversations. What a selfish thought. He finished his life without complaint; with grace and dignity even in the face of a mom who rattled the sabre at all the Hospitalist doctors. I wish I had been a kinder gentler soul so he would not have been caught in the middle.

It is time; another year, a different time to try this psychiatrist, who perhaps will be better than those I have visited in the past.

And please do not talk to me about God. I listen to representatives of God, or ministers/priest, from three different religions on Sunday’s.

A Message from the Past

“It is easy to say ‘I want to live’. It is not necessarily easy to do so.”

“This was to be the opening sentence,” Freddie writes in his notebook. Therefore, after avoiding writing now for a month or more, I opened the abandoned book, not good enough for anyone to read, and read.

TV turned off. The wind, the wind whispering and hollowing stories from the stars. It is time to face the truth of a book from a scrambled web of stories told. Grief turned inward now; time, time ticking the seconds away not in a linear fashion, more circular and sporadic as the wind rushes down the tunnels of time.

Nothing new here to tell. The infamous book. It is more of an anthology or memoir, consisting of blog posts and comments from my few faithful readers; some bridge overs connecting the sporadic memories.

It is good enough.

It is not finished.

There are articles written by Freddie from his GLXP days and three poems written; dates forgotten right now.

This is not something that those of you who have read my post would want to read again, however, maybe it is something that strangers might want to read. It needs to be edited and rearranged. Tonight I think I know how to sort through and arrange.

I need to hear what Bonnie, Lori, Anneli, Kathy and Wanda think and I need permission, if I move forward to use your comments.

This said, I write again.

Wind returned to howl around the little house on the golf course where life has grown quiet. It is as if I am not here. Floating through the rooms, I wonder when feeling will return or if this state of being outside my body looking in, will always haunt the days and nights of my life. Strangers seem kinder now. Is it the very pale face, wrinkles etched deeply, eyes searching, not finding, words not spoken except “thank you”, hugs exchanged making a difference?

I fear reading knowing that what I read will be eloquent and flowing, unlike one who cannot finish a sentence without starting a second or third thought and then returning to finish the first thought. Who, in the world of writers, writes this way? Reading would give the answer. The eating away of self confidence.

The wind backs away and today is almost yesterday. Sleep does not always come easy. The wind was better. The silence wraps its arms around me. It will be all right.

Did we live here? Was this home? I stare at Facebook pages: Hometown? Freddie states: Waveland, MS where he was born. Jackie states: Huntsville, AL not where she was born. Did we live here? Truly live here?

My roots are deep in a farm grown wild and unkempt. This seems fitting, now seeing clearly why. My soul knows the answer. This is how you feel; the farm reflects the chaos not only mine but also of many tortured souls having passed through and lived through days of deep grief and pain. It is fitting; days of laughing in the sun gone, leaving this wild, yet peaceful place for another generation to decide.

Virtual friends, please weigh in with your thoughts. What do you think? What shall I do?

It is now today.

Sunday Again

Today I sat in Freddie’s room and played the story of Dan Baker, Twin Lakes Church, Santa Cruz pastor, for him but of course he already knows. I did not therefore, I would suppose it was for me.

Today I wondered many things:

Are you tired, God? I am.

What is right? I have so many things wrong with me maybe you goofed up when you sent me down here.

When does the pain go away? Never? Yes never, you say.

What did I do that was so bad that Freddie had to suffer? Why not me?

Could you just punch my card now? I have so much to write, to throw away that I am overwhelmed and I know that when you die so many things are left undone that is why I subtitled my blog Bits and Pieces of Life.

Today I have been dealing with those bits and pieces.

Silence cloaks the room

with silver gossamer thoughts

Telling earth and sky

You walk not the earth

You walk the sky.

Belated thank you to many

First: I do not know the names of all who gave to Fred’s Go Fund Me for a total organ transplant.

Thank you, thank you. Fred would “tear up” each time he saw a donation and the donor. He knew that you had not forgotten him.

Second: I called The Space and Rocket Center this afternoon to request the names of those who gave to the Frederick Joseph Bourgeois,III Memorial Scholarship Fund. They had not sent this info to me.

The scholarship is for one middle school student each year to attend Space Camp during the 4th of July week, his birthday week. Therefore, my thank you cards to these donors are delayed.

My only excuse is that this has been a stressful year, with my being away from home for 5 months, caring for my older sister, and her husband who died June 29. My sister was in the hospital two times.

These thank you cards will be forthcoming.

Third: For those who gave to the Go Fund Me, I do not expect you to keep giving.

It would be awesome if this might become something that became a cause for one or many of his different group of friends to do, i.e. $2.00 this year in December that would represent that he has been In the Stars for two years.

Of course, this is just a thought from a mom who would like to keep his memory forever alive.

No donation is necessary for his memory to be alive. I know that you, his friends will not forget him.

Thank you.

Freddie’s Mom

Below is the original letter.

Hi All,

It is my wish that you are well and having a great spring/summer!

I spent a lot of time trying to decide how/what I could do to memorialize Freddie in the space community. Finally, I made a decision. I hope you think it was a good one.

Here is a link to the Memorial Scholarship in Freddie’s name at the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL.

https://gospaceeducation.org/memorial-scholarship/frederick-joseph-bourgeois-iii

Freddie loved going to this special place and I have funded this Scholarship for 5 years for at least one child to attend each year.

Each year a child in Middle School, who needs the money for tuition, will be able to apply for and receive the money to attend Space Camp for a week during the July 4th time…Freddie’s birthday being July 4.

The child may be any color, from any country and any gender. The only criteria requested that they display an entrepreneurial spirit and other characteristics that Freddie had during his lifetime.

Thank you if you can give even a small amount. A child will appreciate your kindness and will learn the value of going to space as a realistic dream and hope for the future of mankind…one that Freddie believed was possible.

Thank you,

Linda Bourgeois, Ph.D.

Two Stools; Two States

Every night in my head, I write. The next morning, I have forgotten. I do not want to forget the memories I have of my son. 

I see the black colorful stool in the kitchen. I see him sitting there, one foot on the rung, one on the floor. He has on his brown leather jacket watching me walk into the kitchen. He looks at me so sad; I wondered why but did not ask him. I was always afraid to ask. Perhaps he was waiting for me to ask. I will never know.

Switch to CA and he is sitting on the stool in his kitchen with all his medicine in front of him, hating to give himself that shot that helped to keep the cancer at bay. He looks at me sadly. I wish I could have had his courage and given it to him. Why did I not ask to try? He could have talked me through it.

Two stools; two houses so far apart. Why did I not go more often? He was right when he told his wife that we did not come because of her. I never felt wanted and did not want to intrude.

I never saw his christmas trees; his birthday celebrations; his easter celebrations. We never went to church while I wa their the last six months of his ife. He was to sick to go.He loved music but we never played any music. We watched television at night. Sometimes he would ask: “Mom, will you watch television with me?” and I did until I could not hold my eyes open any longer. Had I known how close to death he was; had I known that he was probably afraid; I would have stayed awake for the entire six months. I did not.

I could not remember the stories to tell him. My memory had not fully retured and the only prayer I could remember was:

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my soul to keep

If I should die before I wake

I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Amen

Did I ever pray this prayer with him which I had taught him as a child? No, I would go to bed on the couch in the living room and cry, so afraid he was dying yet hoping he could be saved. Always that hope that tomorrow would bring that cure for him; that miracle.

I see him everywhere. I hear his voice in my head. He talks to me or my brain thinks he is talking to me. Every cardinal is him; every feather; every raindrop.

I ask him where I should live. I promised to move back to that little green house where I could walk down and sit on my tombstone bench and read to him and my parents.

Two steps forward; one step back. Two stools; two houses; two thousand thoughts pushing, shoving, sometimes snarling at each other…

I pray the Lord my soul to take.