Related in grief

In just ten days my son Paul would have been forty-one years old. Since the Newtown CT massacre I've thought of him more and more. I've been through thirteen Decembers since his death. This one is the hardest. So I thought I'd share a poem I wrote about our last time together. Though my experience is totally different from the bereaved in Newtown, we are related by our grief of the loss of a child. No parent is ever prepared for that. The Last Night How could I have known it would be the last night? A night like all the others: the low creaking groan of the garage door, tires screeching to maneuver into the narrow place, the roar of the engine before silence. Then slamming the door, my son, sweeps down the long hall, calling out hello in his deep friendly voice. I startle as I hear his heavy strides pass my door, I call out to him. Returning, he enters my room standing, staring, looking more calm than I've ever seen him. His blue eyes like sapphires fringed … [Read more...]

More birthday thoughts

Paul, age nine, showing off his ability to play the saxophone Though Paul always showed an interest in the piano even as a baby his first music lessons were at school on a rented saxophone when he was nine years old. But after a year and bumpy progress in his ability to play that instrument, he asked for a synthesizer. We said we'd get him one once he learned to play our piano. So at age ten he committed to piano lessons and regular practicing and within a year we knew he had a special talent. By the time of his Bar Mitzvah when he was thirteen, he had his synthesizer and a growing interest in jazz music. The next year he enrolled in Crossroads High School and auditioned to be in its jazz ensemble. He was admitted. Paul as a jazzman never looked back. My Jazzman My jazzman beat it out on the mighty eighty-eights, played those riffs, tapped his feet bent his head down to the keys, felt those sounds on his fingertips. Yeah, he was a hot man on those … [Read more...]