Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Someone Tell Me Where He Is

Thomas lately has looked so....haggard. Worn out, tired, unkempt, mellow and a little bit lost. I don't like seeing him this way. There has been this slow decline of his spirit and what is chipping away at him I'm still not sure what it is. Sure, he smiles, he carries on a conversation though they're most often short and sweet but there is just something missing. I miss him and each day he changes I miss him even more.

You should have seen him yesterday. We were headed out for his weekly blood tests for the clozaril and he emerged from his room with his hair sticking up in 3 spots on his head and it was greasy and full of dandruff and as I said, there was that haggard thing too. Bless his heart when I asked about the hair that was sticking up he asked me to fix it. It's been a long time since he's let me care for him in such a tender way.

I sprayed his hair with water and tried to press down the parts sticking up and was rushing it because I didn't want to make him uncomfortable with what I felt was an almost mother/son intimate moment. We hug, we hold hands in the car, but I never really get a chance to touch him otherwise. I wasn't having much luck with pressing his hair down and he asked me if he should get me his brush and I said yes. When he came back I asked him if it would be okay if I used my hairdryer on him and he agreed. I stood there with him, my boy who towers above me and with warm air I styled his greasy, dirty hair and tried to make it look presentable. He just stood there sweetly and silently while I did this. In that moment I loved him more than I have ever loved him. This child of mine, this struggling young man, needed me to groom him and he sweetly allowed it. I cannot tell you what those moments with him meant to me. I often wish that I could hold him in my arms again like I did when he was young and look into his eyes and make all of the promises I could that things would be okay or tickle him and see the sparkle in his eyes as he squirmed in my arms. Those days are gone though until those moments with him yesterday.

We got in the car and headed over to the lab and he got out and went in while I waited in the car. When he came back he had a blue tape/arm band on where they had taken his blood and he looked at me with his tired, defeated face. He asked me if I wanted to go to his work and see the new refrigerator section that had just been put in and again I felt blessed to be invited to his place of work and be brought in at his side where all of his co-workers would see. I know that young men usually don't want to be seen with their moms so I felt lucky to be invited. When we got out of the car to go inside I followed behind him for a minute and watched him walk, arms straight at his side, not swinging in movement with his body, his clothes were tired and old and his hair was greasy and flaky and he had that bright blue arm band on. He thought nothing of going into his place of employment looking like that. It is those times that I know he is not well or thinking clearly.

We toured the store and I was happy as a young employee shouted across the store to Thomas and said hello. It made me happy that there are people at his job that seem to like him. He needs that. Frankly, I needed to see that. I worry so much about him being at work since he has that chronic depression about it but now I feel a little better because I know that he's liked. Now, it's not that he's ever been unlikable, in fact, that is the one thing he has always had going for him. Where I would flounder in a similar social situation, he walks in with ease and confidence and somehow finds a way to belong. I have always been in awe of his ability to do that. And everyone he has met that has talked to me about him later on, they have said how much they like him and how polite he is. He is a good kid but he is lost somewhere I can't seem to retrieve him from.

I stood in front of the refrigerator section and asked him all about it and joked with him and tried to engage him and he seemed to click in for a minute. Then it was time to go. Once again I followed my boy out of the store and we got in the car.

Someone please, tell me where my boy is. I see him in pieces and parts here and there but a lot of him is gone somewhere else. I miss him more than I have ever missed anyone in my life. Yesterday, though, I was blessed beyond words. We had our moment with a spray bottle, a brush and a hairdryer and when I finished up doing his hair I ran my hand down his back and rubbed it and asked for a hug that he gave me with such sweetness and that moment I will never forget.

I love that boy.

More than life itself.

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