Monday, September 24, 2012

Doing Math

I do not like math, I never have.  In spite of the fact that I am incredibly linear and logical, geometry, algebra, etc..., it's all Greek to me.  I always had to work hard at math in school which only made me further dislike it.  I did not care why a+b+c=z or why the slope of a line could be determined by using the formula y=mx+b.  Who cares?  As long as I can figure what 40% off of those smokin' Christian Louboutins is, who cares what a quadratic equation is.  I'm just sayin'.

Here is a very simple equation that any first or second grader could solve:  3 - 1 = 2

Alas, it does not.  At least not in my world.  I live in a world where this simplest of equations will never appear just as it seems: concrete, clear, irrefutable.  When I was teaching first grade, we would define subtraction as taking something away so that it is no longer there.  This is where I start to struggle.  You see, my -1, Boe, is HERE.  He is in Adler's little face everytime he smiles, he is on my children's minds when, out of nowhere, they say, "Boe is night night" or "Boe, away, yeah".  He is in our home depicted in artwork and family photos.  Most importantly, he is in our hearts every single second of every single day.

Though he may not be readily visible, though he may not be tangible, he is here.  He has not been taken away so that he is no longer here, he is simply here in a different way.  So, mathematicians, scientists, those who thrive on proof, evidence, and cold hard facts, for now we must agree to disagree.  I shall never again agree that 3 - 1 = 2.  To me, 3 - 1 is still 3, 1 is just somewhere else. He is everywhere and nowhere all at once.  He is my little boy, he is a brother, a son, the playmate and best friend who is missed always, thought of constantly and loved forever.  -1 is Boe.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How can I explain?

Yesterday, we took the kids to see Boe.  Brody had never been, and we decided it was high time that he meet his big brother.  All the "big" kids wanted to give Boe high fives and knuckles, which we gladly indulged.  After the novelty of that wore off, Adler and Cameron decided it would be fun to play hide and seek; Libby, on the other hand, had something else in mind.

Libby wanted to know all about Baby Boe.  Why was he here?  Since he was sleeping, could we wake him up?  Why can't he come home with us?  How is he in heaven and the "itch" at the same time?  Why did God want him?

Her curiosity and genuine interest were dear and so very heartbreaking all at once.  I intensely dislike the fact that this is the reality that has been thrust upon my surviving children.  I am a big girl, I can take this.  I can deal with it and make peace with it.  I can live my life as completely and joyfully as possible.  My children?  That is a different story.

They should not have to learn what words like cemetery, pass away, niche, pay our respects, and the like mean.  Not now, not until they are much much older.  They should not associate the purchase of flowers with a trip to visit their brother.  When they give their brother high fives and knuckles it should be as they cavort and play, not to some cold slab of marble in the silence of a mausoleum.  The only little blue box my daughter should ever have to hear about is one from Tiffany and Co., wherein lies some beautiful precious trinket, not the little blue box in which her brother's remains rest.

Unfortunately, this is the hand which we have been dealt.  How can I possibly explain all of this to them when it is something which I do not fully understand myself?