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A Visit to My Son

A Visit to My Son

It’s been too long since my last visit with you, my son. I’m coming to visit you.

It’s been on my mind most of the time, this is true.

I so look forward to seeing your sneaky smile and light hair.
I never know what to expect, I can’t help but stare.
I’m so proud of you!  When you were younger, you were such a spitfire.
You were adventurous, always trudging in muck and mire.
But you’ve grown up to be a wonderful young man.
You were always strong in your actions and stuck to your plan.
You became so independent at such a young age.
I never knew what to expect, a surprise on every page.
Who can believe that you joined the Army, married and became the father of two beautiful girls?
Both daughters share blonde hair, one with straight hair and the other one with slight curls.
I know how much you love the hot sun and riding on your motorcycle, revving so loud.
When you rode by, it surely attracted a crowd.
I dreamt about what else will become of you?

Your aspirations were always high, my determined child.
You are strong-willed and steadfast, but empathetic and mild.
If I could go back in time, I would hug you tighter.  I would hold you longer.
I would never want to let go, just want to hold you stronger.    
I would want you to stay young forever!!!  Is that every mother’s dream?
But life goes on, isn’t that the way it would seem?
I never worried about my care in old age.  I knew I could always depend on you.
You would make sure I was comfortable and happy; this I know to be true.
I knew you would want to take good care of me. I knew you would always want your children to see me and love me anytime I care to.
I love your children; they are a part of you!

Today, on my way to visit you, I think of how worried I was back when you were deployed to Afghanistan.  You had such minimal contact with the outside world.
I worried about you and I worried you might not make it home.  But you did, my son.
Your deployment was over, you are our hero, and our admiration grows a ton!
I wish I had part of your energy and determination.  I truly admire you.  You are an inspiration to me.
You are a true American, a Veteran, an inspiration for all to see.
I can’t wait to see you.  I pull up and park the car.  Why am I nervous to be around the person I love so much? For a parent, it’s never enough.
The drive felt long, the desperation to see you is tough.    
I have new decorations for you.  I can’t help it. You are my first-born; I can’t help but spoil you.
The weather doesn’t matter, storms or sky-blue.
I close the car door and walk down the path.  My stomach is familiarly churning. I walk on the grass and here you are.  You are always waiting for me.
Does anyone else see what I see?
You know I love you and can’t wait to be near you. Christopher, I love to say your name.
I can say it a million times, as a mom that is no shame.
It’s so quiet.  It’s so peaceful. I don’t stand for long.  I can’t help but kneel and look down.
Do you see me?  I hope I don’t frown.  
Here you are, my son.  Again, I visit you at the only place I know you can rest.
You stand out from all the rest.
I clean the dirt from your tombstone.  I lovingly and achingly look at your name.  I say your name because you can’t.  
I cry endlessly, can’t help but mercifully chant.
I see your birth date engraved on the stone.  I don’t want to see the date when your life on this earth ended. It was the worst day of my life and for those who love you.
That tragic phone call, your motorcycle and that horrible car, it can’t be true…
I had said I wished you could stay young forever.
Can I take those words back; twenty-five years old is now your forever?
Will a miracle happen today, right now?  Will I see a vision, a butterfly, perhaps a special bird?
Will there be a familiar voice heard?
Will my visit bring the touch of an angel wing?  I so desperately need a present from you now.
I will accept anything, anywhere, anyhow.     
Oh, what a selfish visitor I am.  I am so sorry. But I bring you love and memories, I am here for you.
Thank you, my son.  I needed this visit so much.  It felt so good to cry at a solitary place.
I feel I can be free to open my broken heart at this sacred space.
Are you still here?  If not where are you?  I so want to follow you.  I ache to be with you.
I am so weary and broken-hearted, so lonely and blue.
I wish I could stay here forever. This is not enough. But I have others who depend on me.
I have to eventually end this visit, at this place and time, till the next time I’m free.
I must adhere to my responsibilities.  I know you understand.  I know you want me to go and do whatever needs to be done.
But it breaks my heart to leave you, my son.
I don’t want to say goodbye. But I promise to come back so very soon. I will have new decorations to bring you. Holiday wishes to share with you. I am sorry so many tears are left behind.
Son, no matter where I’m at, you are always on my mind.
I’m afraid you’ll be lonely when I walk away. It’s too hard to leave.  I don’t ever know if I should look back.  Maybe I might see you standing there.  But if I don’t, my heart will break even more.
I lie down on your sight, don’t care if I get grass or dirt on me, it’s you I adore.
I get in the car and pull out of the cemetery.  As I drive down the road, no one is the wiser that I visited my son today.  My moments with him at his graveside are all I have.  It means so much to me.
My visits are private; I need them to breathe.  I need to be at his side, don’t you see?
A parent’s work is never done.
A visit to my son.

About the Author-----------------------------

My name is Lesia M. Schofer. I have resided in Philadelphia all of my life.  I have been a library teacher in the inner city schools for over 30 years.  I thoroughly enjoy reading for myself, and reading to young children.  I lost my son, Sgt. Christopher James Schofer, in a tragic motorcycle accident, and this poem has eased my grief in a small way.  I hope this poem helps others in their grief journey. I shared my grief in my book Raw and Unspoken: A Memoir of Private Pain and Sorrow.  My hope for the world is for people of all ages to delve into the world of literature and poetry, share their emotions, and that’s a beautiful thing.