It was about five years ago, before I started blogging, I thought I’d try out a new open writer’s group. Before I got there, I resolved: I’m not just going to write/talk about Marcus. I’m going to focus on my fiction. As part of the group’s itinerary, to get the juices going, there was a writing prompt. So, the prompt was: June 21st, 1990. Write for 5 minutes. “Are you freakin’ kidding me?” I thought. “So much for the not over sharing about Marcus and all.” We wrote for 5 minutes, then about June 21st 2000 (5 minutes), then June 21st 2010 (5 minutes). In honor of Marcus’ birthday this week, today for #TBT, here’s what I wrote in those Free Writes.
June 21st, 1990
Panic for his health, joy for his birth, love for his tiny features and faith in his stubborn ways. I already knew him and I knew his fight was just beginning not ending. Sigh.
What I wanted to know for just five minutes on June 21st is what I should be trying to say now.
Breathe. Embrace. Capture. Laughter.
A love like you’ve never known will hold you for the rest of your days. Many people live their whole lives not knowing why they were born, June 21st 1990 was a blur but it was only one day after you found your purpose. It was the day after you found out your beautiful son was born with Down syndrome.
June 21st, 2000
I always cried on his birthday and was still shaken on June 21st, kind if an aftershock of life moving on. I cried in private because, frankly, I don’t credit anyone with understanding. I didn’t cry from sorrow. He is the light in my life that glows bright. But I did still cry with fear. One step closer to an unknown future. One year closer to my loss of control.
It is likely I would have cried with any child of mine’s birthday. I hate losing control.
“He’s ten years old,” my father said, “What?!?”
“I know.” I’d reply, “But, it’s all gone so fast, the next will fly by and then what?” I have reflected on that day a lot lately as we’ve started to enter the “then what” with tentative steps and more apprehension than I knew before. I barreled through the school district and right out of it as well. I critiqued every doctor until one proved worthy. Time’s up… she says. See?
June 21, 2010
Well, we’re almost there. Marcus is twenty years old. He is avidly preparing his own Broadway musical, in his mind. He is training for a job and he is learning skills to help him with an independent life. He is determined. He is hilarious. He is imaginative. He is innocence. On June 21, 1990 I determined with “Life Goes on” in the backdrop my son will read, will work, will live and…
And we worked and we acquiesced and we learned.
We learned to recognize words instead of read them. We learned he’ll never live alone. We learned what it’s like to make a Broadway List every weekend. We prepare a new cast, a new set, a new drama, for The Marcus Musical. We learned that laughter is the most beautiful connection and we share it every day.
And this is why we’re here now, now that he’s a “grown-up,” we’ve got so much to say and our time to learn is not up. Thanks for stopping by, feel free to leave a note or for emailed updates, not too frequently, Join the Club Here