Yesterday I was upstairs scouring the house for Disney Cars. I had his big red Mack transport carrier open and was trying to account for each of the twenty or so characters–Lightning McQueen, Doc, Chick Hicks. I was sticking hangers under hot water radiators all over the house trying to fish out the little cars from beneath them. I foraged through the drawers of the boys playroom; I checked his toy box and under his bed. I found every last one of them.
It was my mission–to ensure that I put everything in the four boxes I had laid out on the floor of our foster son’s room. Once I had the cars packed I moved on to other essential toys and games–Candyland, Hungry Hippo, a remote control motorcycle. I went to his books next and the DVDs, grabbed anything Curious George, Thomas the Train and his favorite, Super Hero Squad. I taped up each box as I packed.
Then it was time to assemble the clothes. We had washed everything in his hamper the night before. I removed all of his clothing from his dresser and the laundry basket, carefully checked the sizes and folded them into piles. I placed shirts and pants, shorts and shoes, socks and PJs each in their own pile. Then I placed each pile into the boxes. There were four that I carried down the stairs and placed in the back of the wagon. Finally I put his scooter and helmet in the back. It was the remnants of his life, not everything but the most important things.
I was out of time. Darrow was scheduled to drop off the rest of T’s things before 4PM. You see, there is no way to be prepared when the call comes. You think you’ve run through it all in your head but realize later that you don’t know what to pack, and what’s worse you can’t think straight. I took the job because I was able to turn it all off for the moment and focus on the task itself. I could make the decision to take the fire truck (he likes to play with it) and leave the bus (it’s not really his favorite). I would pack every single item of clothing he has to his name because I didn’t know when he would have new clothes again. I would pack his scooter in the hopes that he would always wear his helmet and his mother would not allow him to ride near busy streets. I did the necessary because I had to. In spite of the grief and anger that I felt, our job as foster parents was not complete until our son had most of what he could bring of his life with us, to his new home.
It is with sadness that I write this post, to tell you that after 3 1/2 years, I have lost my son. It hurts like hell. My life will never be the same without him. I will never recover from this loss–that’s the way it feels. It just hurts like hell.