Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Reconciling the Life of the Boy and the Man

I need to get back to finishing the series of posts on Leif's loves and relationships but it's hard, hard to write about them, hard to be fair about them, hard to give a picture of his life and not hurt others, and in the meantime, I'm trying to deal in my mind with the conflicting pictures of my beautiful, brilliant little boy, who clearly was much more vulnerable than any of us realized, and the tall, strong, brilliant but unhappy man who ultimately took his life. So many of the photos of the last years of his life make me sad, realizing I could see the unhappiness there, realizing there will be no more chances to find the love and happiness he missed, but at the same time, trying to understand that there were moments of happiness among the days of misery.

Coming to terms with Leif's life and death is not easy, not for me, not for his father. I realized tonight that we had him in our home for the best years of his life, the happiest ones, though of course they were not universally happy. That at least makes me glad, that we were able to give him a good home life with loving parents.

I still think nearly every day that I want to just hold him and comfort him, and that will never happen. Even in death I wanted to hold him, to touch him, even though I knew he would not feel it. I would have.

This photo of Leif was taken in our quarters at Fort Sheridan, Illinois in May 1987 not long after he had picked out "Scamp," the kitten in his baseball mitt. Leif was 12 years old.

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