Thirty years ago my angel took flight.
Yesterday, my daughters went with me to choose his memorial, something tangible in remembrance that we can take and grow. His baby sister, born on the 1st like him, chose the plant that is small, like a baby, and can grow to keep living. She said the statute looked like a "little fat boy reading a book" and asked me about her big brother.
He took flight and the hole in my heart has been filled with my sweet memory of holding him, straddled with his legs wrapped around my waist, we sitting in the chair, me struggling to breathe but singing to him anyway. His tiny hands, his head full of curly hair, his sweet smell, his chubby cheeks.
For years I neither celebrated his birthday nor mourned his death - each was too painful. I vowed his death would not be in vain so I got my secretarial degree, got a full-time job, taught myself to drive, bought a car, had an apartment, went to college, and tried to forget the tragedy, the abandonment, the abuse, I grew up and thought I would never have another child, I had already had the one and lost the one, could not open up my heart again.
Five years later, I had my second son and my heart expanded beyond possibility. I was older, more mature, and didn't need my parents. My son Jamar was held in my arms, cuddled, and went everywhere with me that I could take him - even to class at the university. He received all that I had to give him. I loved him for himself and in holding him, my heart melted, I could mother again.
My baby boy will always be my heart and I refuse to have his life be the tragedy and circumstances that took his life. He was my firstborn and my spirit will forever sing his song.
My son was Cory LaMont Brent. He lived, he lives in my soul.