Monday, November 8, 2010

Listening to My Son

I finally took most of Josh's clothes down to the City Mission today.  I had packed them up some time ago, and then left the bags piled in the dining room.  I removed a few items today, a few things with which I just cannot part, not yet.  But then I steeled myself against the inevitable, loaded the bags into the car, and drove off.

I don't know whether or not Josh believed in God. His words on the subject of faith were ambiguous.  I do know that he was a very good man who cared for and wanted to help those in need. "It doesn't matter what you believe, Mom," he said to me once.  "What matters is that you treat other people decently."

I heard him saying those words today, and I imagined him adding, "Mom, it's almost winter.  Take those clothes downtown.  It's ridiculous for them to be piled in the dining room when they might help someone look presentable for a job interview or stay warm against the winds off the lake.  Maybe someone else will survive a freezing night on the streets because of the winter coat you bought for me.  Just do it, Mom."

So. I did.


  1. Tears stinging my eyes. For you, for him.
    I love it when I hear that voice, clearly telling me what she wants/would want me to do. But I don't like the fact that it's in my head, not in my ears - that she's not right here in the room with me, telling me face to face.
    I feel the same way about you & Josh - glad that he "told you" what to do today, and respectful of your courage to do it, but sorry you had to hear it this way. But I love that he spoke to you, and you listened, and acted. Contact. Sending love to you.

  2. {{{{{{Robin}}}}}}
    Josh lives in each of us and in those who will stay warm this winter, have clothes for that job interview, or have a clean pair of jeans to wear to school.

  3. Your son was a very good man. Who has a very good mother.


  4. dang. that hurts, the truth of it....good young man of good mother.

  5. Oh, the courage it takes to part with their things when that's all you have left. I understand the reluctance and the slow effort. I love that you "heard" Josh tell you what to do with those clothes. His spirit is alive and well, and still thinking of others.
    Hugs to you, Mama. I know you miss him terrible.