It’s a fairly mild day for January. I can hear the neighborhood kids playing outside. Today, that’s not so bad. Last summer I would slam all the windows, as if this somehow sent them a message to shut up, and turn on the fans and TV to drown out the sound. Sometimes I still feel that way and sometimes I can picture how happy my boy would be to be outside with those kids. I can close my eyes and see him running around, with a huge grin, trying to learn the rules of the big kids. He just loved other kids. We spent hours at the local playground, a new fancy place which had two separate sections, one for little kids and one for bigger kids. Theoretically this makes sense, but in practical terms everyone wants to be on the big kid side, right?

On the big kid side he would always run to this board which had the alphabet printed on it with the corresponding ASL hand sign next to it. He would go through the alphabet in both of his languages before moving on to play. Always ending with a good long swinging session. That boy could swing for hours if I’d let him…

The other day I had to take the train home from work. When I got off at my stop I placed my bag on the bench and was readying myself for the cold walk. I stopped and really looked at the bench. How much of our lives is spent in an unconscious state? Just getting from here to there?    In my grief, there have been times when that state has been absolutely essential for getting through the day.  I had spent countless hours at this bench.

Kiran couldn’t get enough of the trains.  We would head down to the station almost daily as the weather permitted.  When he was little we would just sit on the bench and watch the trains and people come and go, guessing from which direction the next train would come.  As he got bigger the station became like a playground itself.  We would plop our stuff down on the bench and walk up and down the platform, up and down the stairs, up and down the ramp from the street above.  We would open and close the doors to the enclosed waiting area.  We would wave at every train and many of the people.  He was constantly checking out people and waving and asking their names.  I would get so peeved when people did not return his wave.  Who doesn’t return the wave of a small child who is grinning at them?  Every day we would count how many trains we saw and we would report to dad when he got home that night.

Returning to life without Kiran is not easy.  Sometimes I just want to put my blinders on and plow through until the end.  But how can I do that?  I might miss returning the wave of a small child.