It seems like only yesterday i straightened Jake's room, made the bed with new comforter and Spiderman sheets. Trying to wait patiently for his impending return after all the service plan did say "return to home". It won't be much longer now because I completed every requirement on the service plan, gone above and beyond, as is my nature. Little did I know that completing the service plan was only the beginning of an unending nightmare, that I still haven't awakened from.
In the months and now years since I made his bed for the last time I have carefully avoided "that room". Placing blankets over the door so I could not see inside. I did not want to allow my mind to wander over the way he would sneak into my bed and place his foot on my back, and be instantly asleep. Or how we would sit in the chair and endlessly watch Sesame street, Spiderman, and the Avenger's, eating cold cereal out of a box together and giggling about nothing except the fact that we were together and happy. I had finally learned how to take time with a child, instead of hurrying off to work or thru life. We were buddy's.
His books are in there. Special Sesame street books that his Aunt Sarah handed down to him when her children were finished with them. We read them a thousand times. Those and so many others. I had finally learned to take those moments and live in them.. Reading was our favorite thing to do together. I cannot bring myself to touch the books. Or even think of them. Until today.
Today some part of my manic self decided I could handle Jake's room. I removed the blankets and very quickly turned on the light. It was all there....his favorite toys, action figures, clothes, Lego's, favorite movies, and the books. It shocked me that it was all in place, a bit dusty, but still there...waiting silently for the little boy named Jake who would not be coming home again.
I sat down on the edge of the bed, and closed my eyes....trying to stop the memories, that I have held at bay for so long, from taking over my thoughts, my soul, my heart. It didn't work. My mind raced back to the day Jake was #TAKEN... the good day of trick or treating we would have, the costume i had made....not knowing that it would be the last day of our life together. The last time.........for everything.
Then incredibly my mind went back even further! How dare my thoughts disobey me like this! I saw myself reaching out for the little newborn grandchild for the first time. His fingers so delicate, i marveled at the miracle that was"Jake". A thousand million memories followed in rapid fire succession, the first smile, first Christmas, first birthday...all the first's that a grandparent enjoys so much more than a parent! His joy in the discovery of mashed potato's, the swimming pool, finger paints and play doh. This little fella was fun!
I did not allow my mind to go further than the day Jake was #TAKEN. I did not want my all consuming hatred for the corrupt family court and child protection system to encroach on this time capsule of Jake's life. I closed my eyes again and heard myself say, " I love you, sun and moon and stars" and Jake said, " and infinity, infinity, infinity" How had i kept my mind from remembering that rhyme we used to share? How had i made it to this point? How had I managed to control myself from killing every single person involved in the forced removal of my grandson? Am I truly every going to be "OK" again? At this point, I don't think there is an "OK". There is no point of acceptance. No healing. No moving past the "#TAKEN" event that has been foisted onto me in the interest of job security for a caseworker. CASA, judge, and related services industry. I hate every single one of them with the cool vile hatred, that i had convinced myself I was incapable of.
As I covered...carefully covered the door of Jake's room, I asked God to help me. Another thing I have not been able to do for a long time....ask God for anything. I have been pretty pissed at God...and hid it by continuing on in my duties as a Eucharistic Minister and janitor.
It will probably be some time before i get the courage to pull back the covers on Jake's room again.