Read on for an explanation of this photo.
Sitting in Pablo's play room this morning. The walls are orange. A painting of Grady and Pablo hangs on the wall. Pablo's stuffed Scooby doll hangs from the back of the door, his neck in one side of a metal handcuff, the other around the doorknob. I was sitting in this same spot when Pablo put that guy there. After he did it, he stopped, looked up at me, and said, 'What?' I must have been giving him a 'parent' look. But that's certainly not how I felt inside. I thought it was hilarious. I asked Pablo to jump up on the sofa where I was sitting. Pulling him into my arms, I told him I loved him. Our eyes met as they did a hundred times a day. Our love for one another had no qualifications, no distortion, no uncertainty. I can feel the warmth between us.
I remembered all the details in the above paragraph in one flash of memory. The words flung themselves onto the screen. Had no idea I was going to write about that. It just happened. Wow. It feels good.
Today, I'm looking at Scooby-in-peril, and I'm smiling. I can feel that warmth inside me once again. As the morning sun bathes the room, I feel the warmth of love, like I had that day when Pablo ran in here and hung his favorite cartoon friend.
It will be seven Sundays from now until I can recline in this safe, warm place amid my books and Pablo's toys. I will be away from our home for 43 days, my longest road trip ever. In the years leading up to Pablo's illness, I'd compact my business trips to London or New York into the smallest footprint possible. I'd plan my London meetings to start two hours after I landed, wasting no time. The motivation for this was always the same: I wanted to be with my family. I wanted to be with Pablo. Sometimes, I'd wonder if I had developed an unhealthy phobia around leaving home. Many trips were moved or canceled because I did not want to endure the pain of separating from Pablo.
I wasn't sure if my travel anxiety would subside now that Pablo's physical self has gone away. Here I am, two days before we fly to Florida for the start of Pablove Across America, and my nutty mind still doesn't want to let go of its hesitation around leaving home. Sure, I will be leaving behind Pablo's room, his toys all over the house, the paintings of our kids, and the possibility to go to Pablo's grave at a moment's notice. But Pablo, the little boy who ran into my arms a zillion times, he is not here. Not physically. I sincerely believe Pablo is with me everywhere. So, he'll be with me Wednesday on the flight. He'll be with us on our acclimatizing days in St Augustine. And he'll certainly be with me on the bike on Saturday when we start our journey back to LA. I could not do what I do in any area of my life if I did not feel Pablo with me.
Overall, I'm happy to be letting the warmth of sun rejuvenate my mind, body and spirit. It feels good. In our house, we need good. Good is good. We'll leave great for another day, yknow? Jo Ann, Grady and I have been through some very tough stuff. And things are just feeling...good.