Yellow flowers sway on the stems of bushes whose names I do not know in gardens of other flowers and shrubs of Rosemary and Mexican Fan-Palms and large chunks of purple, volcanic stone. The cement is gray like the January sky and the blue of the water is calm with no breeze ripples. The handle on the black and iron gate clinks with its signature sound as the rod slides back in the guide; the gate swings open and my oldest walks in. He stood without for several minutes calling my name, or Mommy’s name…. “Let me in!”
Peach, white, and yellow paint chips were sealed in the garage floor and the smell of gear oil and fiberglass and tools hung in the air. The large, black wheel with its pedals still…I don’t know what color the ‘Big-Wheel’ was. The not tiny, but small form of my second son lay floating in the corner of the pool – beautiful, blue water, not moving. I was wearing my brown corduroy overalls and I consciously ran to the other side of the pool instead of jumping into its February chill. Did I grab his arm or his body? I don’t know. I clutched him to my body and yelled “Oh my God! Oh Shit!” I saw the gray sky and the garage in the rear of the neighbor’s yard. “Oh my god!” This can’t be happening…what would I do with only two sons? I pounded on his back then lay him on the gray, cement patio…blew into his mouth…turned him over again…why isn’t he holding his head still? His forehead banged on the cement as I turned him over.
His mom was hysterical…long, blonde hair, panic-stricken face, gray eyes, red face, screaming, hitting herself…starting her period as her soul clenched down upon itself inside…and the blank, gray eyes, wide open…I wondered what they saw. I wonder what they saw. What was his almost two-year-old mind thinking? What rush of terror-induced hormones were crashing through his body as he sank below the air into the beautiful, blue water? As he was floating when I found him, how much air was in his lungs? The water being so cold would have caused him to gasp-in the air as he fell into it. Maybe that’s what saved him. And how many minutes had passed?
And where was God? This is when I first began to doubt. All I wanted was to be closer to Him…and He ran away. He became less. Bad happens to the good and the bad alike. Then why pray…why pray if He isn’t going to listen anyway…?