Depression: A Duet
He left us one day, my beautiful magnificent son. His spirit just left the room. I don’t know where he went. Depression never tells you where it takes them. It never tells you where it takes you, either.
We wondered in fifth grade when his brain was working faster than classmates—when his intellect far surpassed that of his peers, but he never talked. I didn’t talk either really. Neither of us realized we were both beginning to travel a trail not walked by many, mother and child in depression.
I think I entered later, but reality be told, I probably was in the fog earlier, by about five years.
I can never grab back lost moments, but then I don’t think I provided the moments so they were never lost. He had nothing to grab back, he just never shared, emotions, thoughts, class events; he just ran.
He ran on a lacrosse field, becoming a regional, state, and national standout. He and I knew the reality, running and shooting kept him in his zone. Coming to the game, the parent who didn’t find calm, just pacing for success. I never found joy in those games or his success either. On the Most Improved Player award he received, he scratched a knife through it. He just couldn’t see success, by any measure. Sadly, I understood what he meant with that long deep scratch across the award. I knew.
In his junior year of college as an All-American, he broke and I awoke. I walked into his dorm room, finding him curled in a ball crying, the largest heap of manhood crumbled. I was there to support him, but I’m not sure I did, looking back with my current clarity.
He wanted to die. I wanted him to heal, He wouldn’t. I wanted him to die if this was the horrible path he was to take. I wanted to die with him wrapped in my arms. But he didn’t die. We fought, fought, hit, yelled, used language no one should use. Then in desperation we packed it up and just walked and slept all around the world. He slept a lot, I cried a lot. We came home only to both sit by the water for months on end.
I found healing first in those white chairs by the water and from watching him from afar from the kitchen window. When I let go, he let go and came from behind.
He has found his way, not a stock or finance whiz like we expected, like his mom. Rather, he found himself as a waterman, working with his intellect and hands and with the calm of the water and a boat. I wish I had found peace as early as he did.
He will not die; neither will I.