This souvenir photo was taken in Y2000 on “Take Your Child to Work Day.” Davin was 7-years-old. I took the boys to visit Daddy at work on occasion throughout the year. They would sit at his desk in his cubicle at Marsh & McLennan and play computer games he’d set up on his desktop, pretending to work like Daddy. At lunch time, we’d walk across the street to the Marriott complex, imagining the voyages aboard the grand yachts tied in the harbor outside, ending our visit with lunch under the grand glass-vaulted atrium.
Today, I found myself walking alone in this atrium, now the Brookfield Centre Mall. I watched a little girl of about 6-years of age, skipping up and down the palacial villa-style triple staircase. Her squeals of delight lifted the veil of time, and little boy voices echoed upon the great marbled treads, where a young woman combing her fingertips through a blonde flip, and a man decked in a fine wool suit with a beeper vibrating at his hip, stood at the base, together. Enraptured.
DAVID GARCIA : Age 40. IT Consultant–Marsh McLennan, GHI. WTC 1, 97th F.
DAVIN GARCIA : Age 27 (8). Son. Prolonged Grief Disorder.
© 2023, Deborah Garcia, all rights reserved
Autumn has already settled in here, in my home in northern Vermont. Maples are beginning to blush, days topping in the 70’s, evenings into the 50’s.
August has always been a tenuous month, the lead-dog racing into September, pacing through October, charging into the holidays. This used to be my favorite time of year; return to school and normalized work-schedules, empty beaches, crisp air. The swirl of bronzing leaves and the scent of stewed apples provided me with a sense of grounding on the approach of my October birthday, through thirty-seven years of my life. Now, I dread them all. This year, I deluded myself into believing that after twenty-two years of traversing the dark August tunnel to September 11th, I wouldn’t need to refill my benzo prescription. Yet again I find myself on the floor, in child’s pose, heaving. Smacked down by mini breakers, I’m lost in the undertow of all of my designated tasks, questions of purpose, endless solitude and celibacy.
Over the course of this year, free from the constraints of single-parenting, a difficult second marriage, and intense grief over the loss of my son, Davin, in Oct. 2020, I’ve become more present and informed in the supportive and geo-political 9/11 community, of which is both a privilege and a crucible. I’ve engaged in some public speaking opportunities and I participate in bi-weekly family support groups, where I’m proud to have inspired others in the self-healing practice of writing. I’ve dialed in on hours-long conference calls with impassioned, and exasperated family members (mostly widows), phone hearings on active litigations, discussed plans for attending this fall’s hearings for the five unsentenced conspirators held at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, Cuba, and had conversations with senators and local representatives regarding the myriad of open issues that severely impact mine and my son, Dylan’s lives. In addition, I continue to spend bloodshot hours studying court dockets, hearings, and legal statutes in order to learn the legal cipher necessary to lift my confidence and raise my voice.
Without question I’d love to let go of the wheel and coast through my sixties with an iced pitcher of espresso-infused martinis on my picnic table. However, “closure” is not an option. I know that those I hold close wish for me to move on, with the implication that I can pack away and swallow the key on twenty-two-years of fighting for my survival, my sanity, my children’s well-being, my husband’s legacy, my sense of value. Every day I’m opening to discern the expanding awe of how the perfect love that grew between David and I for two decades, continues to evolve in unexpected ways. In Dylan’s inciteful ways of solving problems and his proclivity for art and Edomae sushi. In the love that remains strong between his mother and I. In the way the unbroken voice that had always been hidden deep inside me, protected by the fortress I’d spent half-a-century building to protect the beaten down parts of me, is surfacing in a continuous unveiling.
Nineteen years ago, I was coerced under duress into signing an agreement that barred me, and all those whom share this tragedy and sought the elusive avowal of closure, from pursuing civil justice and appropriate restitution. The largest majority of us were young mothers raising children. Following a great persistence of widows and decedents in lifting these restrictions, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued judgements with the year 2039 etched in the terms, which feels more like a suggestion than an affirmation. For three years, I have been deadlocked by the Nassau County Surrogate’s Court, of my past residence, in my petitions to appropriate reparations issued by an act of Congress on behalf of David’s estate. My MDL attorneys arduously motion the DOJ and petition Congress to renounce extrajudicial killing of American nationals, expose truths redacted from 9/11 Commission reports, exact punitive measures, and appropriate reparations on behalf of my son and I. Consequently, the expanse of time that this wound has been open has widened the berth for serpentine profiteers in cashmere suits poised as attorney’s, congressional representatives, and corporate insurance conglomerates. Independent attorneys assemble satellite groups of 9/11-related individuals unlawfully seeking duplicate and exclusive judgements to seize assets based on the murder of my husband! This dissonance muddles and hurts the pursuit of justice and reparations for the families of those who were murdered and injured on that day, as the horizon recedes into the abyss! To date, I am sequestered to witness the unclosed trials of the few who are housed, fed, and administered health care, at a cost far greater than my “award”. To date, our nation is opening the gates to the great Trojan horse; teeing off on sovereign Saudi assets, wetting their appetites, as our landscape is transformed into hot, arid wasteland.
Each year, the song of the sparrow dims as the ring in my ears grows louder. There are so many flashes in my field of vision, that most days, I don’t even know where my cursor is. Near the end of this composition, remains a broad caesura afore atonement for the murder of my husband and the subsequent death of my son. For this sacrilegious assault on my family there have been no prosecutions. No verity. No justice. No reparations.
For years I had felt stuck, choked by the scope of the 9/11 machine — the global terrorist organizations, the banks that hold deposits supporting terrorist activities, the foreign governments whose representatives and employees planned, trained, and carried out the attacks, the uncountable multidistrict litigations (MDLs), and the U.S. government protecting their secrets in sealed records under the guise that revealing the truth “threatens national security”. Really, the unremorseful mass murderers have already won; Fragment of right scapula, broken mother, fatherless sons, one death by suicide. I am their trophy. All of this, this, this, etc., punctuates the Islamic militant’s creed – that a “defiled” Islam must be purged of apostasy, with bloody sectarian killings. I am the bold-faced sentence of the crusade in Islamic jihad.
But, despite the drag, I have been moving forward all along in my life. I strive to break the isolation of my northern Vermont shelter by travel to explore the beautiful landscapes and architecture of the world, taking daily walks with my border collie, keeping good company, and getting some fun, as Dave had wanted for us all. And oh yes, writing and sharing my stories. I may not always be graceful nor ever twirl with the verve of a young woman in a field of gold but, every day I dry my tears and strive to make peace with the 37-year-old who had to die in order for this 58-year-old to find freedom on the other side of my protective walls. I just want to become someone I can live with.
I accept the decree handed me by the Masters, as I continue to walk through the dark tunnels carrying the ballast of my load and loves in my backpack along the unknown path [ ] treading closer to the lucid acme of truth, transparency, accountability, and justice.
© 2023 by Deborah Garcia, all rights reserved
After Marie Howe, “The Promise”
In the dream I had, when you came back in a shining silver jet you were not aged, but verdant and you were beautiful like you were at twenty-one, taut and muscular, sculpted cheekbones, a bronze luster stretched over your solid frame.
The pull toward you was irresistible, as though there were an affinity radiating from your amber eyes to my blue, as if you didn’t need to speak to arrange our meeting in the meadow where you drove it.
Unlike earlier encounters, you were animated, engaging, emotional, your smile and baritone voice opened my vacancy. You extended your hand and our fingers clasped tight like there was a tempest threatening to separate us. Breaking your silence was what you could not not do, like our yearning in this world, like our promise, as we did, on that shore, in 1987.
And you told me: “My dear, I’ve come for you in a silver bird, step inside with me and see.”
And with overwhelming awe I said: “David, where did you get this?”
Looking ahead of me, you squeezed my hand and led me into the cockpit. It was the signal we’d pass between us when the dark cast shadows on your path, the firm grip that wants to tell you to keep moving forward.
I watched you with admiration and fear take over the controls, like the way you opened throttle on the Hudson, blind, our bodies carving a wake through the river’s urgent ebb.
Your natural genius of mechanical engineering fondled the controls though having known little of flight in life. The engines whistled and the winged vessel rolled forward through the meadows like seasons, entering a bright autumn field fringed in maple and oak.
We were about to fly away together into the firmament and I told you: “Dear, I don’t think this field is a big enough stretch to take off in, let’s keep moving into the next field.” Rolling into another field you said: “this does look a little better Dear.”
I asked you: “Where are we going anyway?” And you stared at me with the blankness from past encounters, “it doesn’t matter where we’re going. Nowhere.”
I felt the wisdom of fifty-years years, like an aspirin flush over a migraine, washing the blinding pain from my face, “dear, I love you, but this doesn’t feel right.”
Your expression turned sullen and I hugged you tight when I told you: “David, you’re getting too old for this, stealing planes, reckless abandon, you can’t keep doing this. I can’t do this.”
“I know,” you said, with the resignation you made when dropping the kickstand stand of your YZ-250 racer leaving boyhood in the garage, shrouding 111 beneath an American flag, — “But, c’mon dear, just this one last time, it’ll be alright.”
Looking into your eyes, I felt myself stepping back from you, arms outstretched, finger tips parting, you pleaded: “Dear, please!”
Running from the silver bird, through meadows, by crimson maples and goldenrod, my border collie, Joni, racing in the tailwind of my re-entry, I came up the rear of a white-single story stucco building, like the concrete white-washed row cabanas, where we unfolded beach chairs and our babies moved sand with little yellow trucks.
Leaning against a wall I crouched to the ground and dropped my head in my hands, deep breaths, Joni curled beside me. A man stepped out a few doors down to light a smoke, offering no more than a quick glance. Time stopped.
I heaved for leaving you cold, as though I were a coward for lacking the courage to follow, to trust you, like I had in life. There was the fear of going, of staying, of betrayal by the heavens repeating, “I can’t, I just can’t.”
You appeared around the corner and silently summoned me with a wave of your hand. You took me into your arms, and your glistening bronze tone paled, your eyes melted into glassy pools of buckwheat honey, settling softly into mine, like crystal jellies in a sea curl. Resting your head on my right shoulder, sinking all the weight of your essence into mine, I said: “Dear, you can’t do this anymore, you have to grow, evolve. I can never leave you, but I can’t go with you now.”
You said: “I know, it’s okay, I need you to know that I’m always with you, we are one, we’re bound by a love that can’t be broken, I want you to be happy.”
And I said: “I’m sorry, I don’t want to disappoint you.”
You smiled, “You can never disappoint me, you are my dear.” Pressing your lips to my forehead, you stepped back, and receded into the seasons.
© Deborah Garcia 2023, all rights reserved
Today is David’s 62nd birthday. Considering that I spend most of my days authoring a poetry book and a memoir, and speaking around topics that the legacy of his leaving has levied upon the past two-decades of my life, I thought, perhaps, it’s time he give his own voice to the story.
April 30th, 1985 was the third day of the rest of Dave’s professional IT life, and his third week living in New York City. Leaving behind his boyhood home in the quiet Hudson River Valley hamlet of Wappinger’s Falls, NY, he arrived at the below street-level room he was renting on LaGuardia Place in The Village. He looked forward to “becoming an official MHT (Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust) employee,” as he wrote in a previous letter.
At the time of this writing, I was away at college. For the two-years we were separated following his graduation, we communicated by weekly phone calls and letter. I keep a vivid memory of the first time I visited him, a few weeks later, when he took me to the fudge shop of mention, located at South Street Seaport.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR! I Love you forever X/O
© Deborah Garcia 2023, all rights reserved
What is the force that drives the code I cannot crack, why can’t I step out of my shell what holds me back? I’ve read “how-to” books got keys to success from T.V., but still I haven’t figured out, how this all applies to me. Sure I make out my lists what goes and what stays, but it’s never enough my story regardless replays. What are the things that bring me great joy? please point out the road blocks, I unknowingly employ. I want a greater purpose to stoke ember fires, there has to be more just need to connect the right wires. I struggle to foresee why I am here, what purpose do I serve the answers aren’t clear. My mother’s hail Mary’ once filled me with grace, if only she’d deliver that awakening slap in the face. There’s gotta be more to life ways to be useful, to further my evolution authentic and truthful. So each day I press on ‘cause I know the reasons are close, unlocking new closets, revealing old ghosts.
© Deborah Garcia 2023, all rights reserved
From the time your dad slid a diamond on my finger, I dreamed of the home we’d own, the children that would play hide-and-seek in closets, and the adventures we’d take together to experience the wonders of the world before your dad’s world went dark. We’d mix large batches of sticky rice crispy treats together licking gooey fingers, have fun with friends gliding down slides exploding into ball pits, and build sandcastles at the beach under crimson sunsets, when the city crowds had gone home.
In the beginning, I assumed being a mother was going to be the sweetest, most important thing I was going to do. Then one day we were in that future. Digging my toes into the warm, fine Long Island sand, I looked at your dad, your baby brother in his arms as the tide swirled around them. And you, with your big, red shovel digging to find the center of the Earth said; “Daddy how far is the horizon?”
I was happy. You and your brother were smart and strong. You were very eager to socialize with other kids and adults, and we enjoyed lots of fun times with friend groups and cousins – summer cabana shares at the beach, pumpkin picking on the East end, snow tubing in Vermont, and fishing on Great Pond at Bear Springs Camp in Maine. We rode the LIRR to Citifield for Mets games, ferried across the Upper Bay of the Hudson to Liberty Island, saw Seussical on Broadway, walked on stage at the Met before the curtain opening to Hansel and Gretel, and walked among the dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History. Your dad and I loved our careers and took great pride in creating a comfortable, enriching lifestyle for our family to grow safe in, building a future for your educations and our retirement, a future space in which I imagined building Lego worlds with my grandchildren. We even hired a financial planner in the fifth month of my pregnancy with you! It was all about continuity.
Today, I’m in another future, 400-miles from the New York island, standing in a muddy yard surrounded by uncountable sugar maples and white ash, my toes wrapped in thick socks, sunk into rain boots, shivering in unforgiving freezing April winds, blinking into the blinding sunrise. A very large house is pinned to the end of a long, winding driveway, only visible on Google maps. You actually named it on the app, Garcia Road. Perhaps you heard me yelling out into the bitter air; what the fuck!” A herding dog disappears into the brush, a cat waits patiently behind a glass door, and I’m alone here, knotting a bag of shit.
This should be a happy day for you. Just thirty-months ago, I had held my breath on your 27th, believing that in your 30th year you would begin to feel the ground shaping around your substance. That you would begin to know the gifts that have always been with you and find some comfort in understanding that the most important thing in life is simply being. The indispensable you. As your mother, I looked forward to seeing you celebrate this landmark right of passage into adulthood. Instead, it wears me like steel-studded chains puncturing icy thruways, popping the atmosphere, scraping every surface it scrolls over. I’m absent-minded, tired, and swallowing Beta-blockers to keep my heart from bursting behind my heaving cage.
It’s natural for most people to not see their strength and focus on the pain, pointing the lens on external realities. My darling boy, you became so focused on the pain you were carrying that you couldn’t see your strength. I think your frustration from holding the dark seedsthat your fear gripped so tight, made you want to sleep through the pain you felt. If you could only get enough sleep, you cried, the pain of living with your past and your losses might dissipate, then you would find the strength to continue to move through life. Son, you hadn’t given yourself enough space and time to understand that this pain and the losses were an important part of your strength. Your wounds couldn’t be cured or eradicated with pills, tinctures, and magical trip treatments. It was your strength that would move you through your life. The life that was meant for you. Your own perfection.
Wholeness includes all of our wounds, and all of our vulnerabilities. It is our authentic self, and it doesn’t sit in judgment of our wounds and our vulnerabilities. It simply says this is the way we connect with one another. Through our wounds. Through the wisdom we’ve gained and what has happened to one another.
You wrote: “I want mommy to always know that I love her very much and I do not blame her in any way for anything. It is my sincere hope that she is able to continue forward with her life, I’m truly sorry for any pain this may bring you by my decision.” Davin, I want you to know that death is not just a butterfly that flutters by on a light breeze, never settling for long before it reaches the end of its life cycle.
Although I know it doesn’t change our fate, I do feel at times, like “Mommy” failed you. And I’ve failed your dad, losing pieces of him, again. Grief doesn’t fade with time. It stays the same and your world shapes a life around it, like a wound on a tree limb. My heart is so broken, I can hardly feel the pulse of the life around me. Death makes a relationship one-sided, holding all of the memories that we have, all that we’ll ever have throughout our lifetime, until we die. It’s hard – when there are things left unresolved, things left unsaid, and things you can’t unsay.
I don’t know how to reframe with this suffering. You are my first born. The one person with whom I’ve lived longer in this lifetime than anyone. Longer than your dad. You are the person who I have spent half of my life cheering for at sports venues, applauding at symphonies, sewing tears in your favorite shirts. I listened when you were at odds with your step-father and held you when you felt scared and sad because you needed to feel your own father’s hand on your shoulder. When you would come and talk to me, you would become the person you were. The person you were as a composer, as a communicator. With your words you could be extraordinary. You became the person you were in reality. My beautiful boy. The splendent child with the gold crown, that I sang to when I first held you in my arms so you’d know who I was. The boy who rode upon his father’s shoulders while resting his teddy bear on his daddy’s head. And, you are the young man who pulled me into his chest to comfort me in the mist of falling waters, when your father’s name pierced the air where a picture frame once trimmed a desk, in a prominent tower, giving form to our dreamy future.
The shape of your absence is a grand piano with the open score of Ravel’s “Gaspard de La Nuit” on the desk. A large pack with four Head racquets, two cans of balls, and a towel inside. A Cessna that grinds over the house where a flight log rests on a shelf, dust-covered. A midnight blue BMW 3 Series with a box speaker filling the trunk. A full moon. Photos of me listing against a single, tall bookend, like a dangling modifier. How the tongue claps to palate to teeth to lips when your name sings through a final upturned line.
What do I do with this space? What do I do with this space? This space.
I’ve lost your name. I can’t say it, to you, to others. No longer spoken by brother, grandparents, your peers, mine — I’ve lost a range of resonant pitch. No longer we. No longer a part of that dialogue of moms and dads with whom I once shared a field bench, an auditorium, a Thanksgiving table. The aperture of the looking glass is narrowing into a sinking horizon. My view of all life filters through an obscured green lens, like a scope in the dark night.
There are some things that happen in life that you can do a lot of work on and move forward with, then there are some events that break you and you’re never going to come back from that. It becomes another part of our life story. Yes, life moves forward, and I am here moving with it, but it’s exhausting and life is so much more fragile now. I know that even though the burden I have to carry is never going to change, my ability to carry it does.
Davin, every night I fall asleep with your essence knowing that I’ll wake into every morning without you in this life. I miss you. I miss hearing your baritone voice calling my name—Mommy. I miss your strong embrace. I miss being able to love on you and be loved by you. Today, I’ll miss the burning continuity of your 30th candle.
If words can outdistance the horizon and breach the heavens, I hope you hear me sing:
I’ll love you forever…
Lessons in Recovery and Resilience Virtual Speaker Series 2023
Tuesday’s Children is hosting a virtual event as part of their 2023 Lessons in Recovery and Resilience Speaker Series on the topic of Suicide Awareness, Intervention, and Post-vention. This event will provide an opportunity for attendees to hear from panelists about early prevention and intervention, grief-informed and trauma-informed practices and ways to support survivors.
Tuesday’s Children promotes long-term healing through proven, resilience-building programming in children, families, and communities impacted by devastating trauma and loss. Our Lessons in Recovery and Resilience Series provides an opportunity for audience members to hear from survivors and subject matter experts on the ways in which the communities we work with can build resilience after terrorism, military conflict, mass violence, trauma and loss. This upcoming session will be important in showing those coping with risks of suicide and grief due to suicide that they are not alone.
The event will be broadcast on a platform, where attendees will have the opportunity to send questions for panelists throughout the event, and is FREE OF CHARGE.
Please click the link below to register.
Time has no reckoning for the love I hold for you in my heart–Deborah Garcia
When my beautiful son extinguished his breath in one swift act of misperceived remedy to sadness, his leaving was stretched over fourteen days of loss and ambiguity. It was excruciating. What followed a photo sent to a detective in a text message, was the initial nonchalant pronouncement, “Your son is not living,” from the police officer standing across from my heaving body in a room of my home. It was unthinkable.
Davin’s body was tagged and moved from the establishment where he did the deed, to a location I had no access to. It wasn’t like the movies where a family member is summoned to positively identify the body of a loved one. I wasn’t given the option to see him nor decide where nor how he would be handled. His death was pinned as a “suspicious crime”, until proven otherwise. While the police had confiscated his belongings and cell phone, my son was taken to a hospital morgue where his cause of death was excised. “Healthy male.” “Self-inflicted…”
November, 2020, opened into the second wave of COVID-19, shutting down in-person businesses and restricting human contact by numbers, contact tracing, and quarantine. This included hospitals, funeral homes, and restaurants. In addition, the UVM Medical Center, where I eventually learned Davin had been taken, shut down in a complete blackout from a major cyber data breach. Doors were locked, phone lines were silenced, and all non-essential procedures were ceased. For two weeks! If my rational mind could have gone on holiday, I might have had good reason to believe that this was all a Pagan hoax and my son was setting up a new life in Baja California, Mexico. Perhaps with his father. Their bodies were absent, obscured from all that is tangible, perceptible, sensible. And although I think, perhaps, it was better for my own survival to keep the imprint of my son’s bright smile unblemished by the image of his lifeless body, throughout my remaining years, I wondered, how can this be happening again?
With the assistance of a funeral director, Davin’s body was transferred to a funeral home on November 10th. Cremation happened on the 11th. His remains were finally interred on a rainy day, to a restricted gathering of fifty, beside his father in the family plot of the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery, New York, on November 13th.
Following twelve days of intense lamentation, on the morning of November 11th, in a chilled basement room of a funeral home, I spread my body over the box screwed shut that reportedly contained him, and sang our final lullaby, “I Love You Forever.” A melody I adapted from a children’s story book, that I used to sing to the boys when they were little, when we were four, and everthing, everything was beautiful.
DAVIN RICHARD GARCIA
April 8, 1993 – October 31, 2020
With deepest sorrow, we announce that Davin Richard Garcia, age 27, of Essex Junction, Vermont, joined his father in Heaven October 31, 2020, unexpectedly. He was born April 8, 1993, in Rockville Centre, New York, the beloved son of David and Deborah (nee Rieb) Garcia. He resided in the town of Freeport, New York, where he attended Lawrence-Woodmere Academy through the ninth grade, until his family relocated to the town of Essex Junction Vermont. He graduated from Essex High School in 2011, where he played clarinet in the wind ensemble, piano and alto saxophone in the jazz band, and tennis. He also played clarinet in the Vermont Youth Symphony Orchestra. Davin achieved musical accolades with the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) and the Vermont All State Music Festival, achieving first chair in Clarinet his senior year. He attended Babson College to study entrepreneurship from 2012-2014. He was a mentor and board member with the Teen Center of Essex Junction during his high school years.
Davin played baseball from the age of 6 to 16, playing high school baseball for two years before switching to Tennis. He played competitive tennis throughout his youth in the USTA Eastern Section, Long Island Region and New England Region. He was co-captain of the Essex High School tennis team in his senior year when he played an undefeated season as second and first singles, leading the team to state championships. He was a member of the Babson College tennis team during his time there. Davin loved flight and was a single clearance away from piloting his dream in the airline industry. He also enjoyed skiing, kayaking, boating, fishing, and rebuilding his car and boat.
Davin studied piano for over 25 years, clarinet for ten years, and saxophone. He was an accomplished artist who enjoyed composing works blending classical, jazz, Afro-Latin jazz, new age, rock, rap, and other genres.
Davin was an old soul with a gentle manner, who approached life with a playful humor that drew people to him through laughter, with love. Family, friends, and acquaintances will forever feel his loss, our loss.
Davin has joined his father, David Garcia, whose life was taken in the September 11th attacks of the World Trade Center. He is survived by his mother, Deborah Garcia of Essex Junction, VT, his brother Dylan of Brooklyn, NY, his paternal grandmother, Hiro Garcia of Wappinger’s Falls, NY, his maternal grandparents, Richard and Dorene Rieb of Moriches, NY, his Uncle Richard Garcia of Essex Junction, VT, his cousin Shina Ellis-Garcia of Queechee, VT, his Aunt Wendy and Uncle John and cousins of Dunkirk, MD, and a large circle of extended aunts, uncles and cousins. He is also pre-deceased by his paternal grandfather Stanley Garcia, and his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Rieb.
Davin was laid to rest in a family plot beside his father at the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery, Poughkeepsie, NY on November 13. A charitable fund TBA will be planned in his memory in the near future.
Davin, I pray that you find the peace you long for in the arms of your daddy. I love you forever, my beautiful boy.
© Deborah Garcia 2020
Images by Deboreah Garcia
My son stands in the hallway my son knows what to say: Is there anything else you’d like me to do mom? // No, you’ve done a lot thank you, I say. My son stands in the hallway his bronzy eyes sweep the floor My son knows what to say: I’m going out for a little while, okay? // Maybe if you return before dark, we can work on more leaves, I say. // He nods – Maybe. My son stands in the hallway stretching his arms long for a hug My son knows what to say: I love you mom // I love you too, I say. My son stands in the hallway his bronzy eyes follow me to the kitchen What shall we do about supper? I say // I don’t know, I’ll think of something, okay? he says // Sounds good, I say. My son knows what to say: I’m going now, okay? His bronzy eyes shift sideways My son stands in the hallway I say, Have a good day // He says: [ ] You too // // // // // bye // // // // // // // now ⊕
About this poem
On the morning of October 31, 2020, my 27-year-old son, Davin, helped me prepare the house for visiting family by moving furnishings, placing things up high on closet shelves, and moving storage tubs. At 12:00 P.M., we stood in the front hall of our Vermont home and had this casual exchange, not uncommon for a Saturday. At 1:15 P.M. my sister messaged me that she was not going to arrive until the next day. At 1:31 P.M., I sent Davin a text message, “Your aunt won’t be here tonight,” so he wouldn’t have to plan a big meal. He didn’t respond, but I was unphased, thinking he was across town with his uncle watching a football game or working on a house project, as was a typical weekend for him. After a dusk hike with the dog, I looked at the clock and sent Davin a text message at 7:56 P.M., “Where are you????” Following an hour of phone calls to him, my other son, his uncle, and the hospital, a police officer arrived at my door to find a woman heaving in anxious fits. We searched his living spaces for hints, notes, a missing travel bag. We checked the phone plan log and saw his last call was at 10:46 am, to a local Inn. At 9:30 P.M. the officer says, nonchalant, “HE’S NOT LIVING.”
My beautiful boy ended his life. Losing his father on 9/11, hiding a dark childhood secret, and living with depression for several years, the quarantines and shut-downs punctuated his feelings of hopelessness. He wrote:
“I’ve felt worried about our world in general, and it’s not getting better.”
© Deborah Garcia 2022, All rights reserved