I Remember

This entry is part 15 of 17 in the series Issue XII: Spring 2013 Prose

By Donicia King

I remember November 16, 1987 when my son Adam was born. It was a very cold day.

I remember at home with this newborn. I remember the first few weeks he slept so peacefully. I would have to wake him up for his feeding.

I remember my husband and I made a statement: Wow he’s going to be a good baby and sleep well at night. We laughed about not having to take turns at night.

I remember after four months his sleeping pattern changed. Here comes the quiet before the storm.

I remember we were about to lose our minds. We were not happy campers.

I remember someone telling me, “Don’t let him sleep in the daytime, keep him up.”

I remember when he was six months, “He was getting his days and nights mixed up,” I was told by another friend.

I remember watching The Price is Right with Bob Barker and dancing with Adam in my arms. Then it was Name that Tune and Let’s Make a Deal with Monty Hall.

I remember watching Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Please don’t think I was an abusive mother. I just needed some rest. I figured if I kept him up, then we all would have a good night sleep.

I remember that night when I laid Adam down around 8:30 p.m. and telling his father everything I did to keep our son up, that day and many days after that.

I remember Adam’s first birthday. Batman was the theme. His other cartoon heroes were the Ninja Turtles.

I remember at five years old, his aunt and I had taken Adam to see the Ninja Turtles at Coney Island. Well, he was having conniptions. We had to take him out of the show. He could not understand why these Ninja Turtles looked like giants in real life, but so small on TV.

I remember signing him up for Boy Scouts and going to sleepaway camp.

I remember junior high school, him learning to play chess. He made it to his first tournament and won second place!

I remember high school, his principal, Mrs. Carrington, his second mom, calling me at work, crying with excitement. Our son just scored the highest marks of the 12th grade English Regents.

I remember the day of his graduation. He won the award for most improved student. When he received his diploma and award he said, “Thanks, mom, this is for you.”

I remember when he went off to college. I went to Europe for two weeks.

I remember his 21st birthday at the dining room table. He popped open a bottle of Dom Perignon.

I remember on December 16, 2008, just shy of his 21st birthday, a friend came to my job to tell me Adam had been arrested and it was serious.

I remember a few days after, Adam called me. He was not crying, but holding back his tears. “I am sorry, mom. I know you wanted the best for me. So don’t think you did anything wrong.” After he finished I kept asking him, “Why?” Then the phone went silent.

I remember writing to Adam, telling him that I love him and to stay in God’s word and remember God’s promises.

I remember telling Adam to read Psalm 35 verse 5. “For his anger is but a moment, his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”

I remember going to Osborne, a support group, where I met three mothers with sons that were incarcerated. We all became friends.

I remember not feeling so alone, but safe to talk my feelings out. I remember praying every night to God to keep my son safe.

I know he is remembering, too, from his letters.

I remember one of his letters, thanking me for being his mother, his friend and his pastor.

I will always remember until the day he comes home.



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