Archive for November 23, 2010

Symbols- Lost and Never to be found -Chris Ritchey

A symbol ( by definition) is something such as an object, picture, written word, sound, or particular mark that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention. Numerals are symbols for numbers (amounts). All language consists of symbols. Personal names are symbols representing individuals

I never gave much thought to symbols before. I knew they existed flashy cars and great houses- symbols of success – derelict homes, crumbling infrastructure, graffiti symbols of decay – statuary gracing community gathering places – symbols of religion-
necklaces symbols of ones faith or beliefs or wealth on display.

Everything around us becomes a symbol of something – November once a month of joy –
Guy Fawkes, children laughing in the garden as we burned a Guy- roasted potatoes , drank hot chocolate and danced in the dark with sparklers- clinging to a little piece of their heritage in Lorain, a symbol of home.

Thanksgiving past where decorations of Christmas were hung before they could eat the symbol of an American Thanksgiving

A book , whose title ironically enough called the ” The Lost symbol” has taken on for me a different symbolic meaning.

It has become the symbol of a last conflict, love and apology. The book sits upon a portfolio case crafted by my son in his old bedroom- I move it to dust and like some precious treasure it is cherished- this novel of fiction ……

How did this book become so important-
In the post “I didn’t know my son” ( written in response to a contemptible letter)- I told of an argument

But in the hours before that argument came to a head he and I had gone to get his prescriptions- he was tired and in a lot of pain- I said maybe I could pop into Borders ( which was across the way)

I would like to buy the new Dan Brown novel-

I could see he was impatient to get back so I didn’t push it. His mood was dour and his eyes narrowed and lips ( always a sign of anger) were tight. He had been on his cell phone to his wife, Angela, as we waited for his prescriptions. He drove back to the apartment in utter silence . He immediately went out by the pool in the apartment – I could see him sitting not moving. I decided he needed space then Nikki called and said that Chris had hung up on her and was very angry.

“but leave him alone mum” he doesn’t want to talk.

I knew my son ( contrary to at least one persons belief-) I knew whatever it was would fester until he exploded – he was so much like me.

I went to the pool- he said

“I don’t want to talk”

“You don’t have to -you can listen- I need to talk to you”

I was never a crier before Hodgkin’s I was a fighter, a do-er – this blubbering fool that I have become is down to the helplessness and hopelessness that took away happiness. Chris never knew me as a “crier” before his illness – so as the tears fell splashing onto the table he sat silently as I told him

Chris, being a mother of a son is so much harder than you can imagine – I have tried so hard to give you and Angela the space you both need in this terrible time. I KNOW Chris, that you are feeling that you have no control over what is happening to your body and your life- I know you need some control , another reason why I have tried so hard to stand aside- you didn’t need me in the mix as well -But I am going to honestly tell you now -if this had been Nikki and not you I would have handled things so much differently – just as Nikki is my child I would not have sat back and taken a back seat to decisions as I have with you and Angela.

You see when a son marries he brings into his life another woman- it is very difficult in the best of circumstances for a mother to sit back and watch decisions being made that in some cases I did not agree with in a normal situation- this terrible situation we find ourselves all thrust into makes it doubly hard. But I have deferred to you both and to her “medical expertise” with this obscenity of Hodgkin’s that has engulfed us. It has been one of the hardest things in the world for me not to interfere or to put in my two cents. There have been times Chris when I have doubted my own abilities and lost confidence in myself – I have gone against my own gut feelings and yet there is a voice that tells me to still be protective of you .

I have tried to give you both your space – to be there when needed and to shut up for your sake when I was totally against some decisions. I have tried for your sake because I love you so much I would do anything and sacrifice anything for your health and happiness.

I don’t know the reason why you are so angry with Nikki and I but you have to know neither of us would intentionally do anything to hurt you . We have tried to put you first in all our thinking – We love you always have and always will. “

Angela (Lombardi) ritchey MURPHY by Chris Ritchey

With that I left the poolside and went back into the apartment. Chris followed a few minutes later and then it all came out ( as I knew it would) an argument and accusations the finding out of lies that were told

“we had excluded Angela in decision-making as to driving the truck back to Texas.”


After Chris had called Nikki back and they spoke and she confirmed Jim would drive back with him with the truck and that he wasn’t really mad at her just the hopelessness and helplessness he was feeling – he left – I wasn’t sure where and I was worried- he was in so much pain and on so many pills –

A little while later he walked in patted me on the head as a I sat in the chair and handed me a book as he walked to the bedroom – The Lost Symbol

Chris, too has become a symbol of Loss the loss of complete happiness never to be found again . But there will always be a special place for the book “The Lost Symbol” as it is now a symbol to me of a son’s love and understanding as no other book in my life’s vast library.

November 23, 2010 at 10:50 pm 5 comments


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