Silas would have been 4 months old today.  We would have just been getting into our family groove, finally settling into our new role as parents.  Instead we are on the darkened flipside of that joyful vision.  We are unsettling onto a hard and slippery path.

Today I would have bragged about my tiny son and told you all about his poops and gurgles.  Instead I stood mute and pushed grimly through the day, not telling everyone what I couldn’t stop thinking about.

I want to tell people about him, but I do not know how to do it.  Even when asked a direct question about the existence of offspring in my life I’m not always sure how to respond.  Just the other day two people asked me if I had kids and with one I told the truth and the other I outright lied.

I don’t feel bad about that, though.  Sometimes it’s just easier to not explain everything, especially in a professional setting.  I sorta believe that it’s a privilege for me to speak of Silas.  It’s not something I talk about with just anyone.  If I feel comfortable telling you about him it means I trust you and that I take you seriously as a friend.

These last 4 months have been the longest of my life.  The days have been dense and heavy, tough to carry and hard to push through.  In many ways I feel like nothing else exists before September 25, 2008.  It is somewhat painful to look back beyond that, back into our blissful ignorance.  Before that day, hope was an idea I could easily grasp.  It is much harder to grab hold of these days.

I reach for it, but hope is hard and slippery like the ice that seals the yards and sidewalks of this town.  A white, crusty foam covers the landscape and when I walk down the block to the liquor store or the post office I see the same twisted flows of water-turned-hard day after day, week after week.

When I try to hold Silas in my mind and in my heart, I find those same slick surfaces.  Everything we were about to become has slowed and hardened.  Our almost-parentness, our new-sonhood, our fresh & beautiful family, those aspects are sealed behind clear, thick ice.  Shattering those walls releases a flood of tears but the salty water runs hot.

I want to tell you about my son, but the story is too sad and too true.  It starts where it ends:  with broken hearts and the hard, cold flows of frozen hopes.

The only things that help us thaw are love and friendship and patience and music and the heavy purr of sleeping cats tucked close in our bed.

The promise of sun on my faces pulls me out into the day.  At night, the chance to share a dream with our vanished son slips me into my anxious slumber.  All day there are words that are frozen in my throat.

I want to tell you about my son Silas but the words are too hard to be heard. They slip from me in shivered whispers;  his absence makes me cold.