It was forty-three years ago this Autumn when you moved into the charming dilapidated two-story apartment at Seacrest Village in New Hampshire. The home bore the freckles and moles of age but it felt like eternal sunshine.
You rarely left your mother’s side. She would stare at you for hours and you would smile and make comforting sounds and bring her joy.
It did not gain your attention that there was a war in Viet Nam or that college students were demonstrating and protesting or that Nixon was President. You never even acknowledged that men had walked on the moon. The outside world held little of your attention. You focused only upon your mother and she upon you.
There was a dry chill in the outside air with a soft wind that moved the fire from the branches to the earth. The earth was a deep tapestry that prevented one’s feet from being grounded.
Your mother watched her television re-runs every morning: The Dick Van Dyke Show with Mary Tyler Moore and Bewitched. No matter how many times she had seen them, she still enjoyed them and you seemed to enjoy watching her watch them.
When the television was not on, the radio was and your mother sang along hourly as Peggy Lee crooned, “Is that all there is? If that’s all there is, then I’ll keep dancing.”
You spoke very little yet your voice soothed your mother and always brought an active smile to her countenance.
Your eyes spoke the wisdom of the universe. You knew it all then, didn’t you? You understood the linguistic constraints of a viable Physics; you comprehended the Hopi Indian Physics with no construct for space and time and the modern dogma of space, time and the speed of light.
Your smile implied an intimacy with the world’s most eloquent poets.
Occasionally, you would appear to be contemplative. What mathematic formulas were you solving? Or were you deliberating upon ethical truths?
Is this innate knowledge and truth ultimately lost when it is constrained by linguistics?
There were some outings that Fall: a trek to a factory outlet store in Portsmouth; a prayer left at Sunday Mass in Durham; a visit to the doctor’s office. But they were all inconsequential, simple outings, daring to be recollected, as they are now.
Each same day was new and different. Every week brought belly laughter without jokes to precipitate them.
Happiness filled the glass until it felt as if the glass was overflowing with all the oceans and seas of the universe.
Was that it then? Is it that nothing stays the same? Is it that matter and form are always changing?
Or is it that you straddled that envelope, that warp, and that you had not yet committed to either world?
Could you not have warned your mother? Was there any way you could have educated her about the dimension in which you dreamed?
Or did you try? The night before at dinner, you said only one word to her: “Look!” Everyone looked at you but you had nothing further to add.
The morning of November 7th, you went to the University of New Hampshire. When you returned home, your mother suggested you both nap.
For one, the sleep endured.
Forty autumns have passed without notice. The days are not cherished, the nights are restless and busy.
Your mother spends her nights looking for you. She has been searching attics and basements, hearing your voice, trying to find you. She wants to hold you, needs to feed you, and spends her life trying to find you.
It is a frantic search. She is pressured. Sometimes she hears you crying and follows the sound but the rooms are empty. Room after room, night after night, year after year, decade after decade, she looks. You had commanded that: “Look.” She looks for you incessantly but does not find you.
It is this linear time puzzle, isn’t it? She is looking forward. Some physicists say we cannot go backward in time but forward travel may be possible.
Curiously she never goes to the place where she last saw you.
Others may have stumbled upon you there.
What people choose to walk through that New England cemetery, there may be some who stop and glance at the pink marble marker that commemorates your existence.
“Tread softly. Our angel sleeps here.
September 7, 1969-November 7, 1969”
Your Mommy will never stop loving and missing you, sweet baby.
You changed her world.