Jay was sentenced on Monday. The judge sentenced him to “no more than” 30 years in prison, with a minimum mandatory sentence of 21 years.
As the local paper said, his son will be a young man by the time he gets out of prison.
But I’m trying not to think about that part right now. I’m trying not to borrow grief from 21 years into the future and focusing instead on right now.
Right now, my mom has to go to the county jail and collect his personal belongings.
Right now, I’m taking care of my nephew, who has no idea why we’re connected. Right now, a paper with his father’s picture on the front page lies on the table, and I keep wondering if I should show it to him to at least remind him what his dad looks like.
Right now, I’m choosing not to, because that’s probably not the image I want him to remember.
Right now, I’m wondering if I could have said something more – something different – to the judge and spared my brother a few more years.
Right now, I’m grateful for a husband who has waded into the grief with me. He’s voluntarily put himself in the pain’s way and picked up the slack when I’ve shut down or locked up.
Right now, I’m making my kids promise me that they’ll make better decisions when they’re older.
Right now, I’m updating my playlists on iTunes and scrolling through online classified ads, because that’s easier than working or thinking.
Right now, I’m worrying about my littlest brother, who has lost his best friend and isn’t talking to any of us about how that feels.
Right now, I’m looking at the people around me and wondering if they can tell that my brother is on his way to prison. Can they see that something is broken inside me? In us?
Right now I’m wondering how many of those same people are walking around with their own broken parts. It’s impossible to tell; we all look so normal.
Right now, I’m resisting the urge to run from all these feelings.
No, I’m not borrowing sorrow from the future or dwelling on the past, but being in this moment isn’t so hot, either. Right now is hard and sad. The only way I’m finding the strength to stay here, to stay in this grief-filled place, is to hold tight to my faith in four words:
This, too, shall pass.