589 Pages. I have a .pdf file on my computer that’s 589 pages.

This is the most precious file I own and it’s 589 pages of Ian and I texting one another from 2014 all the way to the last text in May of 2017. The file has just sat there, like an old coveted book collecting dust on a shelf. And no matter how many times I Kon-Mari the fuck out of my bookshelf, this is the one I never release, never thank, and never ever let the momma grip loosen on.

I haven’t spent a ton of time obsessing over the contents of the hidden file in my e mail, again in my google docs and maybe three more times on three different hard drives. I don’t obsess over the contents but it sure sounds now like I obsess over the unexpected potential loss. Let’s pin this for my therapist.

I spent a couple hours immersed in the pages last night. It’s like a book that I so desperately want to covet and be the one that I read over and over again. But it’s also the book that I just can’t quite make sense of or pull myself through the meat of. I skip to final page as one does when the storyline doesn’t make sense. Tears fall as I read the end of a beautiful conversation between a mother and son. I may have found a few themes, but I still don’t have any answers to his suicide.

I was hit over the head that my son loved to text and poop. Not only did he text and poop but he often sent me a message from inside the bathroom asking me to bring him some more toilet paper. This single man-child in a house full of girls knew how to poop and include us in the process. Somedays he would beat me home from school, when I got home I would yell for him to see where he was, from any of the bathrooms I would hear loud and clear “I’m poopin'”! He’d leave his floaters, clog the toilet and keep Charmin in business.

After awhile Kat, Bella, Ian and I created a family group message. We all talked about everything on this string when we couldn’t be together. Schedules, grocery requests, baseball games and ballet rehearsals. For some reason, I kept the private text going with just me and Ian. We left the business of schedules to the group text but Ian and I dove a little deeper in our own.

As I scoured the pages of our last story in this .pdf I saw something else . I saw a boy tell his momma that he missed her, that he couldn’t wait to come home and he couldn’t wait to see me. I read that he missed the dogs and our space when he was away. But I also read the words of a momma that asked her son a lot if he was happy. I told him that nothing else mattered to me. And maybe because of that laser focus I had on his happiness, he was afraid to tell me that he was lost.

Our favorite beach Kihea on Maui

If you are reading this, and you’re a teenager and feel lost. I promise you that your momma wants to know. She wants the chance to help and she feels the need to fight for you. We might sound the alarms at first and run around like a chicken with their head cut off…but trust us that eventually we will calm down and meet you where you are and love you for who you are.

If you don’t know how to tell her, go to the bathroom, sit on the toilet and text her for some toilet paper and tell her how you feel. If you were a mood ring, what color would you be and what does that color mean for you.

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