It's August. I hate August. Fortunately, we've been so busy this year that it has taken a while for it to really hit me.
This past week I got some items back that have been in storage for more than three years. Before leaving for Japan in 2011 I put these things . . . special things . . . in storage so that they could not possible be lost or damaged in the move. Among those things were my children's baby books. My wedding album. Old photos. Bankers boxes full of all the art work created in the past 20 years by my kids.
The programs I created for the Celebration of Life we had five days after Keeghan died. A scrapbook made by a dear woman from Special Love chronicling Keeghan's week at camp, just two weeks before he died. The clothes he was wearing when he died.
One of the items I've had for a few years and have moved all around the world with me is a brown paper bag full of film canisters. Undeveloped film mostly. Back when Mike and I were young parents, we took tons of pictures of our kids. We weren't always able to afford to have all the film we took developed. Over time, I forgot about the bag, but every time we move - which is about every 1-2 years - I find it again.
Then Keeghan died. After that, every time I found that bag, I died a little inside myself because I knew that there were probably pictures of him on that undeveloped film. Pictures of my happy, smiling, seemingly healthy, precious little boy. Pictures not yet seen by anyone. Pictures that would be such a gift, and such torture at the same time.
One of the first things I noticed when we moved into our apartment here in San Diego was that there is a camera store just two blocks away. Besides selling cameras and accessories, they also develop film. It seemed like a sign. Over the past six years since Keeghan died, I've found that brown paper bag four times. Each time I have told myself that I couldn't get the film developed because I didn't know of a place to take it. Here, I couldn't use that excuse.
So I dropped the bag of film off today. It may all be for naught because, after all these years, the film may not even develop. I'll find out tomorrow I guess.
If it does develop though, August seems like the right time to see pictures of Mackenzie and Keeghan that I've never seen before. Maybe there will be new pictures of Mike and I as well. New photos of my three greatest treasures.
None of it will change anything though. In fourteen days, we will still mark the six year anniversary of Keeghan's death. Six years . . . and it still doesn't feel real. I found stories today that he wrote . . . he loved to write just like I do. One of them, a story he wrote about his dad, started with, "My dad's name is Michael. His nickname is Dork." Instant laughter, followed by helpless tears.
I miss him. So much.
I hate August.