Today would have been my son's 32nd birthday. Maybe it still is. I'm not sure.
I just know that I miss him and that I feel intense sadness and loss.
For me, his birth day is harder than his death day. I remember so much about his birth - the incredible rush of emotion that washed over me, in me, and is with me...still.
But there is so much that I can't remember. I can't remember seeing him unhappy. I can't remember knowing he was in pain.
I can't remember the last time I held him. Maybe thats why he came to me a few days after his passing. I was sleeping but it was no dream. He was standing on the sidewalk, near the front of his house. I got out of an old, grey, beat up car. He was crying. His arms were stretched open. He held me tight. He said he was sorry and we both cried. I woke with his tears on my pillow.
It is still so hard for me to believe that he was gone. I used to google his name over and over again - convinced he was only hiding.
I found his last comments under a Washington Redskin fan site.
I found his last known address.
I found his Most Improved Athlete award, under the Greenwich Dolphins swim team.
I found a reference to Kerry Magann on a freaky sci-fi video game page.
Now, if you google his name, you'll mainly find my words to him, about him - on memorial websites and on my blog.
That makes me sad.
Today, once again, I googled Kerry. Not much has changed.
Then I googled images of Kerry Ryan Magann.
There were lots of pictures of Kerry.
Kerry as a young boy.
Kerry holding his son.
Kerry as he wants to be remembered.
Here are a few of my favorites...
Kerry running a 3.2 mile race. My father on the side lines, cheering him on.
Kerry's age 13
Kerry with his sister Lindsay
Kerry holding his son Jackson
And here are some of his words...
By Kerry Ryan Magann
In the novel, each chapter begins with a section taken from one of the many writings tucked inside the trunk that doubles as Kerry's coffee table. The passage below is one of the last stories entered into Kerry's black notebook.
It was Tuesday night and I was home alone. It was too cold outside and too warm inside. Charlie Parker was playing the saxophone and I was playing with the various forms of hair I could find on my body.
I had dreadlocked the hair on my toes, a few patches on my legs, and my big pubic mop, and had begun focusing on my nipple hairs. They stood coiled black, and obscenely proud, strewn across the death pale backdrop of my Irish potato skin. It was an embarrassing scene. I felt like reaching for a shirt though nobody was inside my apartment, and I thought about my days of cigarettes, and watching clocks, and T.V. and masturbating to early morning workout shows, and how I ever managed to hold conversations with people, and how sad it all really was.
And then I lit my nipple hair on fire. It started on the right side, lighting individually at the ends, watching them flame and fizzle out in an orderly fashion. I was brushing the ash into my belly button, and everything was going fine until about midway through the left nipple when one hair got rebellious and decided to spread across the remaining forest. That mother-fucker took a good chunk of my nipple (long pause) which made me fall backwards, hitting my head on the table behind me, which knocked me out and caused a loud sound which made my landlady call the police, who called the paramedics who, upon finding me on the floor, brought me here to this hospital, with doctors and nurses that proceeded to laugh uncontrollably, while calling every psychiatrist in the city down to see me.
My Eulogy to Kerry
February 16, 1979 - Your Dad and I watched you take your first breath. One year later we enrolled you in waterbaby's, tossed you into a pool of blue water, and watched you swim.
At four you recited your alphabet and earned your preschool certificate. That summer, with your father's gentle push, you learned to ride your bike. From then on there was no stopping you. Starting with T-Ball, Tennis and Karate, you even wiggled your way into a first place ribbon at your first and only breakdance contest.
At Julian Curtis school you set a record by completing 22 pull-ups. The record stood for over 10 years. From then on it was a steady stream of sports - swimming, basketball, football, wresting. And then of course there was baseball, baseball, baseball.
On the sidelines was your biggest fan - your sister Lindsay. She cheered you on every step of the way. You in return supported her with gentle love and kindness. Through her you learned to nurture, protect, cherish and adore.
At Central Middle School you began studying the viola and we were thrilled to see your musical side. Years later you confessed that your strings never touched the bow. Your only motivation was to accompany the orchestra on their year end field trip to Great Adventure Amusement Park.
Throughout the years we watched you learn and grow and mostly, we watched you laugh. And when you laughed it was deep and hardy, from the belly of your soul.
When you found Mary, "your faith," life became sweet. Jackson's arrival brought an endless flood of joy to you and all those lucky enough to be near. Again, we watched you nurture, protect, cherish and adore.
What we didn't hear or see was your pain. Your pain was never spoken, only written and never shared. You were intuitive and intelligent enough to hide your pain and deliver only what everyone wanted to hear. You gave people what they needed. You gave everything, every ounce of your existence. You gave too much.
For those who say they don't understand, know that depression is a disease. The conscious experience becomes an endless stream of distressing thoughts and emotions. Sadly, creative people are more vulnerable to depression.
From the Velveteen Rabbit, to James Joyce's cryptic language in Finnegan's Wake, you loved to read. You were a deep thinker, a writer, a poet. Through writing you were able to escape.
May 27, 2002, your daily scheduled, e-mail Horoscope read:
Aquarius - be brave, be adventurous, and boldly go where no man has gone before. Your ideas for heightening the joy quotient in your life should be taken seriously. You gave at the office. You've been a terrific contributor to other's existence, but now you should shift your focus to that which floats your cork.
Kerry, know that all we see in you is good.