October 8, 2003.
What I remember most, eleven years on, is the lake that day. How calm and still, how peaceful. Your mother and I drove around the lake on our way to the park. We were the only people there. The leaves were spectacular gold and red and brown and pink, and it was hot. So hot we wore sleeveless shirts, your mother and me, unheard of on a Minnesota October day.
Your mother and I sat on the dying grass in the middle of the park and tilted our faces to the sun. We talked about you and Austin, our boys, so hard to believe you were juniors in high school and how fast you’d grown up and how funny you were and how, when you were ready to look at colleges in the Spring, maybe we would all pile in and go together and wouldn’t that be fun. We laughed.
We made plans and we laughed.
I wonder, now, what you saw of the lake that day. Was it calm and still, where you chose to disappear? I went there with your mother the next day, in the evening, to the last place you decided to be on this earth, and we held hands and stared. Just stared. I remember the lake that day, too. And I remember you.