There's nothing like a good scare! my husband said with mirth as we ran through the labyrinths invented by a dream. A snail it had no shell, so maybe it was a slug, crept along the walls as we tried to get away. Deciding to split up, the slug marked the middle of my back with a scent so it could track me after it was done dissolving my husband. There was a room with a swimming pool filled with saltwater. Plunging in and swimming to the bottom I held my breath. The shadow of the relentless snail on the wall was blurry though the water; it was waiting for me to come up for air. This is where I woke up gasping for air. Husband is zzzing away, is that a smirk on his face? oh yea?! There's nothing like a good scare!

*plots revenge*

We had a nice Easter with ham and turkey, scalloped potatoes and mashed ones too, along with fresh bread, corn and asparagus then topped the feast off with sneff's sticky toffee pudding yummy! It was two Easter's ago that we had snow here in Tucson which was so remarkable it was front page news. I came home from church jumped into some warm clothes and went outside to play with my kids. Number Two Son was too young to remember the last time it snowed. He was running around with a laundry basket trying to catch it, while Number One Son clambered up on the roof to make a snowman. Neighbors came out and talked about it and Brandon's mother Tammy joined us. We moved into this neighborhood when Number One Son was eight months old and he and Brandon were playmates for a short time. Then tragedy struck. A few days before his first birthday Brandon fell into the backyard pool and suffered a near drowning accident that left him a spastic quadriplegic.He wasn't suppposed to survive past his fifth birthday yet every spring the news people would come to our street and Tammy would talk about Brandon and pool safety.

On Halloween I would get to see Brandon for trick or treat and visit with his mom. He LOVED Michael Jackson and would hold up a silver gloved hand and sing out Beat It, with all his heart. He knew only a few words and he had his own unique tune adding his own words and interpretations. His speech was unclear; often people would stare at him. Sometimes whisper and point or even laugh at him. Brandon didn't care he continued to sing in his own way.

Brandon didn't get to go to school, but Tammy insisted that he have an education of some kind. The school district resisted her idea at first, but she approached the principal and said Brandon was entitled to an education under the law and by golly the special education teacher began coming to the house to read to him and play ball. When I did playground duty at the school across the street I would look at his house where he lived and wonder what it was like to hear the young voices of children at play come floating in through the windows. Every milestone Number One Son reached would bring me a sadness and guilt. I can see Brandon's home in the background of the pictures snapped just before Number One Son left for the Senior Prom. The school district gave Brandon an Honorary Diploma for High School graduation, but he didn't get to go to the ceremony. Tammy worried too many people would stare, kids would be cruel and make fun. We talked about these things the Easter it snowed. Tammy called it a miracle as Brandon laid there in his wheelchair singing out his unclear words to the snow as it fell on his happy upturned face. Even when he could not sing and didn't know how to sing Brandon sang anyway. His Grandmother and aunt had passed away from cancer a few months before Tammy explained to us. I marveled at her inner strength as she told about taking care of them. How the family had struggled through the painful decisions. Her mother suffered to the bitter end eaten up by the cancer, two weeks later her daughter took her own life as her cancer overwhelmed her body.

This Easter dawned warm and brimmed full of hope for me. As I cooked Easter dinner Brandon succumbed to his injuries.

The neighbors say it was for the best. Brandon is in a better place, his body is whole now and these things bring comfort but no satisfaction. I see his grandfather as he sits out front a shrunken man his life is on pause. His hair unwashed and hangs in his eyes, he calls out in an empty voice,
How are you?
I tell him,
Great! How are you ?
He says he's doing alright all things considered.

There was a small fire over Easter weekend in the wash at the end of the cul de sac. No one seems to know what caused it, but there is a little white cross there now and a blackened mournful cholla hangs sadlike over a little grave as if it is praying for what ever little life was lost. Yesterday someone pulled the cross out of the ground and tossed it carelessly aside. So Sam and I pounded it back into the ground with a rock and gathered a small bouquet of desert wildflowers on our walk to place there when we passed again on the way back home. I can't help but think of Brandon and why him? How could I have coped if it were one of my sons? Why have so many others died and yet I survive?

These things ran through my head like a white noise this morning on the way to the gym. I was late and didn't want to be; begging,
God, Please, please help me get to the gym on time.
(I should know Him well enough by now to not expect a serious answer.)
Three red lights later,
So okay Lord you're not helping me out here.....

U2 is singing on the radio:

    But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
    I believe in the kingdom come
    Then all the colors will bleed into one
    Bleed into one
umm yea it fits the mood, so I turned it up.

A white Tacoma passes by with a bumper sticker that says,

Peace Be With You

grrrrr... roadwork, bleepin' snowbirds!

Did I mention I was late for gym God ??? Please help me.

A bright red Camry blasts by,

Jesus Rules ! ! !

proclaims the frame around the licence plate.

Suddenly everything changes perspective and I laugh.

I get it now Lord.

in memory of Brandon Harley Ryan (1982- March 31, 2002)

He put a new song in my mouth. Psalms 40:3


Update: I would like to thank all of you for your kind messages. E2 allows for closure in a wondeful way which helps alot.