2.2 Serenity prayer
When I was 8 months pregnant with Sam we finished the nursery. We knew we were having a boy, so we painted the walls a soft blue. The ceiling we painted with clouds sprinkled with glow in the dark stars. As if it was yesterday, I remember standing in the doorway looking at the empty nursery. The furniture had not yet arrived, so I stood lost in the depth of blue on the walls, the grain of wood in the floors, and the stars glittering on the ceiling. They were just coming to life as the sun set darkened the room.
“It’s perfect babe,” Nate came up behind me and whispered the words into my ear. He was right, in that moment, everything felt perfect.
Nathan and I moved out of the house on the same day. It wasn’t too long after we buried Sam. Our son’s illness emptied us. In the end, we had nothing left for anyone, especially not each other. So I convinced myself to find the serenity to accept the things I could not change. I could not make Nathan feel, I could not restore in him what Sam’s death had taken away, and most of all, I could not get him to stop drinking. I attempted to find the courage to change the things I could. I let Nathan go.
The day we moved out I found myself standing in the doorway of Sam’s room. The walls were the same shade of blue but now they were peppered with things that go – trucks, cars, motorcylcles, airplanes, rocketships. The ceiling, well the ceiling was the same. Those glow in the dark stars still shimmered with light as the sun set. The room was empty again. Same as me, same as Nate.
Looking back, I realize I had it backward. I let the wrong things go. And I did not have the wisdom to know the difference.