Gabe died at the age of 9, a little more than a month before his 10th birthday. The grief felt like panic attacks. It was like an excess of energy that I just could not get rid of. How could this happen to me, terrible things happen to people on t.v., not to me. I had such great hopes and dreams for my first born. He was smart, and funny, and had only ever had three antibiotics in his life, he was as healthy as a little horse. Because two people were driving too fast and not watching paying attention to the road, because a deer ran out onto the road and I braked, because unknown to me there was black ice, my beautiful little boy would never grow up, never reach his full potential. He died, and everyone would forget him, like he never existed, this was my terror.
Gabe died December 24, 2004. I remember that in the nice weather a little boy kept riding his bike back and forth in front of our house. Nearly every day that was not a school day, here was this little kid. I didn't pay much attention, other than to notice that there was a little boy. After about a week of this I began to get curious. I made some excuse to go outside. The little boy was Gabe's friend Ryan. "Hi Ryan." "Hi Mrs. Lindsay". He came off of his bike. "Would you like to come in Ryan." a little nod of his head. That was the start of my comfort. I think that Ryan missed Gabe so much he wasn't sure what to do with himself. What a brave boy to come to the house. He did what many adults never would. From that day, I would see Ryan. I would make sure that I had an abundance of treats in the house. Maybe if I gave him enough candy he would keep coming by. Ryan became my living link to Gabe. I'm not sure if Ryan will ever know how much this meant to us. I no longer had to wonder what Gabe would be doing, I would just ask Ryan. Then their friend Matthew came by on occasion. A few years on Gabe's birthday Ryan, Matthew, and Adam came over. There could be no greater gift that they could have given us, and I'm sure they didn't even know it.
The boys are all 16 and 17 now. They have discovered girls, and cars. On occasion they still stop by. I don't know if they will ever know the gift that they are to us. They are still good friends to our son, even after he is no longer here. There are no words that can properly express our deep gratitude to them. They are keeping a part of Gabe alive, they are relieving my deepest fears. Gabe will not be forgotten. Thank you Sandra for telling me that the boys still remember Gabe. Thank you boys.