Robert has strep throat and swollen tonsils. He slept most of the day yesterday and so did I.
Last night even after the first dose of antibiotic and motrin, he had a temperature of 103. For the next two hours we applied cold compresses to his head and body, put a fan on him and fed him ice-pops until the fever went down to 100. Then he went back to sleep and so did I.
Administering to Robert, feeling his forehead, taking his temperature, kissing and hugging him, I couldn’t help but think of Andrew. So many times over the years I administered to him. Colds, flues, poison Ivy, stitches, a broken ankle while playing soccer, a broken toe playing polo on the Razor Blade, a nearly severed little finger while arguing with the arm rest in the back of the car, appendicitis, neuro-optical cellulitis; we’d seen our fair share of the emergency room and of Dr. Lubell, the family Pediatrician.
“Andrew said that you like it when the children are sick,” Martha, the mother of one of Andrew’s friend told me, when I’d gone to pick him up after a play-date.
“It’s true,” I laughed.
I love having the children home with me, looking after them, making them soups, sweet camomile tea, reading them stories, chatting, tucking them nice and cozy in my bed.
Like me Andrew liked “nice smells”, candles, incense, hot baths. When he came home from college I would often put a few drops of the jasmine oil I brought back from India, in a vaporizer in his room. Or I would run him a nice hot bath fragrant with essential oils, lavender, rose geranium or spearmint, amongst our favorites.
“What do you need a lighter for?” I had asked Andrew only last summer.
“In case I want to light a candle,” he had explained, taking back his red lighter.
I still have that lighter. I use it every day to light the candles and Jasmine incense that burn in front of his picture in my room.
Oh Andrew, what wouldn’t I give, to have you here and to be able to look after you.
One of the things that is so difficult to comprehend, is that my son is dead because he actually killed himself.
Dozing on and off all day yesterday, I remembered how Andrew (as do Robert and Florentina) always asked before helping himself to food, I mean, just a polite “is it alright if I finish the ice-cream?” or “mummy I am just going out for a ride on my bike,” or ” I’m off to see Zack.”
Then, the one time he did not consult me, or anyone else; he killed himself! He climbed to the 10th floor of Bobst, NYU’s main library and jumped, hit the marble floor and died. Just like that!
And how did he get to the 10th floor by the way, when students are not allowed above the two lower floors, because of previous suicides at the library?
Where was the security when Andrew entered the library at four o’clock in the morning of November 3rd?
So many unanswered questions….
I love you Andrew and I wish you were still here and I could look after you as I did for over twenty years.
Mummy loves you Andrew.