Thursday, April 14, 2016

#SOL16: Imagining a Future


Create (M.A. Reilly, 2008)

Today, Dev and I went to Stevens Institute for a college visit.  It's Devon's first choice of schools as he wants to be a computer engineer.  The campus tour included an engineering tour, admissions counselor talk, and a general campus tour. 10,000 steps later we both said that we had learned a lot. Afterwards, we got a bite to eat and I saw the sadness lifted from my son's face for the first time in 7 months as he imagined a future for himself.

"I want to do the co-op program," he tells me as he eats an early dinner.
"It's exciting to gain experience in the industry where you want to work while at college," I add. "I also like that the locations of the co-op experiences can be varied. Imagine a semester abroad."


What the death of a husband or in Dev's case, a father does, is it strips you of the capacity to imagine beyond the moment where you stand. There suddenly is no future as a part of you is no longer present. This doesn't mean that there won't ever be an imagined future--just that it feels rather impossible to attain at the moment.  It was exciting to watch Devon reclaim some of imagination that had been suppressed.


At one point we viewed a chemical engineering lab and I thought of Rob. His major in high school was chemistry. He was a student at Brooklyn Tech. I knew how much he would have enjoyed being a student at Stevens and how much he would want Devon to succeed there.

When Rob was dying, I didn't think much about all that he would miss--what that loss would look like. There was neither time nor energy to be that reflective.  But now, as Devon moves forward with his life: college visits, driving lessons, weekends away from home, living at college--the absence of Rob has me thinking about the many beautiful events in our son's life that he will not be present to observe or participate in.

The tragedy of dying young is too full a weight to carry alone.

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