Last week we finally got some of Zane’s belongings back from the police. I needed his phone… apparently someone decided to hack into his snap chat and Instagram accounts. It took me two days to open the envelope but I did it. I was able to change the passwords temporarily and hopefully that will work for now. Why someone would do that I don’t know.
With my hands shaking, I pressed the gallery tab. Of course there were no pictures of him. Heaven forbid he take any of himself. But…there were a few videos. No, none of his face, but I heard my sweet baby boy’s voice. I heard his voice. His laugh! Oh my!!!!! It was the best moment in 10 months. His voice. But yet so bittersweet 💕.
I did ask for the note and the shell casing. Why on Earth would I want to keep those? I really don’t know. I just do. They’re a part of him. The note is his handwriting and it’s the last thing he ever wrote. The shell casing…I don’t know. I just wanted it. I thought maybe the boys would want to see the note for closure. There was also a blank piece of paper in the trash the police collected and they gave that to me as well. I have not seen anything but the phone. Everything else is still sealed. I want to open them with Joe, Daniel and Adrianna. As a family, in private. Another emotional step we have to take.
Well Thursday Joe and I took off to Florida. My cone of shame came in handy!!! They gave me a pre boarding pass! Yeah buddy 😂 so Joe and I were the first ones on the planes both times. It was nice and we knew we were going to be able to sit next to each other. I was completely upset when I found out I would still be wearing the brace on this trip. My bones are healing pretty slow. So bummed. This too shall pass.
On the flight from Dallas to Ft. Lauderdale I watched ‘I Can Only Imagine’. Wow. Very impressed with this movie. I loved how Bart’s journalling turned into platinum award winning songs. Obviously I believe in the power of writing your feelings down. Writing his feelings down turned into an amazing career. Bart endured a terrible childhood and teen years but was strong enough to overcome. Forgiveness is difficult. We all know that, but Bart forgave his father, especially when he knew his dad found faith. We played the title’s song at Zane’s service. I can only imagine how God greeted him. How he took away his pain.. physical and mental. I still have God in my life, I am just struggling with my faith. I’m working on it. Hearing stories like this sure help.
On the first full day at Key West Joe and I visited the most magical place…the Butterfly Conservatory. OMG. I didn’t want to leave. These beautiful creatures fluttering around us everywhere, landing on everything, everyone, everywhere they pleased. Most butterflies only have a 10 day life cycle. Ten days. Only ten. I cried when I realized how short of a time period that is. I compared it to my beautiful son. How can God give something SO beautiful only 10 days to live?????? I don’t get it. How can God give someone so beautiful only 16 years to live????? Again, I don’t get it. I cried as I walked through the colors of life flying and gorgeous green landscape around me. My son is like a butterfly, but I do not believe his life cycle was complete.
Unknown to us, while we were in Key West they were celebrating Gay Pride weekend. We were looking at the booths set up in the street and one caught our eye… American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Yep, they were there. All the way in Key West. We stopped, told our story about Zane, grabbed a button, bracelet, a hug and a cry. How amazing.
We went on a tour of the Hemingway House. I will admit I did not know enough about Earnest Hemmingway. But what I did learn was so interesting. The most connecting fact was he took his own life in 1961. Such a creative man who wrote amazing stories (turned into movies and plays) was secretly tortured with a mental disorder… bipolar.
On another tour, a “ghost” tour, we found out why most of the shutters on the houses on the islands were painted light blue, purple, or turquoise. They believe that the ocean wards off bad spirits. Those particular colors represent the ocean. Purple. Of course…purple.
Everywhere we went around the island, we somehow had a reason to tell our story. Zane’s name was well said. While we were far enough from reality, I will never be far enough away from grief. That is my life now. But I promise I will admire each and every butterfly with a deeper passion from now on.