After Johnny died, I registered for Fall classes at the University of Minnesota because I knew I should.
I moved back home…partly to save on expenses…but mostly to absorb the healing magic that only parents can give you when you’re hurting…I needed a lot of magic right now.
I had packed up all of Johnny’s clothes and had given them all to the Salvation Army because I knew Johnny would like that…except for one blue plaid flannel shirt that I think I wore more than he did…it was ‘our shirt’…it still smelled of Old Spice…Johnny’s favorite after-shave cologne.
I had called Johnny’s mom and asked her if she wanted any of Johnny’s clothes or if she thought Alec would want anything.
“No, Riley. The Salvation Army is a good place for them. Alec is having a really hard time dealing with John’s death…he blames his father.”
“He says when he has to register for the draft in two years, he’s going to Canada instead…”
I didn’t know what to say…I wasn’t sure if Johnny had told anyone of my idea for us to go to Canada. But then she continued…
“John told Alec that he wanted to go to Canada with you…and would have…if it hadn’t been for their father being so against it.”
“I wish he had gone, Riley. I wish the two of you had just packed up and gone to Canada.”
More tears than I thought possible were falling down my cheeks and stopped me from saying anything more than a choked good bye.