August is a tough month for me. The days get hotter, the nights feel longer, and we creep towards that terrible date of August 14th. As we marched towards the two year anniversary of losing Dragon, I had to ask myself, how would I get through this milestone? What would make this day bearable for me? How did I want to honor and remember my son? As I sat with my feelings, it became clear: I wanted to be with people that loved Dragon — his friends and our family. We invited his closest friends to meet us in Glendale. At the foot of his grave, we prayed, we cried, and we told stories about Dragon. For that hour, Dragon was alive again.
Dana told about how one day in 8th grade, she ran into the classroom, frantic that she couldn’t find her backpack. Convinced someone had taken it, she asked Dragon for help. What she didn’t know was that Dragon had walked past her backpack earlier and, recognizing it as Dana’s, hid it by throwing it up in the branches of a tree. When Dana asked Dragon for help, he immediately obliged. “He took me on a twenty minute tour of the school,” she explained. “We looked everywhere. Finally, laughing, he confessed that he had hidden my backpack.” We all laughed as Dana told this story, me picturing Dana’s shocked look and my little prankster. Dana finished, “I got back at him, though. I made him get it back by climbing up the tree.”
Our friend, Hanju, followed Dana’s story with the comment: “I didn’t know Dragon. I had never met him. But the more I learn about him, the more in love with him I get.”
Dragon was indeed lovable. He made me laugh. I remember the April Fool’s Day he made a batch of vanilla pudding, ladled it into an empty, clean Best Foods Mayonnaise jar, and sat in the school yard at lunch eating the white pudding with a spoon. He came home and laughed while he told me about the looks of disgust he got from people, especially girls, horrified that he would eat mayonnaise by the spoonful.
Dragon had an artillery of nerdy science jokes and corny pick-up lines. He loved popping around the corner to scare me, giggling when I’d scream out in surprise. He laughed at my jokes and antics. I was funnier when I was with him! I loved being with Dragon. There was a brightness about him. He was my sunshine.
I don’t know how to get through the days without him. It has been two years, but it feels like it was just yesterday that we lost him. At the same time, it feels like life with Dragon was a different lifetime ago.
Dragon, you brought out the best in me. You taught me how to be a mother. You taught me how to love. You are still teaching me, because now you teach me how to live.
You live on in the love I have for you, in the love you have for me, and in the love you have for others. You live on in the stories and photos and memories we have. You live on in your sister, your family, your friends. I love you, sunshine, and I miss you.
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