My mom grew up without a lot of money. She made sure she didn’t struggle financially as an adult. My step dad runs a car dealership and has always made good money. We live in a brand new house on the outskirts of town.
We are driving home after my mom picks me up from my private school and I see this boy standing in this garage. He is staring out across the field. He is wearing cut off shorts and a red, cut up T-shirt. He has dirty blonde hair.
He never even looks my way.
Time stands still. Everything gets quiet. I hold my breath as we drive past him.
That is going to be my husband. I said those exact words to my mom. Do you know what she says? She says “Don’t be an idiot, Alabama, you don’t even know that boy.”
Well I proved her wrong and I married that boy…
Today was a bad day. I cried all the way to work. I spent a lot of time today crying in the bathroom at work.
I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with myself. I’ve never been alone. Drew still lives at home but he is never here. Wyatt and Rae do their own thing.
I come home and sit in my room and stare at the walls. I’m scared. I can’t do this for the rest of my life. What am I supposed to do?
My middle son. My rebel. He is the polar opposite of both of his brothers. They are sociable, they hate being alone, they are free spirited and a little wild.
Wyatt does not drink and he would never do drugs. He is blonde haired and green eyed. He is only 5’8″ and I’d be surprised if he weighs 130. He is a strong guy, though.
Wyatt is thinker. He has a small circle of friends. He doesn’t trust many people. He is more like me.
He has a quick temper. He holds grudges. He is loyal to a fault unless you betray him. Then he is done with you.
He is the best dad ever. His son is his world. Bubba, 3 years old now, goes with his daddy everywhere. Wyatt teaches him. Everything. Everywhere they go Wyatt is pointing things out. Colors, cars, things, words. The dynamic duo, those two.
Wyatt is so mechanical. He can fix anything. He tore everything apart when he was little.
He flips cars for a living and makes a pretty good living. Bubba is with his daddy all day working on cars while Rae works at the local hardware store.
I think Wyatt is the kid that would take me in and take care of me if I needed the help. Beau and Drew would also, but Wyatt would just feel like it was his job to take care of me.
My oldest kid. As I call him, my tester kid. I brought him home from the hospital when I was 17 years old and completely clueless. I had no idea how to change a diaper, make a bottle or bath him. I fed him three jars of baby food everyday, starting the day I brought him home because I didn’t know any better.
I have a different relationship with him than I do his brothers. I was so young. I don’t think I was as motherly as I was with his brothers. Beau is so protective of me.
He is a big guy. 6’2″ and 220 pounds. Blonde hair and blue eyes. He is always smiling. He is a chef at a resort and very serious about his job but he is good at it.
He loves the outdoors. He camps and fishes and hikes and snowboards. He gets that from Luke.
After Luke died, Drew, our youngest, struggled. He started drinking too much and I didn’t know how to fix it. Wyatt, brother number two, just told him he needed get it together. That’s what Wyatt did.
But Beau swooped in and took his little brother up north with him. He moved him in with him and his girlfriend, Autumn, hired him and just spent time with him. Drew is doing so much better now. I am so proud of him.
All my boys are close, but Beau and Drew have always had this special bond since they are so much alike.
Sometimes I look back and wonder how Beau survived Luke and I!!!
I am numb. I don’t even cry anymore. I get up and go to work. I stay as busy as I can. Every one walks on eggshells around me. We all wear phony smiles.
I go home and I work on my house. I have painted almost every room. I have gotten every bit of carpet out of my house and pulled up all the nail strips. When I go to my room I am exhausted. I lay down by by 9pm but don’t usually fall asleep until midnight.
I always wake up no later than 3am and I never fall back asleep. I am a walking zombie. My mind feels numb and fuzzy all the time. I am scared because I don’t want to go through life numb and tired.
I didn’t want to sit at home so I went and saw Beauty and the Beast by myself. I cried in the movie theater because all I could think about is being alone for the rest of my life.
After the movie, I went to get gas and a woman took my spot. I got so mad at her I called her a bitch.
I had a dream about Luke last night. It was just a regular dream. I’ve had dreams about Nana and in the dreams I know she is there for me, watching over me.
I keep telling myself it will be awhile since he is in his review.
I’m keeping busy. Today I ripped up all the carpet from downstairs and from the stairwell. I was on my knees removing those nail strips which lined every wall. I don’t own any tools so I used a butter knife to pry them up. There were a million staples in the stairwell. I got those out with a butter knife, also.
Wyatt and Rae walked in the house to a giant pile of carpet and nail strips. They cut it all up and took it outside for me.
I’m losing my mind.
I am Alabama Colburn. It’s hard to describe yourself but I’m gonna try and paint you a picture.
I am 47 but when I tell people my age they never believe me. Everyone tells me I look like I’m in my 30’s which makes me feel good. I think it’s because Luke and my boys kept me on my toes for three decades straight.
I am naturally blonde but I rarely have blonde hair. Right now is dark brown and blonde underneath. I have blue eyes and Luke’s friend Clint tells me that in the winter I’m so white, I’m clear. I am 5’4″ and thicker than I want to be but I am working on that.
I love baseball and go to as many games as I can. I love being in a packed stadium with screaming fans. I love the smell of hot dogs and beer and popcorn. It’s so American. Standing for the national anthem, the players standing on the field with their hats over their chests. All the fans standing, doing the same. The commaradarie. The seven inning stretch when we all stand and sing “Take me out to the Ballgame”. Root root root for the Mets!! I love that.
I also play softball. This is my first year playing and I have to say I’m not half bad.
I also love music. I loved it as a kid and kind of lost it as an adult. Now I never turn it off. I’m listening to Taylor Swift as I write this. My music plays all night while I sleep and I have my ear buds in all day at work. I love all kinds of music. County, rock, pop, alternative. If there is story in the song, I love it. Music has gotten me writing again. I hear a song and it triggers a memory and off I go.
I go to every concert I can. I love being packed in an arena or a stadium or an outdoor venue or even a small club. Every one screaming and clapping. We all know the words and sing them. We wave our arms and hold up our cell phones with our lights on. When I was a teenager we held up our lighters. We all had burnt fingers tips by the end of the night.
I walk out with my ears ringing. A little buzzed from all the smoke around me. I like drinking at concerts. Not getting drunk but just a drink or two to make me a little giggly. It doesn’t take much now a days.
My adrenalin is always going when I walk out. Everyone talking too loud and smiling.
My boys have always been my life. From the moment Beau was born, my life become about them boys. I’ve never missed one baseball or football game. I’ve gone to every school program they had. Decades worth. They were all such good boys.
I’ve worked for the same company for two decades. It’s a big corporation. I do not love my job but I love the people I work with. They are my friends, not just co workers.
My boys are all grown. My husband is gone. For the first time in my life its all about me. Since life is short, I’m gonna make the best of it.
Since Luke died I can’t stop wondering what happens when you die. I worry about Luke being scared or just being gone. I believe in reincarnation but when someone close to you dies, suddenly you question your beliefs.
I am a thinker. If I don’t understand something, it drives me crazy. I’ve been searching for stuff to read on dying. If I couldn’t find an answer that makes sense to me it would have upset me forever, wondering what happened to Luke.
I finally found something that makes sense to me. My friend Hannah’s mom died and also her best friend, so after Luke died she reached out to me and sent me some books to read. It made me feel better and I believe that this is what happens after you die, so here goes…
I believe that when you die you are greeted and welcomed by loved ones. Sometimes when someone is sick, their subconscious knows they’re dying and sometimes they see their dead loved ones. I truly believe this because two weeks before Luke died, when he was sleeping, he would raise his arms in the air like he was reaching for something. It would wake me up and I would roll over and push his arms back down. He never remembered doing it. After I read this, I truly believe he was seeing his loved ones. It gave me the chills.
After you die you go through a life review while your soul rests. Depending on your life, it could take a month or two or a year. You review your life like a movie. Not to point out the bad you’ve done, but to see how your life impacted others. During this time you don’t get to watch over your loved ones. I think that maybe this is why I don’t feel Luke around me.
After your life review you can then watch over your loved ones. I figure Luke has a lot to review so I won’t feel his presence for awhile.
I went and got tattoos today. Luke had my name tattooed on him in several places. I got his name and the word love on my wrists. I didn’t have anything thought out. I just asked the guy to do it. I don’t love it but I feel like I needed to honor Luke.
I’m so sad but I stopped crying. I don’t know why I can’t cry.
I’m going to keep busy because if I stop moving I just sit and think. I feel like if I stop, my mind will break and I’ll never be the same again.