School is out and summer break is here. I find myself wondering what Austin would be doing now, if he were here.
He would have completed his first year of high school and I'm sure he would've been ready for a break. He would have looked forward to late nights, playing xbox and watching tv, talking to friends on the phone - and to sleeping in until noon, or whenever I woke him up.
I walk past his door, wishing so much that I could open it and see him on his bed. He used it as a couch, for watching tv, doing homework and of course, sleeping. As a teenager, he spent a lot of time in his room, with his door closed and either the stereo or tv on. The room is so quiet now but remains the same, except it is missing the best part. I haven't been able to bring myself to change things. I think we all find comfort in going in there, when we need a little piece of him. His scent is still present and everywhere you look, it is Austin.
His rock collection welcomes you when you open the door. To me, just various shapes and sizes of rocks but to him, so much more. The walls are covered in baseball memorabilia. From posters, to his prized Cardinal's frame, to team photos of him as a kid to a young man, they are memories and collections of his favorite sport. Taking up nearly half a wall is his entertainment center, where he was spoiled with his own television and DVR, complete with surround sound. I remember the year Tim installed it, well before we purchased one for ourselves. It was a birthday present and Austin couldn't have been more excited.
In the corner is a bookshelf, full of his favorite books from birth to teenage years. I never let him throw any books away. Some he passed down to Noah, some I boxed for his closet, and he chose his favorites to keep on the shelves. And along one wall, are shelves filled with boxes and books of baseball cards. I couldn't even guess how many hundreds of cards he has. And even though the stacks were sometimes a mess, he knew right where every important card was.
So many things that made him who he was. So many memories that now just sit and collect dust. I wish that I could turn his doorknob to find it locked, peck gently and wait for him to open it. He rarely did so without giving me a hug, regardless of the time of day. How I wish I could fuss at him, nag at him to pick up his dirty clothes and take out his trash. Now there is nothing to clean up, no mess to fix. How I wish I could sneak in and peek at him at night or before waking him on sunny mornings, to see him sleeping, arms and legs hanging off the sides because he was growing so fast.
But I can't. Instead the room is empty, full now only memories, much like my heart.