Today, March 21, is/was/would-have-been/could-have-been my late son Aaron’s birthday.
I’m spending the day getting my vegetable garden ready for planting, thinking about my son, about how happy he was to be home here with me for those few precious months in 2003….
Turning the soil, making some new raised beds, carrots on my mind….
Aaron was the most willing of my four children to work in the garden with me; more than willing, actually....
I have dozens of photos of Aaron at different ages, in a succession of gardens, the seasons changing, so clearly happy to be working with me in the earth, with the water, caring for the growing corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers….
Like my father and I, like my father and his, extending as far back beyond memory as life itself: the corn, the tomatoes, the cactus, jalapenos, tortillas fresh with the dawn…frijoles…all the way back to the beginning…before the Spanish came ashore…there were the vegetable gardens, there was the squash….
Each of my four children were/are beautiful in their own unique ways, four original personalities, overflowing with enthusiasm, life did not get better than this…I have the photographs, the videotape, to prove it….
The kidnapping changed all of that….
Aaron was like a growing stalk of tall corn, promise in every kernel, yanked out of the open soil, crammed into a pot way too small, force-fed the Mormon Kool-Aid….
More on this later….