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Writing Your Grief: Color

Figuratively, anger goes well with red. Anger dealing with the miscarriage before he was born. The pregnancy solidified the desire for a child. I worked night shift and went to school all day trying to provide a home. Then without notice, our child miscarried. Anger dealing with doctors for the next five years trying to get pregnant again. Then another thirteen years trying to get pregnant only to lose that child as well. Anger with the state not allowing us to adopt our foster children. Anger with failed adoptions.

I have anger thinking about Caleb. Sometimes I am angry he left me. Sometimes I am angry I did not know what would happen. To think about Caleb, one must see red but not because of anger. Red is not his color. He would never pick red.

When Caleb turned 7 years old, we spent many summer nights with the telescope. We started by observing the moon in different phases in the weeks leading up to the total lunar eclipse. This eclipse has an imperfect alignment and allows some light causing the moon to look red. We looked at the rings of Saturn, the eye of Jupiter and even saw some of its moons. Later that summer Mars, the red planet, was in perihelic opposition. No ordinary perihelic opposition like in 2018, in 2003 Mars was closer to Earth than in 58,000 years. It was a bright red and easy to see with the telescope. Caleb promised me he would work for NASA and he wanted to go to Mars.

In 2015 Caleb was 19 and went to California to intern for NASA at their Armstrong Flight Research Center. On his first day of work, he called me. “Dad, I kept my promise,” he said proudly. He told me later how he doubted his generation would go to Mars. He was so disappointed. The project they assigned him was designing and prototyping a craft to find landing locations. He had the honor of the Prandtl-D’s first test launch on his birthday.



The Prandtl-D in flight.

Published inGrief

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