A message left behind.
This was the day I went into the basement where Alex’s belongings had been since they all came back from Savannah to St. Louis.
I went through dirty clothes and folded them, to be washed at some future time.
Among his belongings were some miscellaneous paper scraps that I was sure were little bits of trash. But before tossing them, I took a closer look. When you are going through the things of the child you no longer have, you don’t want to throw anything away that may have had some connection to him. Even paper scraps.
In this little pile I found ticket stubs to every concert, movie or event he’d experienced that year. He was very sentimental about time shared with others, and kept those artifacts religiously.
Then at the bottom I found a very small square of folded paper — well-worn, folded gingerly. It had seen a few miles.
Carefully I picked it up and began unfolding the square. And I kept unfolding it, because it had been folded over as many times, over and on top of itself, as possible the last time it was held. The paper was soft, the creases deep.
Once completely open, another folded square was revealed to be inside, hardly larger than a postage stamp. I opened it to discover a note that he had written to Chelsea, his girlfriend. It was long, loving, and very emotional. It was written in light blue pencil.
Then I looked closer at the first piece of paper that had been hiding the second inside. There he had written the following:
“Everything will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not the end.”