When we went to EPCOT one day and rode the Test Track ride, we were given an extra passenger. The cars each seat 6 and there were 5 of us - my mom, my stepdad, Anthony, Davan and myself. So, a single rider rode with us.
Afterward my mom leaned over and whispered to me, "It was like the ghost of Christmas past!" I replied, "But this young gentleman was smiling and polite." "Well, yes," she said, "But you know what I mean."
And I did. You see, the young man in question was black. He was a few years older, and, as I mentioned, enjoying himself, but it was sort of like the year before at Disneyland for a few brief minutes.
Max doesn't enter my thoughts a lot still, to be honest. I was reading another blog where a family had disrupted. As that family was getting out their Christmas decorations, they had a hard time of it because they found decorations and stockings belonging to the child who'd left their home. We had a little of that. We found a couple of items we'd missed when we got out Max's stocking and decorations to send on with him. But, we'd already sent most on.
My memories are mostly not good, even when they are triggered. For example, one decoration we found was a picture. We'd all sat down together to make ornaments for the tree the first year Max was with us. Max, instead, painted a picture, rather than an ornament for the tree. That's okay and all, but it's really indicative of how lots of things went - he was always trying to not be one of us, or so it seemed.
I measured Davan today and, on the opposite door jam, there are Max's measurements. I did feel a pang of sadness. I mostly feel sad that adding a child to our family didn't work, though, not at Max's leaving.
I feel really sorry for Max these days, when I do think about him. I hope he is okay and has found a place to fit in. I can feel these feelings because I don't have to live with him every day. When I did, it was hard to feel anything other than resentment, anger, frustration and grief in regards to him. Because of that - because of him and I, particularly, being oil and water, he just wasn't going to heal here. And we were falling apart. So, here it is. And I'm reminding myself that it was the right thing to do. It was and I'm okay.