When Mason drowned in the neighbor’s pond, I hated the place. I think I even hated the neighbors for awhile, though they had nothing to do with Mason’s death. Within months of Mason’s death the pond was nothing but a dried, deep hole surrounded by prairie grass and an old windmill. My neighbor’s drained the pond, and all I could feel was relief that I would never have to look at those deadly waters again.
For three years I have drove two miles out of my way to come back from town because I couldn’t stand seeing the corner by the windmill where I found my son floating in that dirty water, where I pulled his lifeless body to the bank, where paramedics worked for thirty minutes… Nothing marks the place that took my child’s life, nothing is there that expresses the sorrow and despair that place left in my life.
Yesterday, my neighbors stopped by to talk and told me that the pond was being refilled. It was even stocked with fish. Horror rushed through me like ice water, and I can’t even remember what I said to them.
It is hard to understand the beauty of a place when there is so much grief attached to it. I want to rage at my neighbors, throw things at them, cry out because their hole in the ground stole my son, and yet I can appreciate the beauty of a still pond surrounded by prairie grass and cattails and little, bright fish. I don’t know what to say to them. I hope this post doesn’t hurt them, but I can’t keep these words inside of me. I have been reliving the day Mason drowned since they told me it was refilling. I hope no other child ever, ever pays the price my son paid for a bit of beauty.