The Boy Who Lived

When The Man was a child his older brother got hit by a truck and tragically died. The catastrophic event has forever haunted his family since. I’m sorry, but I can’t go into private details that surround this unfortunate accident. I wasn’t there, didn’t know the family back then, and I certainly didn’t know the boy.

While dating The Man our relationship grew ever more serious. He met my family. I met his. He saw all my old family photos. I saw his. I told him all about the skeletons in my closet. He dug up his old bones in turn for me. So I learned in confidence all about *B* (The Man’s brother) and his untimely demise and how effected it left The Man ever after.

We had our first child, Deedee. Life was great, but it became very clear to us that Deedee is a highly gifted child. She grew too big too quick. We knew we wanted a family with several kids so when Deedee was a month shy of 2, BoBo came into this world right on cue.

Bobo’s first moments outside of me were almost his last. It was a complicated delivery and to this day, Bobo still deals with obstacles created by those first crucial hours. Life with Bobo was chaotic, hectic, and tense. He screamed and wailed for hours upon hours. I knew he hurt and yet I couldn’t soothe him. I felt like I was failing my infant son.

As he grew we did what most parents do, we documented his growth with picture after picture. It was great memere who brought it to my attention at first. BoBo acts and looks just like his dead uncle. When pictures of the boys were put next to each other even I could not always tell which child was my beloved son. Soon all the grandparents and extended family members were commenting how astonished they were by the extreme similarities. “Well they should look alike”, I thought. “They are from  the same bloodline”.

Bobo frequently had nightmares and night terrors. He’d scream in his sleep as if his limbs were being torn from his body. He’d choke on his tears and shriek at the top of his tiny lungs. It was horrendous watching him go through this. When he was around 3 years old, I was finally able to ask him about his nightmares. What he told me shocked me.

He told me he was riding a toy down the street (a scooter, we were later able to identify it, but at 3 Bobo didn’t know what a scooter was). He rode the toy down a hill when suddenly a big truck hit him and he died. Again, I shall not go into graphic details, but Bobo accurately described how his uncle died… only thing was Bobo didn’t know anything about *B* and especially not his death.

One day I was driving through a town near where we lived. I drove by a cemetery. Bobo informed me as the car past by the headstones “that’s where my body is”. I found out years later that the cemetery I had passed was the one *B* was buried in.

One day when Bobo was a toddler and my third child had just been born, we went to a picnic at a nature persevere. It was a huge friend and family type event. I sat at a table feeding my newborn baby (Snoochie) next to *J* (The Man’s cousin). A lady I didn’t know sat down next to me (hoping to get to see the little cherub cradled in my arms). She looked out at a field where The Man was playing kick ball with Deedee, Bobo, and a few other kids. I watched as her face grew white and she clutched *J*’s arm.

“J” She gasped. “Look at that little boy.” She pointed right at Bobo. “I’m seeing a ghost, J. That’s little *B* + last name. He’s dead though. Do you see him? There’s a ghost out there with those kids!” She was clearly shocked and freaked out. I didn’t know who she was though. Turns out she was a neighbor from when The Man and *B* were children.

J turned calmly to the lady and said. “That’s no ghost. That’s Bobo + last name, *B*’s nephew. Look over there” he exclaimed pointing at The Man. “That’s his dad, The Man”. The lady had no clue I was Bobo’s mom. I watched her relax and finally understand that she wasn’t seeing a ghost at all, just some very dominant DNA.

Some times Bobo knows things he shouldn’t. Things about *B*. Things there is no possible way he could know. I’ve got to wonder if *B* was sent back for another chance at life. A lot of the family finds it unsettling how uncanny the resemblance is between the two boys, but The Man doesn’t care. He loves his brother even through the barrier of death and he loves the son he has now.

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