Cory, Jake, and I were watching American Idol in the living room one night, cozied up on the couch in a happy little row, sharing a giant afghan. That season, Cory loved the young girl who got up and sang a lovely version of The Band Perry's song. She was the sort of girl who wore white sundresses with cowboy boots, and Cory was eager each week to see what she'd be wearing and what song she'd perform. We both commented on the dark beauty of the song. I'll never forget Cory telling me that if she died young, that was just what she wanted- to be laid down in a bed of roses, to the words of her favorite love songs-"and Mom, if you could make the boat thing happen, too, that's like the coolest thing I've ever heard of". I giggled at this. I giggled, not able to seriously entertain the idea of having to bury my child. I casually threw back my standard response to her whenever the subject of Jake or Cory dying came up: "If that ever happened they'd have to lock me up and I'd spend the rest of my life writing home with crayons."
I would lose my mind.
So then when Cory was killed on the road, I did lose my mind. They haven't had to lock me up yet, but I've been writing to the world about it ever since the day it happened. It's the only way I've found to survive.
Cory was laid down in a bed of roses and to the words of her songs- the songs that meant everything to her. I couldn't make the boat thing happen, but I hope it was close to what she had in mind.