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Super Friends by Whitney Holwadel Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at whit-superfriends.blogspot.com. Super Friends: The old house

Friday, October 1, 2010

The old house

This afternoon I went over to the house where Whit and his sister grew up. It was the first time I'd been there since Whit's passing, and it was just an unusual chain of events that brought me there.

It was hard, very hard. Various memories of Whit's childhood come and go all the time, of course, but it's an altogether different thing when you stand in front of the house and observe how ALL of it comes flooding into your mind at once. Birthday parties; reading bedtime stories; that first day of school, getting on the bus at the bottom of the hill; a swing set; family meals; and blissful ignorance of the future. Sure, there were difficult times as well. And I spent the last year in the house alone after Whit's mother moved out, and Whit was spending 8th grade at Howe Military School. So I don't need to be told that my memory is always selective in favor of just the good things, as some people in my life typically allege. But if I didn't choose to focus on the positive side of things and on the potential for good rather than negative outcomes, I wouldn't have been able to be there for Whit through it all.

But of course I'm crushed that all the active love and support weren't enough to avert Whit's death. I'm pretty much damaged goods by this time, and there doesn't seem to be a future worth hoping for or saving now. There's no way I can approach life the same way I did before Whit's death. As for the past, memories are painful, not helpful or consoling. I can't even listen to the same music I did before that existential watershed; songs that used to move me deeply now just represent a painful disconnect between what used to be and what is now. My capacity for passion is diminished to near nothing. Even checking this blog daily is becoming an exercise in disappointment. I remember how I used to check the stat counter several times a day so I could let Whit know how many new readers, how many pageloads he had. After his death there was a fairly long period of very heavy activity; and in recent weeks the number of readers has dwindled to near zero. Hardly anyone new is hearing about the blog, and the old readers have little reason to come back. Whit's voice is fading, and even those who were really close to him through the blog seem to have put the 'episode' behind them, and I don't hear from them any more. C'est la vie, and c'est la mord.

Jeff

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you are so sad Jeff. Please don't give up on getting Whitney's story out there.
I'm sure going to the old house was like rubbing salt in an open wound. For years after my sons arrest I found myself at the scene of the crime. the last time I was there I knew as long as I lived in that city I'd go there. I moved 100 miles away.
What you are going through right now, the emotions and depression are normal, remember you will never get over this but you can get through this.
I keep you and yours in my thoughts and prayers.
Mrs Rimoldi

From the Meaningless to the Meaningful, My World said...

And we haven't moved on completely .. Whit is still here in our memories and I still come back to see what you've had going on in your life. Please never feel like you or he has been forgot ...

cieldequimper said...

I'm sorry for the late comment but I was away in the PNW. I'm also sorry that you are feeling so bad and will always come visit here.

Sally said...

Whit isn't forgotten, I think of him often and still miss him.

I may not be here often, but I hold onto his letters and his memory.

Jeff said...

Thanks Sally, it felt good to read that.

Laura said...

Whit will never be forgotten, he lives on in my memory as one of the most open minded and generous people I knew in my childhood. I wish I had stayed in contact with him outside of high school, but I'm glad theres a place where I can read his contributions. The world is a emptier without him

Anonymous said...

I've visited this blog a few times in the past having found it through PTO. I don't know what snagged me about it today, but I came and have read almost every word written by you and by Whit.

Being the sentimental girl I am, I could feel your anguish in this post. I recently visited my childhood home that I couldn't wait to get away from, but oh what I wouldn't have given to walk through that door and just go to sleep in my old room.

Yes, I'm sure only a few readers come now, but know that his words have touched me today, and I will spend the rest of my day and many days thinking of your son, and you.

When you see the occasional visitor from Denver, CO. It's probably me.

Whit Smith said...

Anonymous in Denver,

I do of course see the 'occasional' visitor from Denver, and it's really nice to now be able to associate it with a person. I'm glad the childhood home thing resonated with you - it speaks well for you! So thank you for posting; reading that was the nicest thing that happened to me today.

Yours,
Jeff