During the last census in 2000, my son, daughter-in-law, and new baby grandson lived with me at this residence. Devon was born July 26, 2000, so he was past the cut off date for the census. I remember thinking that he wouldn’t be counted until he was 10 years old, just as his father, Neal, who was born in 1980 missed being counted until he was 10.

So, here it is 10 years later. Only, Devon isn’t here to be counted. Neither is Neal. Nor Ian, Devon’s little brother who was born in 2003. They are all dead – murdered in 2007. Neal was 27, so he was counted during his lifetime. It’s the two little boys that make me sad.

It isn’t logical and it shouldn’t make a bit of difference, but somehow the idea that they went directly from birth statistic to death statistic really bothers me. (We won’t mention homicide statistic). Ian hadn’t even started school, so didn’t even have a school registration record, while Devon’s “permanent record” only goes through the first grade. All the many fingerprints that we leave in life through our contact with the government are missing. No driver’s permit or even a ticket for jay walking. No registration for the draft. No employment or taxes or voter registration. It’s hard to fathom that they could be born, live and die and never be “counted.”

Of course they counted very much in my life and in every life that they touched. They were sweet, healthy, happy little boys. They mattered. But I found it very hard to fill out my census form just for one person, knowing that there should have been at least 3 more. It’s just me alone at home now. (I have a cat that lives with me, but he doesn’t count, either, and really doesn’t care.) A brief, shining moment – they were here and they brought a love into my life that will never be forgotten. Thanks for listening.

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2 Responses to Census

  1. Peggy Weaver says:

    This hits me the hardest of all correspondence that came about from this tragedy. I want to say to you that they are counted. THEY ARE COUNTED Jan. You counted them as a gift in your life, I’m counting them as gifts in your life.Those beautiful little faces will be with you to the end of your life so yes, they are counted in the human hearts they filled. Much better than a useless census that isn’t even conclusive because of all the inconsistencies.

    • jan says:

      I know that, Peggy. The logical part of me does at any rate. I said it made no sense. Grief is like that I guess.

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