I was looking through boxes of paperwork trying to find where I put Neal’s death certificate. I spoke to a charity about taking Godfrey, and they will need a copy since I don’t have the registration or anything. I didn’t find the certificate yet, but I did find a couple of journals that Neal started.

Neal loved to write. He would have been a good blogger (especially if the program had a spell check function). You know how it is with a journal though. You start out with enthusiasm, but day to day jumps in front of you. And, once you start putting it off for one reason, you find many, and pretty soon the journal is in a drawer where you don’t have to see it staring at you and making you feel guilty. It was the same for Neal. After the first few pages, it’s blank. While I would love to have discovered a treasure trove of his words, what he did write was painful enough.

Neal was worried about Manling and their marriage. Devon was a toddler, and Ling was working at Jazz Kitchen, while Neal himself worked at Disney. He felt she was drawing away from him, and he was puzzled. He wrote that he felt bad, because she seemed to really enjoy her job and liked spending time with all her new friends so much. He didn’t begrudge her time with her friends, and thought badly of himself because he missed the time they had always had together.

In his entry, Neal concluded that perhaps with a baby always around, they had stopped making an effort to be romantic. So he concluded that it was his fault, and made a plan to surprise her by sending flowers to her at her workspace. He kicked himself for not thinking about it before.

I don’t know if Neal sent flowers to the Jazz Kitchen or not. If he did, I’m sure it was a bit awkward. Manling wasn’t just spending time with a group of friends. She was having an affair with a co-worker. She even went on a trip to Hawaii with her “friend”, telling each of us a different reason for her trip. Neal later found a hotel bill with Lings name and a man’s name together. He told me that she insisted it was just a mistake, but Neal wasn’t stupid. Hurt. But very much in love with his wife, and he didn’t want Devon to grow up without a dad the way he did. Later, when we were clearing out the condo, we found undeveloped film and took it to the camera shop hoping for photos of the boys. No such luck. It was Manling’s Hawaii trip. How dumb is that anyway? You don’t bring home photographs from a clandestine trip with your lover. Even if there is nothing graffic, it’s stupid to be photographed with another man when you told everyone you went on the trip with a girl friend.

My heart is broken in so many pieces already, I didn’t think that I could feel even more pain, but I do. It aches for my son, who was so much in love with a monster. To hear him soul searching and trying to find fault with himself is unbearable. Why didn’t she just leave him then?

You know what sucks the most? That I can find the wonderful bonus of several handwritten pages that my son wrote – my deceased son – and look at it with sorrow. It should be a happy surprise to hear his voice in my head as I read. It isn’t. Even that is tainted by the murder. Monkey, monkey and monkey again.


About griefsjourney

Neal's mom. Devon's and Ian's Oma.
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