I drop my daughter off at school, and watch her swing on the monkey bars. And I wonder, “Where would Rowan be?”  Would he be running around below her? Sliding down the slide?  Or would she be doing something entirely different with her little brother by her side?

I put the question to the side, and remind her that its time for school to start..

I pack up our bikes to spend the afternoon at the park.  And I imagine Rowan coming along.  Would he be on the front of my bike, or maybe towed along behind, or maybe on his own set of wheels of some kind?

I put the thought aside, and close just two bikes behind the door..

I look in the refrigerator for eggs to pack lunch, would I be grabbing three instead of two?  Rowan loved eggs, but would he have already eaten one today?

I move my hand to the other side, and grab the ham to make sandwiches instead..

Every moment of every day, Rowan is still here with me.  Every movement, every choice, made in an alternate universe.  Like book with two endings, each choice getting farther and farther away from the original plot.  The alternate ending lingering in the background, always there, just out of reach.

Twenty two months later, our unchosen plot still moves along.

Our voice has been heard.  Not by many, but by some who matter.  The Special Olympics, the congressmen, all holding onto a story that might help others.

Maybe, if those who hold it (both big and small) choose to have courage and speak louder.

The medical board still ponders.  Our case is in the second round of questioning, which tells me that it has made it farther than most.  Something may come of that, or not.  But our story has been seen, and has the chance to make a change.

Maybe, if those who know it choose to have courage and act.

My daughter moves from one grade to the next.  Meeting new friends who never knew her brother.  She asks for stories of him, and remembers.  His memories are there for him to always remain a part of her life.

Maybe, if she is courageous enough to endure the pain.

Meanwhile, I continue to move along my “Choose Your Own Adventure” book, filled with sorrow that such and important page was torn out long ago, sending me on this unchosen path.  But I continue to read along, though some of the pages are tedious, and scary, and painful.. knowing that I can never go back to page one.

Thankful that I carry the memories.

Thankful that I have the alternate universe.

Thankful that Rowan will always be with me in every choice that I make.

special olympics