Anonymity, for me, is this oversized black umbrella. It shields me from the burning stares of grief stricken eyes while allowing me to fix my gaze forward.

In the beginning, being so far from home sounded heavenly. We would have a chance to rest, to breathe and to grieve. No one would knows us. We could be free.

How wrong I was.

Yes … the world does go on turning, the seconds ticking by, the laughs and cries of the multitudes continue. Life moves forward with nary a thought to those left clinging to the edges.

There is no fault in that. It is after all, what I craved.

However being anonymous is like, a double edged sword that cuts you to the quick, if you are not careful.

“How many children do you have?” The question so innocently asked by the unknowing leaves an acrid taste in my mouth. The answer so simple. In the past, I never had to stop and think about what I was going to say next. Scott used to have to remind me several times that I claimed all three as my own, as if his part was inconsequential. Now there is a sharp intake of air as I ponder how to answer.

Here I am clearly the mother of two beautiful girls. Here I am anonymous.

But it takes every once of self control not to scream to the world that does not know me…that I have one more. One who is lost and has not found his way home. A son, whose absence tears my soul little by little.

And in those moments, I desperately wish that I could cast off my umbrella and come home.

To those that know and understand my grief.

But how can I move forward through the winds of change if I don’t firmly plant my feet?

So I adjust the weight of the umbrella and breathe.