I became more and more dependent on the boy. I spent all my free time with him and became a basketball stat so I could spend even more time with him. He drove me home whenever he could and came to every grief filled family event from spaghetti suppers (an old tradition) to candle lightings (a new tradition). I also spent a great deal of time with his family and become a part of their inner circle very rapidly. They treated me as if I belonged with them. And I felt like I did.
During this time, my family members visited the cemetery frequently, but I couldn't bring myself to go because I knew I would lose hold of my fragile composure. The boy encouraged me to go, to grieve, and when I refused, he promised to be there when I was ready to go.
I spent the weekends traveling to see the baby, who remained in a pediatric care unit at a hospital several hours away. The boy usually met me at the junction on my way home from these weekends because he knew I needed a break from the grief and my family...needed him.
By the end of November, the baby was finally home. Life took on a look of normalcy, but everyday continued to be tinged with grief.
One weekend, while watching a movie and sharing a pint of Ben and Jerry's, the boy asked if I would go to prom with him. It was November, prom was not until April. I had no question that he would still be there in five months time.