Like the tempestuous sky, with its swathes and pockets of cinder white and its rolling thunderheads, my son's good and bad behaviors waxed and waned. I've often wondered if the atmospheric pressure affects his fragile brain and ventricles, bringing on epilepsy's electric storms; I'd seen one coming for days—his shrieking and spaciness, and the violent swings in-between.

As Michael and I relaxed in our screen porch after having dined there, and while listening intently to an unusually raucous choir of birds, I heard our son's own shrill cry. I raced across the yard and bounded upstairs to find the sickeningly familiar sight of him seizing. His fits are unearthly, muscles twitching at lightening-quick speeds, eyes wide open though unable to see, mouth agape in a dreadful, torturous expression.

When it was over, and like too many times before, Michael tipped Calvin's chin up to wipe drool from his cheek, and a ribbon of scarlet blood streamed out. My poor sweet boy whimpered, as I imagined the world in his mind was spinning. I got in bed with him and held him, twilight still lingering at nine o'clock. As I laid there feeling his breathing, which sometimes wavered, I thought about our friend-brother-son who took his life last August; he comes to mind often—his pillow case, his tea pot, his voice, his being. I wondered if the physical world itself—nature—as much as the personal, political and social ones, sometimes crushed him, its sharp-contrast, sunlit days blindingly harsh, its tempests and leaden skies pressing down.

I laid there next to my own son wondering when nature might take him. In a cloud? In the wind? In a storm?

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