Jeannie Reilly (JR)
JR: Hi Butchie. I know it’s been a long time. You’re probably wondering, like, who is this person, like, calling me, ”Hi Butchie.” This is your mother. And I think that at the age you are right now, I believe you know of me, but I haven’t been in your life for over seven years now and I just want to leave something to you and maybe fill in the gaps to some of the questions you might have that maybe you don’t know now the answers to.
This was our routine, Butchie: It was just me and you, the whole day, Monday through Friday. I would try and dress us the same way. You know, like if I was wearing a red T-shirt, you would wear a red T-shirt. And we’d go in the stroller and we would usually walk along 86th Street. And you were so handsome, people used to stop and have to admire you and say, ”Oh, my God, he’s so beautiful!” You know, every mother hears that, but I felt like you were the most handsomest thing God created, and I used to just like to walk around with you. I was proud.
Drugs was 24/7 on my mind, unfortunately. I always refer to the six million dollar man, because I shot up so much drugs I said my arms got to be worth at least a million dollars. So I left you at grandma’s house on 25th Avenue. You were thirteen months old, you were sitting on the kitchen table, and you were wearing a little baby blue outfit that said ”blue boy” on it that Dorothy had bought for you. It was one of my favorite outfits. And you were just sitting on the table, and me and Grandma had a little disagreement that night and I used it as an excuse to get out of the house and I never came back.
Hi Butchie. Today’s Friday, November 4th, and it happens to be a very special day, because today’s your birthday. It officially became your birthday at 3:51 PM. That’s the exact time that I gave birth to you. And nine years ago at this minute, I was lying in a hospital bed exhausted but so happy to have you in my life. So, you’re going to be nine years old. My son, my baby. Nine years old. God. You’re really growing up to be a good, strong, healthy, good looking kid, and I know that you have the utmost respect for family and you have manners and … just keep it up like that. Try not to ever hurt anybody, especially the way I hurt you. So like I said, have a very happy birthday. And I hope next year I’m with you, blowing out the ten candles on the birthday cake. I miss you a lot, and I love you. Happy birthday.
How you doing sweetheart? We’re in November 14, I believe, a week before Thanksgiving. I got a picture of you today. I don’t know why I’m crying. Me and grandma have been talking a lot more lately than we have in the past couple of years. I’ve made a promise, not only to grandma, but to myself, not to come into your life until I’m stable and I won’t leave you again. That’s why it’s taking so long to come back to you, because I have to really, really be sure. So the next time you see me you’re going to just have to get sick of seeing me, because I won’t leave. And it makes me feel really, really good, even though I’m hysterical crying. Each day is a day closer to coming back into your life. I don’t know how much longer I might be alive, but I’m going to see you before …before I go away.
It’s New Year’s Eve, and I have no great plans for tonight. [laughs] The old lady’s just going to stay home. She doesn’t feel good. She’ll just contemplate, watch the ball fall, and remember the times at grandma’s house — all the good times. We used to always bring in the New Year with Guy Lombardo. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one … Happy New Year! And everybody would go wild, and it was so much fun. I just want to wish you a happy New Year, and maybe next year we’ll celebrate together. I’m not going to promise you, but I’ll try. I want you to know that I love you very much, and I hope to see you before I leave this world. Have a good night, sweetheart. I love you.