Magnus Bartholomew Black – One Year Later

One year ago today, my son, Magnus, chose to take his own life. Last year, two days after his death, I posted a tribute to him. I want to post a tribute to him again this year, but I don’t want it to be some maudlin regurgitation of how he died. Instead, I want to remember his good times, his happy times, the few times in his short life that celebrated the little snippets of happiness that I saw on his beautiful face with his spectacular smile.

I am lucky to be the mom of eight children. Some of them are still on this earth, others live in my heart. Like anyone else’s children, all of my children are unique and have unique gifts. They all love their siblings, and sometimes they can’t stand one another.

Magnus was born 11 weeks prematurely. He hated to be singled out as premature, he hated when I mentioned it. He was just over four pounds when he was born. He spent two weeks in the NICU, we took him home at barely five pounds. He looked like a little bald monkey.

Magnus was loved exceptionally by his siblings. Magnus thought the sun rose and set on his oldest brother, James. Many people thought James was the father, not the brother.

My second son, Mateo, left for the Marine Corp at 17, shortly before Magnus was born. When he returned, he was sleeping on our couch downstairs. Magnus came downstairs and asked me who the homeless person was on the couch.

Samantha, my eldest daughter, was the overprotective sister. She was also the sister that Magnus made the mistake of making an insulting comment to. Magnus came home from the pool, giggling, that she tried to drown him after he made his remark.

She was also the sister that photographed him in the first photo in this post. One of my favorites. You can see her love for him in the photo, even though she isn’t in it.

My youngest daughter, Alex, seven years older than Magnus, carted him around on her hip, as a toddler, even though she wasn’t much bigger than him.

Magnus was a happy old man trapped in a tiny body. I always thought there was a little of my father in him, if not an entire reincarnation. He had his own unique twist though. His sense of humor was spectacular. When we went to Hawaii, we attended a Luau. Unprompted, he walked out onto the stage, sang an Elvis song, threw his arm into the air and exclaimed “Thank you very much” as he exited the stage and returned to sit with us.

His personality changed at the age of eight. We moved to a new house, I’ll never know if that was his catalyst, but his personality changed. He still smiled, he still laughed, but he spent more time by himself and less time with the family.

It took him quite a while to learn how to read. Once he did, he started reading huge history books. He was fascinated by various dictators and could recite historical facts at the drop of a hat. He sometimes drove teachers crazy. One history teacher sent him out of class to the principals office because he disagreed with him. He had to apologize to Magnus once he realized that Magnus was right and he was wrong.

Many kids bring home animals that need help. Magnus brought home people that needed a place to stay, He would hand you his right arm, even if it was the last arm he had.

I miss him terribly. I worry about him. A few months ago, I had a dream about him visiting me. He told me that he had his own house, a flying house. He told me that the house was a little drafty, he had to put towels in the windows to keep the wind out. He flew all kinds of places, around the world. He landed his house whenever he wanted to and went to places he had always wanted to go. This picture of a flying house gives me great comfort, because I can see him so clearly waving to me from the window.

Magnus was a rock star. I will always have a front seat when he plays on his air banjo at his next concert.

We love you Magpie. Please stop by soon, I’d love to take a trip in your house.

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