Adam Logsdon and Mia Moawad in 2001.
South Toledoan Lorraine Logsdon-Callis is moving her pond to Inner Mongolia.
How's that again?
Those who have read her book will understand. A Fish Out of Water (a print-on-demand title from Xlibris, $19.95 from the Web site www.fishadam.com), begins with the death of her only child, Adam, tells stories of his growing up, and tracks her journey through grief.
At one point she writes: "I am tired, tired of crying, tired of the pain in my heart, tired of the emptiness, tired of missing my son, tired of feeling like a fish out of water who doesn't know how to swim back to her pond."
In the end, she realizes that she can't go back to that pond - her life when Adam was alive - and that she's ready to swim again somewhere else. "I know now it is up to me to find beauty, happiness, love, and joy in whatever pond I'm in," Mrs. Logsdon-Callis writes.
Lorraine Logsdon-Callis with a portrait of her son Adam.
She will plunge in fully on Sept. 3, when she leaves Toledo to teach American studies for two years in China. After that, who knows? She said she doesn't expect to come back to northwest Ohio, except for visits.
"I'm leaving everything behind," said Mrs. Logsdon-Callis, 60. "I'm selling everything and I'm starting fresh."
Adam Logsdon was 28 when he died June 30, 2003, as he was riding a motorbike with another former Toledoan along a mountain pass in a remote province in Vietnam. A graduate of St. John's Jesuit High School and the University of Dayton, Mr. Logsdon had just completed the first year of a two-year contract teaching math at the Thai-Chinese International School in Bangkok.
A mud slide swept them down a 60-foot slope and into a river. Mr. Logsdon's body was recovered a week later. His companion, Mia Moawad, a graduate of Notre Dame Academy, was seriously injured.
Mrs. Logsdon-Callis said she doesn't remember much of the year that followed his death. "My life was so foggy and I was so angry," she said.
She continued to work as dean of students at Waite High School, although "I was in so much pain I didn't want to walk, I didn't want to talk, I didn't want to do anything. Getting out of bed was a major accomplishment for me."
As she writes in the book, "... I don't recognize, relate, understand, or know the sad person who now lives inside my body."
Mrs. Logsdon-Callis said she started writing the book six months after her son's death. She retired early, in 2005, to complete it.
She said she still cries every day, "but it's a peaceful type of tear. It's hard to explain. I feel that he's at peace and so am I, and I feel him, everyday, guiding me.
"I used to worry. I don't worry about anything anymore. I believe he's beside me - like this trip to China. It's something he'd like me to do," Mrs. Logsdon-Callis said.
She and Adam had talked about traveling the world together after she retired, she went on. When he was a child, she had made up a game she called "Around the World in Eighty Seconds." Adam would spin a globe, close his eyes, and then stop the globe with his index finger. Mrs. Logsdon-Callis - whose career included teaching world history, American history, geography, and economics - would then tell him all about the place where his finger had landed.
Had they had the chance to travel together, "I think we would have done the tour thing," Mrs. Logsdon-Callis said. That's not the approach she plans to take now. "I want to get into the culture," she explained.
"I want to learn the language. I want to see and explore everything that I taught for years. I want to walk into those cathedrals. I want to smell the pyramids. I want to visit all those places that I studied and I taught, and with every place I want to say, 'Adam, this is for you.' "
Contact Ann Weber at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6126.