Sunday, July 25, 2010

The things we continue to learn

It's been about 66 hours since he died.

I've had 8 hours of sleep. Not for lack of intention, but my body has a different plan right now. Apparently the plan is to run into the ground.

I still haven't grieved. I've stayed busy. I've dealt with the kids and the calls and the bills and the grief of others. Right now, that's ok.

My husband is still trying to be strong - but it's ok to not be...right now, he doesn't have to be. There isn't a guidebook for this. So, I'm listening and offering myself to him in whatever way he needs me. I'm giving suggestions when it seems appropriate. And, I'm trying to make sure he laughs from time to time.

Apparently the funeral home lady was well suited for her job...they laughed a lot while finalizing plans and somehow that made it all seem better. I worry for my sister in law, my nieces, my own children...lots of worry and not many answers.

He shouldn't be gone. This I know. He wasn't done here. Or, at least, we weren't done with him.

The stories were amazing that people told. They were amazing in their normalcy...a dad hiding in his daughter's closet for TWO HOURS just to wait until she really believed she'd never find hiim in hide and seek and then jumping out to scare her. A memory she still has years later. A man whose number one priority was his 3 women. He would do anything for them. So many people who said they felt adopted by him...taken in, welcomed. I made many calls and each one ended the same: a story of his life and sorrow that he was gone.

So many sympathy calls even here today - for my husband who has lost his only brother. But, I continue to see the shining rays in this. My husband and his brother had not been close for many years...until they were brought together by their father's death. We've now spent a few years becoming a closer family. They visited us here last year and we had a wonderful week...we email...and this was our first time out to see them. We've asked 'what are the odds?'

You couldn't even find a number to answer that.

We were there so that she didn't have to be there alone. We were there to see the strength and unity of people who draw so quickly around the one in pain that it's shocking to the system. We were there to renew faith in this world we live in. We were there to partake of the blessings of a tragedy. I learned so much.

Admitedly, I hid in what I termed "the closet" for a long time...I wanted to get things in order for her. I wanted there to be a clear path of 'what to do next' so that fear wasn't at the top of the list. I wanted to leave something that I would want to have: peace of mind.

On Saturday - the day after - I took the kids to the amusement park. It had been planned long in advance and they were being so good to just sit with tons of people...but they are kids. Their aunt asked me to take them...blessed me to take them. As we drove I answered questions they had. I talked about my feelings and how each person grieves differently and some take longer than others. I told them that whatever it looked like for them was MORE than ok. We were all shell shocked.

We rode roller coasters - it was quieter than a normal day at the park and it felt like someone had come before us and cleared a path. The park was quite empty due to the high heat. After a few hours we all agreed that we wanted to head back, it had been a nice reprieve, but we wanted to be there. We walked into one last ride on the way out. And as we got up the stairs, I sat down and cried. Looking back, I'll call it an anxiety attack - it just all compiled and ate me at once. But...

Here's the kicker.

My kids are amazing creatures - both inside and out. They fanned me with maps, they lifted my hair and blew on my neck, they wrapped their arms around me for hugs, they asked if I'd like to get out of line, they said sweet things about their uncle...they helped me move past that moment. They didn't look embarrassed or worried about what others thought - they (yes, all of them) took care of me.

We all need a little of that from time to time.

Love on all those around you. I've truthfully learned that going to sleep can change everything. Stay healthy and go to a doctor from time to time to find out how to help yourself if you aren't healthy. Share with your loved ones what your wishes are for when this time does come. You can't pick when it does, so don't be stingy with your thoughts on the subject. Share...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Very sad day

We are on vacation. It isn't what we planned.

On July 23 at 1:53 am, my brother in law died at his home. Where we are staying...

The kids witnessed more than I wish they had, there wasn't really time to make a better plan. I'm blessed to have been 'in my senses' and able to maintain some form of control...

He died in his sleep, but we don't know why or how. We are still waiting for answers. I called 911 and helped my husband perform CPR on his own brother. I've been so blessed to not have death touch my life very often...yesterday it was literally in front of me. Can't quite get past the picture.

Been trying to keep life moving for the kids. There are lots of people here supporting the family and we are going to head back early so that DH can come back for the funeral. The kids seem ok, we've talked about it and they get that it totally stinks, is completely unfair - but happened. We can grieve - each in our own way - and support others that are grieving...beyond that there is little any of us can do.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Not so hot

Well...the air is hot, the feeling inside my house is a bit chilly. I'm not sure that he's unhappy to be home, but I am sure that he's really pushing the limits. The hit parade:
  • Slams his hand HARD into my new chandelier to see "if it is breakable"
  • tells me that he'd like to stay at school next year to do the work program because there is "no reason to come home"
  • walks out of the ortho office and into the busy parking lot (as I'm driving by) and gets angry because I tell him to go back to the sidewalk - even more angry that I have to make another appointment for him
  • cussing like a sailor - words that I can't even mention
  • answering absolutely nothing without starting out "I don't know" or "I don't remember"
  • lying (there really isn't a specific example...just everything)
  • has made his brother and sister so mad that they won't talk to or hang out with him - already
  • has lived basically on his own for six weeks, but is constantly asking me strangely basic questions: where are my shoes? do I use a knife to cut this meat? REALLY

So, not the fairy tale that I paid for - ha, ha. I remember the head master telling us that the first few home visits would be worse than things were before. I don't know if I can say that exactly - just seems that things are exactly the same - within moments of him coming in the door.

We off on vacation now. I can only hope that the excitement will do good things for him and not bad - oh Lord, not bad!

Friday, July 16, 2010

He's on his way

He's coming home tonight! DH and DS2 are currently sitting at an airport in Kentucky - where, apparently it's *(#)@%! hot and humid. I'm nervous.

I'll admit it. Seeing my son right now makes me have a lot of feelings...but number one is definitely nervous.

When DH called today to check in I wanted to ask a million questions. Does he look different? Was he happy to be coming home? Did he ask about me? Don't those all sound like questions you would ask as a love-sick teenage girl when your boyfriend was coming home from college?

What the heck is wrong with me?

The answers were yes, he looks a bit more grown up. He didn't really comment on coming home, but seems in good spirits and he didn't really ask much of anything. So, I'll be standing there tonight when they pull in the driveway, holding up my (very pretty) homemade "WELCOME HOME" sign and praying.

Praying I will see a kid that wants a hug from me...and maybe a kid who wants to hug me back.

His summer went pretty well. He had a few run-ins with the 'law' of the school. Didn't seem totally motivated to complete all the things he was supposed to complete. But, he answered for that there - right where he should be held responsible. Not here...home doesn't need to be the saving ground for him anymore - at least for now. I'm hoping behavior can be a non-issue for his four weeks at home.

The next few days are busy...all the stuff you don't realize you do with your kids - I have to do in a short amount of time. What a welcome home gift - new glasses, catching up on shots at the doctor's office, getting braces, haircuts, back to school much fun in so little time.

I'm so thankful he will be able to go on our summer vacation with us. He did miss a lot this summer, but I think his stories probably beat ours! He experienced things we could not have given him here. Responsibility being among the top in my mind.

So, I'm sitting and counting down the hours until I can meet him in the driveway...and I'm ok with feeling butterflies!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Do you believe in Miracles?

My Rockies just came back from a 7 run hole in the 9th inning and WON THE GAME. If you aren't a big baseball fan...that may not mean much. But, if you follow much of America's game...

You know that is a VERY big deal!!!

I'm a freak fan. Really - I read every bit of info I can get - we go to a lot of games every year. Our whole family knows the name of every guy on the field and bench. It starts to feel like they are part of our family.

Tonight, my family WON!

In every season, there is a moment where and hinge swings. In 2007, they won 21 of 22 to make the playoffs, eventually landing in the World Series. Yes, you Boston kicked us good...but we made it there - can't take that away.

Tonight was the hinge for this season. They'll be talking about tonight when we do something great this year!

There are also hinges in our lives. I can't wait to call DS2 and tell him about the game. He can wear his Rockies hat with pride on campus now...