Tag Archives: Heaven

Mail, First Class Stamp

22 Apr

Dear Cole,

Just now, when I was getting water from the refrigerator, I saw your picture.  The photo of you, Esther and I in the snow.  It was a Boy Scout adventure with myself and your sister as tag-alongs.  Oh hey, did I tell you your dad finally removed the safety bars he installed in your bathroom?  The ones for when you came home from the hospital?  Yep, he finally succumbed to my need to have them removed.  Funny thing though, now there are holes in the floor and the bathroom looks like something you would want to submit to a home improvement television show.

Oh, and today at work a really cool thing happened.  I’d like to call you and tell you about it, you’d be stoked.  And yesterday when I was driving down to San Diego, the Offspring song “Gone Away” came on and, well I tried to make it through the whole thing but I had makeup on…so, you know, I couldn’t have tears streaming down my face on my way into work!  Oh yeah, not to mention I was driving!!

Dear Cole,

Our little family canine mascot died this past week, Little Buddy.  Your dog, Piper, is feeling a bit alone.  In fact we found the entrails of a lizard outside the kitchen door this afternoon.  I guess without Buddy to play with she is resorting to reptilia.  Ok, ok, so I made up the word “reptilia,” but I thought you would think it sounded smart so I kept it in the letter. 🙂

Dear Cole,

Hey there, how’s it going?  Have you heard about us lately?  Has anyone told you your sister is getting to be quite an amazing young woman?  Can you see her from where you are?  I think if so, you are equally as amazed as I at her fortitude and applied wisdom.  I hope you are proud of her, she deserves it!  Oh hey, will you put in a good word for a loving companion for her?  Her heart is near ready for that void to be filled.

Dear Cole,

What do you think about your Dad?  He’s come a long way since you were a kid, heck since you were first diagnosed!  He’s sending his own email now.  He even is using an iPhone, running his Instagram (scaaaaarrrryyy!!) and managing his own business affairs for the most part.  In the last 6 months he’s built 2 new cars and had two art tours.  He still battles fear, but isn’t letting it make decisions for him anymore.  Believe it or not, you have been the indirect cause of his new found strength–thank you for that.  Well son, I need to get to bed now, 5a.m. comes upon me quickly.  I sure do miss you.  Oh, one more thing (for now), do you know that you no longer need to double space after a period?  Yep, English teachers are allowing a single space–I hear it’s MLA approved! Crazy!!  But I’m a bit of a creature of habit with the ol’ space bar, so only sometimes you get a single space out of me.  Ok, I’m heading to bed.  Hey Cole, are you happy where you live?  I sure do miss you.

I love you.

Mom

Stress Relief Lotion

12 Jul

I am tired of my sorrow.  Aren’t you, the reader, ready for me to move on from it?  The question is neither rhetorical nor literal.  The question is shameful.  Shameful, how is that?  The question implies that the author (me) considers the reader to be in a state of consideration of the writer.  The very essence of the question is full of the self centered entanglement which is a common secondary condition of a grief-filled state.  In other words, or more plainly written, it is difficult to think outside of oneself, when the one-self is hurting.  The pain inside is ever encompassing of the soul, it clouds the view of the outside and angles the lens toward the infliction.  The last time I wrote a blog post was May 27, 2014 and I haven’t wanted to hear my inner voice since then–I still don’t, though at this moment I am having a hard time ignoring it.

Quite frankly, I am exhausted.  I am struggling as result of jet-lag, returned this week from a foreign land, and the time difference has my sleep cycle completely turned around.  Consequently, I’m tired and my defenses are down.  In this past month and a half I have thought of writing.  I thought of a blog post when I went into one of our kitchen cabinets to put something away and found the 1950’s rocket-shaped ice crusher we bought for our son when he was a teenager.  We have one ourselves and he grew up loving it.  At about the age of 15 (or so) he announced his desire to have one for himself for his future home/life.  So my husband and I kept a lookout for one for him every time we would pop into an antique shop.  We did eventually find an exact copy, though the color scheme was different from our black and white model, as was customary in the 1950’s.  His rocket-ship, ice crusher is iconic robin’s-egg blue, translucent style.

1950's ice crusher

Crushing ice, space aged style.

I pulled the saved item from the cupboard and showed it quizzically to my husband.  Thankfully, my ever loving spouse has learned to read my mind and he gave me an answer without having to hear the auditory version of the question.  What do we do with this now, this additional reminder of our hopes and dreams lost?  Well without conversing on the matter, we both decided it was more hurtful to have it saved away for the day that would now never come, so Brian removed our black and white model and in its place, in honor of the son we love still, hangs the robin’s egg blue.  That was a blog post I didn’t feel like writing at the time it happened.  As I sat at the computer to translate my feelings, I couldn’t abandon the thought of how heavy my sorrow is for me, and how I don’t want to continue to share its burden.

Yet here I am sharing.  And why?

I don’t know, and perhaps the answer is as simple as, “I can’t sleep.”  I think, too, I haven’t had the strength yet to offer encouragement to others.  And encouragement for this road of life is what we need most.  Lamenting with me over and over again is brutal–exhausting–stagnating.  And it is the stagnation that keeps me from creating works at the level I inwardly hope to achieve.

And yet, in the suffering is a profound beauty–a blossom–a light.

Today I had such a wave of memories flood over my soul.  Memories of my son’s childhood, memories we shared together.  When memories flood in, their goodness is always overshadowed by the cessation of the hope of tomorrow.  Not my tomorrow directly (though most definitely, indirectly) but by my son’s tomorrow.  True, his tomorrow is infused in a glorious, peaceful eternity, but it is grief from our (my) loss of which I write, and so we will not confuse the matter by focusing on the heavenly realm–funny how my hope is in Heaven and my faith hinges on me spending my eternity there, but having my loved ones attain it before me is not something to which I favor–the paradoxical side of living.  …sorry, I became distracted.

The beauty within my sorrowful day was that of  the simple gesture of kindness from my husband.  My daughter had a routine doctors appointment today and I was to accompany her.  I announced an hour ahead of the scheduled time that I would meet her there, as I intended to arrive by foot.  Her appointment was with her pediatrician, my son’s pediatrician, the doctor who stood by Cole’s side from his earliest days as an infant to his last days on earth.  I was already emotional, flooded by memories of summers past so what the heck, a trip to the doctor would be no big deal.  And by walking, I would have time to get my emotional self together.  About 5 minutes into my departure I hear a loud noise coming up from behind.  I knew the sound well, a skateboard.  I turned and there was my husband, Brian.  My love who loathes a walk, especially a long walk, especially in the heat of the day; all of which were exactly what he was facing by being by my side.  He reached me and got off his board, took my hand and walked with me as I cried.  You know what?  I haven’t stopped crying all day and now it is after midnight.

Oh to be at a place where I can offer you, the reader, a more positive message.  A message of “go for it” and “be all you can be!”  How I would love to uplift rather than invite you into my sorrow, again and again.  How I would love to selfishly be above it myself.  Above the hurt of loss.  But I am not there yet.  The desire is sparked, to be sure, though the follow through is lagging a bit behind.

 

“Dead art thou! Alack! my child is dead; And with my child my joys are buried.” ~W. Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet Act IV, sc. V

 

4321–Here We Are

24 Aug
Miramar National Cemetery

to dust we return

Hello.

I began this post with the above photo for my family (and friends) to see upon opening their notification of a new post from me.  For though the photo has captured the shadows of my husband and I, viewing the headstone of our son for the first time (yesterday), I know that we are surrounded by our family–in spirit–though the miles keep them from being present in the shot.

It has been a few or more weeks since I have had the ability to write.  I had jumped into my new full time job hot on the heels of jet-lag and more relevantly, in the throngs of sorrowful mourning.  And as it goes, my particular job has not been (so far) a slow paced environment.

There is so much about this road I am walking that is unknown to me.  While I do speculate my potential reactions, thoughts, and future choices, I speculate through the eyes of the ignorant and then quickly step into the shoes of the knowing.  Forgive me, I am speaking in riddles.

The unknown= “Perhaps traveling will be good for me.  The ‘getting away’ from it all will ease my sorrow.”  The known=  Nope.  Traveling, right now, is not good for me.  My soul ached for home.

The unknown= “Working will be a good distraction from mourning.”    The known= The two are not connected.  I work and feel sorrow, simultaneously.  Sometimes I cry at work, sometimes I don’t.  While working I am distracted, but the second I turn from my duties, I am met with the reality of my loss.

The speculation and ignorance come from not having walked, previously, this road.  This road, of course being, living life with the loss of a child.  And though I do borrow from those who have left their footprints on my path, as time has put them ahead of my stride, I still don’t recognize myself within the new terrain.  My thoughts, my reactions, my opinions.

Now I’ve had friends and family who read this blog and get quite concerned for me as a result.  I apologize to them for that.  If one can be in a place of ‘healthy mourning’ consider me there.  I eat properly, I sleep (though still with interruptions from nightmares from time to time), I laugh, I joke, I am not drinking alcohol, not using drugs, I’m caring for my daughter and husband (attending to their needs and wants and sharing in moments of enjoyment with them), I cook, I clean, I love, and I live.  And through it all, I ache for the suffering my son endured these last few years.  I ache for myself–the mother facing her son’s legacy as carved out on a stone tablet.  I ache for my husband–the father who’s natural positivity cannot touch this sorrow filled reality.  I ache for my daughter–the seventeen year old who has experienced too much of the ‘hurt’ in life at too early an age.  And, I ache for those who continue to ache with us.

Now I truly have more I’d like to say, but I am going to keep this particular posting on the shorter side (in Rivka terms).  I want those of you who need to spend time viewing the photo, to not be distracted by my voice.  The voice that comes through in my writing.

I invite you to view the picture with your own thoughts and reflections.  And I will return soon, Lord willing.

In the words of our Lord:  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  -John 14:27

 

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