Thursday, July 29, 2010

In fond memory of

I am struggling this week.

We received the devastating news Sunday morning that CJE’s younger brother, David, died suddenly of an aneurysm Saturday night. He was changing the diaper of his 5-month-old daughter when he keeled over dead. Needless to say this came as a shock to all of us. David was 40 years old.

Now we are trying to figure out how we go forward from here. Obviously we have to, but I don’t know how. Among others, one quandary I find myself in is: what do I say to CJE’s mom and step-dad, John, who was David’s dad. Words cannot express the sorrow in my heart for them and for all the family.

For the past two years I have been dwelling and lamenting often on the fact that my son, Liam, will never know or even remember his Granddad Wayne, my dad, who died in 2008. Now we are faced with the horrible reality that Sophia, David’s little girl, will never know or remember her own daddy who died when she was just 5 months old. The best was yet to come and now he won’t be here to see her walk or run. He’ll never hear her first words or her laughter. It makes me unbelievably sad.

Events like these make me question God’s plan. I know he has one, but what could possibly be the justification for taking someone like David? This is someone who was on the cusp of a brilliant career, who had just purchased a home and leaves behind his wife and this beautiful little girl. We pray unceasingly for God’s will in our lives, but when something like this happens it shakes our faith to the very core.

I don’t have any answers. Most days I’m not even sure what the questions should be.

Shortly after my dad died I purchased a little magnet which is now hanging on my front door. On it is a quote from St John Chrysostom. I read it every day and most days it gives me some comfort. It reads: “Those whom we love and lose are no longer where they were before. They are now wherever we are.”

Friday, July 23, 2010

A week alone?

CJE left last Saturday to go play in the mountains with horses and teenagers. He will be back tomorrow. I will have been home alone with Liam for eight days. I used to really look forward to spending a little time home alone. CJE has never been away much so it has always been a nice break for both of us when he is. The problem is . . . I am no longer alone.

I can’t spend the week staying up until two and getting up at 10.

I can’t eat popcorn for dinner and ice cream for breakfast.

I can’t soak in the tub surrounded by candles and soft music.

I can’t spread my scrapbooking junk all over the table and leave it for days.

I can’t go alone to the matinee of the latest chick flick and cry in the dark of the theater.

I really miss those days.

Instead I have spent the week being the sole caregiver for Liam. By week’s end I expect to be ready to be committed somewhere. I must say I don’t know how single parents do this without coming out the other end a complete basket case. I’m lucky if I can get through one week. I would never want to do this 24/7/365.

I thought about running away to a girl friend’s place in Idaho and then on to my Mom’s, but alas, I couldn’t work up the energy for the trip. Partly because I have work to do here, but frankly nothing that couldn’t have waited until next week. Mostly because taking Liam overnight quadruples my workload. We were at my mother-in-law’s place last weekend and I just didn’t have the strength to head out the door again.

When CJE gets back I am looking for someplace to go where someone will welcome me with open arms even if Liam is not with me. Someone who will let me sleep 12 hours a day every day for about a week and not expect too much in the way of coherent action, thought or speech. Either that or I’ll go lie on a beach somewhere where nobody knows my name and where if I hear the word “Mommy” I know it doesn’t mean me.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the little blighter. He is cute as a button and a very happy, funny little boy. We have more or less played the week away: drums, cars, swing, maracas, tricycle, bubbles, the pool, sidewalk chalk, balls, books, sandbox, movies, crayons, harmonica, walks, golf, you name it. I’ve tried to make it a good week for him because I know he doesn’t understand why Daddy is gone or that he will be back.

It’s turned out to be an OK week. Liam has missed his Daddy and has been extra clingy and demanding. It has not been easy, but the end is in sight. If we can just get through the next 24 hours, both of us will have survived.

Now, where is the nearest beach?