Lately, I’ve been thinking about Gavin and about what he’d be like now if he were here. I’ve been thinking about how different my life would be with him here. He’d probably be going to a special school right now, one that could accommodate his wheelchair and whatever else might be going on with him. I guess I’ll never know what could have been and it will always haunt me, hang over me like a fog, clouding an chilling me inside and out. I had thought that I was sparing him from a life that probably would have been too short and filled with bitterness and longing. I never gave him the chance to challenge the world and prove what he could do. He could have done great things even though the world would try to hinder him.
My life right now would revolve around him and his disability. I would be forever worried about him getting an infection in his shunt, getting picked on or pointed at, how we would pay for a new wheelchair as he got older. I would be preparing for a life in which he would be with us forever. Just as the lack of his presence here fills me with the most profound sense of agony and longing, so too does his imagined life. I can see him getting older, feeling embarrassed that I would have to see him naked to help him go to the bathroom or get into the tub. I can see his face filled with longing as he watches a pretty girl walk by and doesn’t try to approach her because he is afraid of being turned down. Would anyone hire him, a boy in a wheelchair? Would he ever get married?
Maybe he’d overcompensate for his lack of mobility by being outgoing, jovial, inspiring, the class clown, the guy everyone likes. Maybe he’d be respected by his peers, good looking and fun. I guess I’ll never get the chance to find out. I wish I could have seen him, just once. I wish I could see him in a dream or something. You know how you hear about those dreams where a loved one visits you in a dream to let you know they are fine, I want that to happen.
So, I haven’t written in a long while. I don’t really have a good excuse, I guess I’ve just been lazy or not in the mood. Anyway, I wanted to sit down now and lay out some groundwork for the upcoming year because I feel like I need to have a plan going on and in writing so I can look back on it for reference. I’ve been dialing more in to the messages at church and I want to keep it in my mind. pastor Steve is big on setting up goals and I think this is good. I think I just have had tentative goals set up in my mind to accomplish in my lifetime, but I haven’t set an immediate timeline for when I want these goals to be accomplished, so I think I need to do that because if I allow myself too long of a rein, then it could be years before some of these things get accomplished. Alright, so here it goes, my goals for 2016:
- I want to lose 50 pounds (preferably more, but 50 for certain)
- I want my house to be ORGANIZED!!!!! No Clutter!!
- I want to be on the road to being debt free! All small bills gone!
- I want to tithe weekly $10-20
- I want to get more involved in the church and get to know more people in the church body
- I want to read the Bible every day for 30 minutes
- I want to set up a prayer schedule
- I want to set myself a daily schedule to follow
- Pass my TAP 400 test!
I think these are all reasonable goals and I cannot wait to tackle them.
Tomorrow I am scheduled to welcome my second daughter, my 6th child, into this world. I am in awe as to how little time now I left without her inside me. I’m anxious to know she’s safe, but I’m scared as hell to have 4 children in the house. I worry I’ll fail them all miserably. How will I nurture them all at once, give each one what they need from me? I also worry how I’ll maintain my sanity and how we’ll provide.
So far preparations are going well considering I’ve been incredibly sick for 3 weeks. I’m only now feeling more like myself. I still have a sore throat and bad cough, but not so much mucus buildup. We’ve all been sick, so Christmas felt more like work than fun. The kids are pretty good now. My mom is super sick though. She was supposed to keep the kids for me, but she can hardly function. Anyway, most all of the wash is done, I need to clean the boys’ room. I cleaned her room and the kitchen. I want our room mopped and our clothes up and put away. I’m at the store waiting for Meem and then I need to go in and get food for the week. Crazy how fast this day is going, the day I really need to get stuff done. (Sigh)
I never knew one day could hold so much heart ache for me. 5 years ago I thought it could not be any worse, now I know it can be. Today my son Nolin would be 5 years old. He’d be in preschool learning so much. He’d be looking forward to the holidays and playing with Ebin. He’s so tangible in my mind that I could almost touch him, almost. He’s sometimes as real as his brothers, other times he’s as insubstantial as smoke. I should be planning his big boy birthday, but instead I am racked with grief almost unable to move. I should be filled with the joy a mother know as she watches her children develop and grow, but I am in a state of limbo, stuck dreaming a life for a boy that will never be….
As if today wasn’t difficult enough, it also marks the one year anniversary of the passing of my Grandpa. Perhaps I could get through the day if I could hold my boy and celebrate his birthday, but here I am, sitting in my room which is in desperate need of a thorough cleaning, crying and grieving for the lives that weren’t meant to be here.
I can’t help but wonder if my grandpa chose this day to die. He had such a connection to Nolin, such a heart for him and it just seems like too big a coincidence that he would die on Nolin’s birthday.
As terrible as I feel right now, I would not go back a year. I cannot wait for 2014 to be over. I cannot wait for good things to happen again. I cannot wait to feel safe, carefree and blissfully happy.
It just seems my Grandfather is everywhere lately. I see him outside in the strawberry plants that he left behind, in the gardening hat he always wore, on the TV when there is a really great old movie playing on TCM, at night when there are lightening bugs flashing their lanterns at one another. Each things fills me a memory…..wooosh I’m a child walking behind my grandparents as they are on hands and knees picking strawberries and putting them in boxes…..wooosh I see my grandpa standing tall in the kitchen as he places his hat on his head and heads out the back door to the garden….wooosh I am in the living room sitting on the couch as he sits in his easy chair and he’s asking me if I have seen this movie before because it’s really good….wooosh I am small girl outside late with a jar in my hands and my grandparents are sitting at a picnic table as they watch me catch lightening bugs. All of these memories are good, so good that they are bad. Instead of just being good they morph into little landmines and each time my brain triggers one it is almost deadly. I know what he’d be saying right now, “Why are you sad? I am happy and whole and with my Savior.” I should be happy for him, I am happy for him, I’m jealous too. I wish my suffering was over, but I suppose the testament of a person is not them rejoicing when everything is good, but them rejoicing when everything is bad. I suppose I have a lot left to learn and it is too bad that my spiritual guider is not here to help me.
Another very Godly man has left us, Dave Lugari. I haven’t known Dave that long, just a year, but in that time it was made so very evident that he was a man of God. I don’t think I ever heard Dave utter any word that was not wisdom. He passed just last Sunday and his service was this morning. His passing made my grandfather’s death much more real in my mind, like it was all happening again. Dave had ALS, which stripped him of his physical strength just as Parkinson’s did for my Grandfather. I never knew Dave before the ALS, so I never saw him as physically active, but he was to the extreme, but I never heard him complain or ask why, he just accepted his fate with an easy grace. He was a real person to emulate and look up to and he will leave a strong legacy behind him because I don’t think that anyone who met him could ever forget him and the type of man he was. This is really an endeavor because people are remembered, but remembered for what? I think we all should strive to be remembered for our everlasting devotion and Godliness like Dave was, like my Grandfather was.
There has become a new kind of normal in our family without my Grandpa. Some things haven’t changed much at all, but other things seem like there is an ocean between what it was and what it is now. Some days I don’t think I miss him that much. I feel at peace with his passing because I know he’s in Heaven and he’s happy. Other days I ache for his presence. Sometimes I think I see him shuffle down the hall to the kitchen, but I know he hasn’t and I know he’s no ghost traipsing around the house, hoping one of us will notice him. Today I ache for him. I also ache for Grandma, left behind, left to suffer emotionally and financially. I miss him the most when I see the misery in my Grandma’s eyes. If he were here she wouldn’t suffer so, she could go on complaining that he hasn’t taken his medicine or that he got out of bed without letting her know, or they could sit on the couch watching movies. Now she goes to bed alone, with his shirt beside her and there is no one to wake up for and watch sleep. They knew each other for 2 weeks before deciding to get married. Can you imagine? And even with all the disappointments and setbacks and arguments, they loved each other so so much. My Grandpa was such a gentle man, such a kind man. No one else will warm my car for me early in the morning before I have to go to work or take Ebin to school. My heart just feels heavy today for both of them and for myself and the rest of the family. I was looking at Aeris crawling around on their floor and it made me sad that she won’t remember him at all. He loved her so much too. he said she had the most beautiful smile, a smile that could make anyone smile in spite of themselves. All I can do is cry and breathe.