Thursday, August 27, 2009

'Daddy's At Work'

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Aaron, Aaron Jr, Leslie

This is an evening trip to the park that we took the month that Aaron passed away.

This is Aaron helping Aaron Jr climb the 'rock wall' that evening.

And this is Aaron Jr climbing that same 'rock wall' today. Little things like this bring a smile to my face and a sorrow to my heart. I don't even know if Aaron Jr remembers that Daddy helped him up it his first time... but today, he ran to it and started climbing like it was no big deal. He is growing up so fast.

And these are the shadows of our little family as we walked through the park. This is one of my favorite photos I have ever taken.

Yesterday, I was cleaning in our bedroom and Aaron Jr walked to the drawer where Aaron kept his swimming suits. I have since then added Aaron Jr's swimsuit that is in this photo to that same drawer. Aaron Jr said that he wanted to see his and Daddy's swimming suits. These suits that match are both on top in that drawer. He took his own suit out and was holding it and was touching Aaron's.
At one point, he said something along the lines of Daddy wanting his swimming suit or us taking it to Daddy.
So I asked him if we should take it to him?
He said that we should.
So I asked him where Daddy is.
And he answered that Daddy is far away.
He usually answers that Daddy is at work. Or if we are away from home, he will sometimes say that Daddy is at home.
I asked him if he wanted me to tell him where Daddy is.
He said yes.

Now, I have never told Aaron Jr that his Daddy died. I have told him that he is with Jesus or that he is in heaven. I have never come right out and told him that Aaron died. So, I figured it would be as good a time as any to just test the waters and see if he understood.

So, I sat him right in front of me on the floor and I said, 'Aaron, Daddy died.'
It was so difficult to even say that to him, but I knew there would come a time that I would have to say it.
He looked at me and as he heard those words, his face got a little upset and he said, 'NO, HE DIDN'T!'
So, I said it again, 'Aaron, Daddy died.'
And he said it again so very distressed, 'NO, HE DIDN'T!' and I think that is when he tried to leave.
So, I asked Aaron Jr where Daddy is then.
And he answered that he is at work.

I have been thinking about this talk with Aaron Jr ever since yesterday with a heavy heart. I know how I feel losing my husband. I am an adult who understands what has happened, and where Aaron is. But, I wish so badly that I could get into Aaron Jr's head for a few moments to know what he understands and see what he knows. I know that he understands far more than he is given credit for. He still talks about his Dad as though he is around. He talks about things being his Dad's. He sees other kids with their Dads and it seems like he truly believes that his Dad is at work. I firmly believe that he dreams about him at night and maybe that is why he thinks he is at work while he is awake.
It just broke my heart to have that conversation with him yesterday. After that exchange, I decided to leave it for now until he starts asking more questions. He will understand all of this in his own time.
I love this little boy. I wish I could protect him from the heartache and the hurt of losing and missing his Dad in the months and years to come. I want to protect him more than anything. He is such special boy and I am truly blessed to have him as my son.

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Momza said...

This part of your journey is most difficult. The two of you are forging a bond that will only get stronger every single day as you keep moving forward on the path together. Don't be discouraged.
You are the most perfect Mom for Aaron Jr.
And he is the perfect son for you.
May you both be blessed with comfort and peace that you are not alone.

Dani and Isaac said...

They say the veil is thin with children, maybe his Daddy is with him on your outings, maybe Aaron Jr can still see him because he hasnt lost his innocence yet.

Sarah said...

What does death mean to him? He may have heard that when someone dies it means something different than it does. Not that you would ever say it but things can get mixed up for kids and they try to put the pieces together.

My husband is adopted and when I first asked how he knew or when he found out he said he just always knew. He doesn't remember ever having a conversation about it. One day Aaron Jr will just know because it has just been that way. Then he will start realizing the sacrifices and love you have given him and how important he is to you.

Tiffany said...

I think kids see their dads more then we will ever know. One day I was driving down the road with Ethan and Ethan said he missed his daddy. Which of course made me bust out bawling. Then Ethan proceeded to comfort me and say don't cry it is going to be alright. So I wanted to know a few things so I asked Ethan a few questions. I asked him if he ever sees daddy. I didn't know what to expect...then he said yeah - he is right here. At that point he was having his own conversation. Right then I knew that he is visited by his "angel daddy" I don't doubt that one bit. We went to the Draper open house and Ethan and I went with my in-laws. It was such an amazing experience because at one point Ethan turned to me and said "Daddy" and pointed. We all kind of teared up. We have angels amongst us and that watch over us and love us so much. It breaks my heart to think that Ethan doesn't have Kirt here as a Daddy...but he will always have is "angel daddy". I am grateful for the gospel and knowing that one day we will be together as a family. I think that is how we are able to make it through the hard times.

Tawnie said...

He's right!!! He left the earth but he LIVES in heaven!! Let him know he is alive. He lives in heaven and he will get to be with him again.
It's not just that he died. It's that his body got really sick and left this earth, he just lives somewhere else now and you will get to go there one day too.....after a long, happy life.
Love you Leslie.

Tawnie said...

If Aaron is around, and I'm sure he is, make him proud. Be your best!! Be there the way Aaron I'm sure wishes he could be there.

Anonymous said...

"I wish I could protect him from the heartache and the hurt of losing and missing his Dad in the months and years to come."

You do this by moving on. He has a hard time because you have a hard time. Children are very resilient, but they learn by example, they do/act like you do. Are you helping him or hindering him in the way you act?

Anonymous said...

Really, Anonymous -- this is the best advice you can give to someone who has experienced one of the greatest tragedies of life? Your comments are not helpful and frankly, seem rather cruel. This is not my blog, but I would ask that you keep your unhelpful comments to yourself. - Michelle

Leslie said...

thank you michelle. i am not sure if i know you or not, but thank you.

Liz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Liz said...

I would just like to say to "anonymous", if you think that you have such great advice then why are you so afraid and hide who you are? When we are proud of things we are happy to share. When we are embarrassed we hide behind our shame. You obviously are a coward who must be carrying around a deep pain so deep that you have to try and hurt someone else to try and nurture your wounds, instead of giving advice why not sit back ask YOURSELF what you could work on and find love in your heart for who you are and then it will not be so hard to love others.

Leslie said...

thank you liz.

Lizzy said...

I love love the shadow picture! You should have that one enlarged to hang up. So darling!

Anonymous said...


I sometimes post as anonymous. My name is Michelle and my fiance is the one that died in a car accident many years ago. I do not post under my full name because I would hate for my sweet husband to stumble upon this and feel like I am still deeply grieving. I do not wish to cause him pain in my attempts to bring whatever comfort my own tragedy might bring your life.

The poster who has said such heartless things -- I can't imagine that she has gone through any kind of loss. This is no excuse for her behavior, and I in fact think something must be wrong with her mentally for her to feel comfortable saying such cruel things on a private blog.

Anyways, I have grown a lot just by reading your posts. I hope you will not let this person cause you one moment of hurt. Ignorant people need to be pitied (and educated).

Anonymous said...

Love you Leslie.


Anonymous said...

I can honestly say that if I had lost my dad as a young child, I would want an exact copy of you as my mother, Leslie. What an outstanding job you have done to keep Aaron Jr. grounded and blended with both families. I admire your strength and your determination to be a family and still allow your feelings to show in a way that allows you to grow. Aaron Jr. will always know how much you loved his daddy. And someday he will totally understand the grieving you have done. I love the posts that show the "normal" life you have provided for Aaron Jr. in a very abnormal situation. This loss could never be judged in your heart by anyone other than you and God.
You are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to your parenting. I keep 3 little girls (no kin to me at all) that nobody cares for and both of their parents are alive and well. I would choose you any day. Blessings to you and do something good for yourself, Leslie.... :)
Rita in TX