Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jumbled Thoughts

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God has not promised skies always blue,
flower-strewn pathways all our lives through.
God has not promised sun without rain,
joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
But God has promised strength for the day,
rest for the laborer, light on the way,
grace for the trials, help from above,
unfailing sympathy, undying love.

This is a poem that Sue gave to me for that first wedding anniversary after Aaron died. I love the poem.

Aaron Jr has been talking a lot more about his Daddy. It is quite amazing actually. When Aaron first passed away, Aaron Jr hardly ever mentioned him or talked about him unless I brought him up and tried to talk to him about him. This made it so I tried to talk about him even more. I wanted him to remember all that he could about him. About 4 months after, he started talking about him a little bit without being prompted, but still not a lot. Well, lately it has been amazing to me in this past year or so how much more he is talking about him. Especially the last 6 months or so. He talks about him all the time. He doesn't talk about specific memories because I actually believe that he doesn't have many specific memories of Aaron anymore, but he just talks about him as Dad. Such as Daddy this, and Daddy that. I want to do this like Daddy or that like Daddy. Or just randomly that he misses Daddy.

I wanted to share a few experiences in the past couple of weeks about little things he has said about his Dad. I try to post things like this in my sidebar under the title 'According to Aaron', but sometimes I forget... so here are a few that I didn't put there.

~ A couple of Sundays ago after church, Aaron Jr asked if we could watch 'Daddy's video'. It is the video that my brother put together to be played at the viewing and the funeral. While we watched the video together, Aaron Jr kept saying things like:

"I miss you Daddy. You are cute. I love daddy."

One of the things he said while it was playing that hurt my heart was:

"We are alone here without daddy."
I said, "Yeah, you are right."
Then Aaron Jr said, "But we are not alone with our families."

Seriously... out of the mouth of babes, right? I asked him about who he meant by families and he started naming people from both sides of our families. His perspective is wise beyond his years.

~ A few nights ago, after watching the movie 'Alpha and Omega', Aaron Jr told me that when Daddy gets back, he wants to show Daddy that movie.

~ Aaron Jr drew a picture of Daddy last year and it has been on our fridge ever since. A few days ago, he brought it to me and said,
"I want to mail Daddy's picture to him."

I asked him, "Where do you want to mail it to him?"
And he responded, "In the sky for him."

~ At my parents house recently, my 16 year old nephew, David, was in the kitchen with a few little kids. A couple of the kids, including Aaron Jr, asked David for something to eat and David's response to them was "Go and ask your parents if you can have some." To this, Aaron Jr's responded right away, "I don't have another parent."
I overheard this conversation, so I asked David a few minutes later about it and David said that he felt really bad. It was a normal thing for David to say... 'ask your parentS'. He didn't say anything wrong. And it was a normal thing for Aaron Jr to then just say matter of factly that he didn't have another parent. He was just telling it how it was. This exchange made me realize that Aaron Jr still isn't really feeling affected by his life of having only one parent yet. Well, I guess I should say that he isn't realizing what he is missing yet. But, I believe the time is coming when he is going to realize what he is missing and that will be when he will begin to grieve.

~ Aaron Jr prays every night. In almost every prayer now a days, he prays that Daddy can come back.

In one of Aaron Jr's prayers this week, he said, "Bless we can have a whole family."

~ One more thing he said recently was that he wants our house back, the one we sold last year. He thinks the people stole it from us. I had to explain to him that they bought our house. They paid money for it. He wondered why, so I had to tell him again that we had to sell our house because we no longer had enough money to be able to pay for it.

To this, Aaron Jr responded, "Well, I have more money. So we can pay it back."

He thinks the change in his wallet and piggy bank will be enough. What a sweet sweet boy. We sure do miss our home we lived in with Aaron. Aaron Jr talks about it several times a week STILL. It has been over a year now since we have lived there, but he talks about it weekly and wanting to live there again. It makes me sad.

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This posting has already become longer than I had wanted it to be, but I will mention one more thing that happened yesterday to me... in going along with my 'jumbled thoughts' title...

~ I was at my parents house yesterday. It was a fairly normal day. I walked over to the sink to run some water into a casserole dish to let it soak. As I was letting the water run, something directed my mind to the day that Aaron passed away. I cannot think of what sparked that memory to come to my mind, but it did. As I stood there listening to the water run, my mind was taken away and I was right there again sitting in the hospital waiting room... and then staring at the doctor as he told me there was nothing more they could do for Aaron and that he was gone. All of a sudden I felt as though I was hearing it again for the first time... I was right there in the hospital again feeling the devastation and the shock and horror.

~ Then I was swept away to when I was in the hospital room, sitting there with Aaron's body, holding his lifeless hand as I sobbed and felt my heart breaking.

~ Then, I was there walking out of his room with my dad because they sent everyone out and I was right there again walking down the hallway and rounding a corner running into my sister Lisa and my sister in law Suzy. They had these looks on their faces, inquiring looks waiting to hear any news we had. I was right back there again as my face and tears showed them that something was horribly wrong and I heard myself again telling them through sobs "He's gone." I was there again hearing them say "NO!" in shock as their faces showed the shock and horror of the news.
What a blessing my family has been to me.

~ Then all of a sudden I heard my mom say, "That's probably enough water" as she turned off the faucet. That brought me back to the sink in my parents house staring out the window. I have no idea how much time passed while I was running the water. I was seriously somewhere else. My guess would be no more than a minute... but somehow in less than a minute yesterday, I was able to live through about an hour of time from that night in November of 2007. I was there. I was experiencing it all over again. The emotions, the heart break, the horror. I was just barely starting to cry at the sink when my mom turned off the sink and brought me back to yesterday.

Now, I don't know why this happens. I really don't. But this experience yesterday happens to me often. Sometimes I am back in the hospital. Sometimes I am back in Aaron's parent's house watching the paramedics work to bring him back. Sometimes I am back at the viewing or the funeral. And when that happens, it feels so real. It feels like I am right back there experiencing it all over again. It always catches me off guard... usually happening when I wasn't even thinking about it at all. It still happens with the accident we were in when my brother passed away as well. Sometimes I am swept back to that day, the day of the accident, an 8 year old little girl sitting there on the ground waiting for help to arrive, not able to walk, hoping and praying that my brother is still alive.

A lot of times, I just have a few second panic attack as my mind once again tries to wrap itself around the concept that Aaron is gone and that he is not coming back. My heart starts to race and I feel like the wind is knocked out of me for a bit while I try to get a grasp on my reality again. The reality of Aaron's death and our life here now... without him. It is a strange thing that happens, but it also happens quite often.

I assume that is what happens when someone experiences trauma in life. I am not sure how I feel about it, but because I like the cleansing affect that tears have, I don't think I mind it... I think it does affect me for the next few days after when this happens though. Like today, I have been thinking about it a lot today again. Thinking about the day Aaron passed away and feeling the emotions of it.

Someone said to me yesterday that I have been tried to the core. I didn't want to discount this person's evaluation of the trial I have experienced and the seriousness of it, but I did have to tell this person that I don't think I have been tried to the core. I said to them that each time I begin to feel like things could not get any worse, all I have to do is look at Aaron Jr and remember shortly after Aaron died having a dream where Aaron Jr died, and then I count my blessings. As long as Aaron Jr is here bringing JOY into my life... I will not have been tried to the core. Yes, this trial is tough and I still hurt and ache, but because of the miracle of Aaron Jr, I am greatly blessed.

I guess that is the end of my jumbled thoughts for today...

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Momza said...

Thank you for sharing yet more of your journey here. I've not been thru this kind of loss in my life yet, tho I am sure I will someday, anyday, really, and I am grateful that you are so eloquent and thorough in expressing your grief and gratitude so that when I am called to face this trial, I will be familiar with the process somewhat.
Aaron Jr is no doubt a gift for you.
Have a good day.

Mindy said...

Hugs, Leslie. I love you!

Kristi said...

That is a lot to think about. That is a lot of emotion there below the surface that could surface at any time.
Love you.

Anonymous said...

The fact that you feel you have not been tried to the core, reinforces what a remarkable woman you are Leslie.

Love and hugs to you always,


partypatt said...

Thank you for your post, Leslie. I have similar flashbacks to the day my little brother drowned and I was only 5. Years pass and yet you never forget those feelings. You are doing a great job handling everything and I admire you so much. I'm sure it's much harder to handle losing your young husband like you did. I love the way you let Aaron talk about his Daddy and grieve in his own way. I admire you so much. Take care.