One Month Later

So it’s been a month. Somehow it’s been four weeks since that day we lost Cabin Grandpa, Dad, Curt… but it feels like yesterday and forever ago at the same time.

This week I had good days. I got up every day and went to work. I cried every day. But not that hysterical, can’t breath crying, just the ‘normal’ cry that happens sometimes.

I seem to be suffering from some mild PTSD. I don’t really know if that’s the right term, but can’t seem to come up with any other one that applies so well. Every time the door bell rings unexpectedly, I freeze. Can’t move, can’t answer the door, just stand there… short of breath… and then have a small tear fest over it. Hopefully that goes away some day. Can’t burst out crying every time someone drops off a package or pops by for a visit, right?

One of Vince’s friends came over and was helping him move some stuff the other day. He is a guy Vince works with and was with him when I called him to tell him the news. I guess he just got home Tuesday… when he said that all I could think of (and say cause I can’t keep my mouth shut apparently) was that was the day Vince would have come home if none of this had happened.  Then there was a moment of silence and just… it felt like acceptance that all this really happened. And… then I had to jump ship (or the kitchen in this case) and go cry it out in my car on the way to pick up the kids from the babysitters.

Our house has been inundated with belongings that aren’t supposed to be here. I am so glad they are- we have pieces of an amazing man’s life surrounding us, but I’m so mad they are too. I don’t want his things- I want him. His first chainsaw is posted proudly on the beam in our garage… makes me cry every time I pull in. Boxes and boxes of die cast models he left to Vincent, labeled in Curt’s handwriting… makes me smile and cry every time I get out of my car.  A ‘sport’s diary’ Sawyer pulled out of Grandpa’s gun cabinet (empty of guns, mind you) and was sitting by my bed and written in 1974… makes me laugh and cry.

How long until it’s just laughs and smiles and less and less cries? And how long will it be until we pick up his shirts that I’m saving to do a project with… and they don’t smell like him anymore? How long will it be until I’m able to actually cut and sew those shirts into what I want? I still feel like if I do I’m going to get in trouble (from him!). How long until the weight of this isn’t a daily struggle to survive? How long until the waves are less and less frequently and smaller so I’m not pushed over each time?  I don’t ever wish time to go by because it already does too fast, but I do want the hurt to be less. Working on it.

The other morning we finally had a moment, a ‘visit’, a ‘sign’ from Curt that he made it. I’ve been waiting and waiting for something. I can feel Brenda (my mother in law) around us at times… other great people we’ve lost too. I’ve always felt that way about those who have moved on: that they are still here, checking in on us. But I couldn’t feel him.

At 2:50 in the morning, the radio came on. It has NEVER done that ever… and a song was playing. It’s called ‘Rainbow Stew’ and neither of us had ever heard it before. The song is about how great life will be and we will all be together under a sky of blue, drinking and eating rainbow stew. It was written during Vietnam (which Curt served in) and the singer toured there and sang this album. It was a moment to let us know he made it and was drinking ‘free hub-a-lub and eating that rainbow stew’ with his sunshine. I know it was him… I guess seeing more and more of those signs will help to make the pain feel manageable? I sure hope so! Until then I’m going to keep wading through the waves and trying to lift up those around me. Wish me luck!

 

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Sweet Sawyer

“You guys I figured it out. I’ve been thinking and I figured it out. You can only go to Heaven if you stand on the cliffy side of trees or if you touch somethings sharp! Right?”     Sawyer, 2/1/2016

My sweetest boy,

Your heart break is breaking my heart in ways I didn’t know it could.   The sadness radiates off you, even when you’re happy. I don’t know how to help you process the loss of Cabin Grandpa. I can’t believe I even am writing this…. That we have even lost him seem impossible.

Your Cabin Grandpa loved you so big. In a way that still blows my mind. He was always finding ways to make you smile: catching fish, playing hide and seek with Ankie, taking you on lawnmower or four wheeler rides, hiding Grandpa candy in his shirt pockets for you to find, cuddling you on the couch when you were so tired and couldn’t sleep.. until you both were sleeping. Then we’d just laugh, take a picture and cover you with a blanket.DSC_0536

Daddy told me about when his mom’s friend was sick and how the house was filled with sadness and felt heavy. That has stuck in my mind and I can’t imagine you having such a dark memory in your life. I don’t want it. But I know that is what this will become. A dark spot.

We have been trying to make it lighter. Going to the cabin, but you and sister both wonder where Cabin Grandpa is. Going on weekend getaways, but when you had such a cool dude like Grandpa in your life, who always stopped by just for a quick visit, or met us wherever we were going… it makes his absence so big.

I know that since you are only four, your memories will be what we share with you. But I have to tell you, there are no bad memories. We aren’t leaving out anything to share him in a special light. He just was special. Every memory is amazing  and good and beautiful. There are no bad. So never think that.

Here is one of my favorite memories from last summer: Cabin Grandpa was stopping by every day to work on our fence (containment of you and sister and dogs). He usually came by in the afternoon, but it was a hot week so he switched to the mornings. Around 8:30 you looked out there at Grandpa (sweating away) and told me he ‘needed a beer break’. I hooked you up with a beer in your messenger bag and off you went. I could hear his surprised laugh and (even though I don’t think he wanted one) he sat  down next to you while you drank your apple juice and he had his beer in the back yard. That was just the man he was- taking a break to make you smile.

I know you are afraid of what it means to be gone. It’s a big idea and hard for even me and Daddy to understand. How can people who love us leave us? Where do they go and how do we know they get there? I hope you find the answers to this in our journey of life together. I hope you resume confidence in the idea that we will all be together for a long time. And most of all, I wish a life with less tragedy than you’ve experienced so far in your four years.

I love you so big sweet boy. And so does Daddy. And so does Cabin Grandpa watching you from Heaven.  And we will feel him all around.

Love, your sweet mama fish2