The Roller Coaster I’m On

Tomorrow 6 months have passed and I wasn’t sure if I should write about you. But then I thought, how could I not pay tribute to you?

6 months. I’m not sure if I’m surprised at how long it’s been or how fast it crept up. It started out with each day going painfully slow, stained by constant tears, anger, sorrow and remorse. I wasn’t sure when it would end. When would your memory bring smiles instead of tears? Laughter and joy instead of sorrow and sadness? I haven’t gotten there yet, but I’m farther along than I was months ago. I didn’t realize that grief would be this roller coaster. I rotated between anger and disbelief for so long that I didn’t realize sadness took over disbelief, but anger remained. Although, I must admit, it’s a duller anger. Or at least it’s less frequent. It’s difficult to tell which it is as I’m unaware of which emotion will creep up each day.

As expected, this month is especially the hardest. Knowing that we won’t hear your laughter during Christmas while you are retelling stories of cruises or other life events. I won’t hear you tease me while I jump up to be the first in line for food (or drinks). I won’t watch Asher jump into your arms as he yells joyously “grandpa”. Or I won’t watch you tickle and chase Madelyn because she is too shy at first to say “Hi”.  I miss those moments the most because watching your child be loved so much by others swells a mother’s heart.

I’m angry that you are not here, although I know you fought like hell to stay. You wouldn’t have left without fighting. You wouldn’t want to leave your children behind. You wouldn’t want to miss so many life events: marriage, births of children, graduations, etc. You wouldn’t want to miss your grandchildren’s birthdays and celebrations. You wouldn’t want to cut short the time you had with your fiance. There were plans, I’m sure, for the months and years ahead. Money saved for trips and celebrations. I have no reason to be angry with you, but I’m angry. My faith, which was hanging by a thread, is gone and I don’t know if I want it back.  And I’m still angry.

I am sad. I am sad when Madelyn tells me that she remembers when you were alive and you promised her a penny if she found a worm in the “forest”. She didn’t find one, but she smiles telling me this because she said instead, you chased her and Asher and it started to rain. This was the last time that she saw you.

I am sad that you won’t be there as the proud, boasting father watching Emily graduate tomorrow. But I want so badly to believe that you will be there next to her. Watching her and holding her hand. Telling her how proud you are of her. Whispering in her ear to be strong and that you love and miss her. I want you to sit by Caren, Dylan and Dave and smile, letting them know that you are there watching, too. Tell them your love for them. I want no doubts in their mind that you think of them still and are there by their sides, proud of the decisions they’ve made and the people that they are.

I wish more than anything that you could haunt us all. Then I would know it’s you that is still with us in some way. I know that there would be things out of place. Tricks that would make us all laugh.  But now I have nothing to go on besides a dream I had. Asher talks a lot about grandmas and grandpas and I try to get out of him which grandma and grandpa. I want my 2 year old to tell me that he sees you. That is where I’m at.

I still have your roses that were on your coffin in a book. Dried and ready for a frame with a picture of you. But I can’t do it yet. I have an idea of how to put it in a frame with pictures and a small bee hive. But, I’m not ready yet. Maybe soon, though, because the thought keeps rolling around in my head.

I miss you terribly still. We all do. I won’t stop telling the kids how grandpa loved them so very much. We will preserve your memory and keep it alive. I know you are in our hearts, but I just wish I could tell you.

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{one of my favorite memories: the jumping castle at Emily’s high school graduation party. Always a kid at heart}

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