It is yet again that time of year. I have been to bed once tonight. And sleep is not coming fast enough for my mind. So I will blog.
I climbed into bed tonight and thought of 4 years ago on this night. The house was quiet. I stayed up all night, sitting with Brian and wondering what the coming day would bring. I prayed for him, for me, for our children and everyone who loves and cares for us. I knew this would be so hard. I imagined it so many times, ran the scene through my head repeatedly so I would be ready. But I wasn't ever really going to be ready. I sat at the edge of his hospital bed and thought how just 24 hours before, I didn't really think he would still be alive by this time the next day. But as the day progressed, I knew Brian wasn't ready. See, today (the 20th) is Trace's birthday. Brian's only sibling's first child. And Brian would always want Trace to celebrate that day and not have the day forever marked by his death.
As I sat there holding his hand, I said a lot of things I wanted to be sure I got to say. And yet there are so many other things I wish I would have said that night. I could barely close my eyes that night, for fear of waking and finding him gone. I had been there with him through the whole journey, and if God was going to make me give him back, I wanted to love him into the arms of the Lord.
Although I wouldn't want the suffering back, I would give anything to feel that peace right now, the peace I felt in the quiet of our home, as I held his hand and cherished the warmth of his touch, as I whispered into his ear sweet nothings, as I recalled each moment of our love story.
That was 2008. So now, 4 years later, Brian has been dead for 1/2 of Tye's life. HALF! Karis commented that I would have to be in my 60's for my mom to be gone 1/2 of my life. Maybe that is why the last week has been so difficult.
Tomorrow, the Mass is for Brian. Tye is saying the petition, and he is very excited. Forget fishing and playing catch with your dad, this is what my kid gets to do that is special about his daddy. I wish I could truly explain the anger I feel about that, but words could never express the pain I feel.
He is also taking a box of Brian's things to share with his class sometime tomorrow morning after Mass. He has chosen Brian's wallet with his driver's license, a Jeff Gordon car, his Twinkie the Kid, and a few pictures, plus a hand-held game that Brian played while he was sick. Looking for these items dug up some memories that I enjoyed thinking about, but causes the floodgates to open. Tye begged me to let him bring one of the big Gordon cards, but I wouldn't let it out of the house. He then begged to bring a George Brett baseball card. I finally settled with him that Daddy probably wouldn't let him bring it if he was here, so it wasn't leaving the house either. As he was asking me repeatedly, he said...well, let me just ask Daddy. (then he paused and looked up). This has been a tactic of his off and on over the years, and he usually responds with...yep, he said I can. I looked at him and laughed and said...so what was the answer?
And oh my God, I can't believe what he said.
Mom, I don't speak ghost so I don't know.
Lord, people must think we are total freaks with our grief. But THAT was funny!
We did get into my top dresser drawer and find Brian's MP3 player. It was an older one I got him when Tye was a baby, maybe for his birthday in 2005 or 06. I put batteries in it and listened to a few songs. Then I clicked on the menu and saw there were voice recordings.
My heart jumped. I forgot about this feature! I prayed with all my might that Brian's voice would be on there. My heart knew it wouldn't be. There were 4 short recordings. I remember now that I did a few recordings so when he opened it, he would have a special message on there. The 1st one I am saying I love you Brian, and I want you to always remember that. I smiled, but nearly passed out when I heard him in the background say something. What he says is irrelevant...he was asking something about the recording. #2 is too short to hear anything. #3 is me trying to get Tye to say I love you Daddy, and he does...he says Daaa-EE. Then he says I you you, which is how Tye always said I love you when he was little. I burst into tears. And sobbed.
Tye came rushing in and asked me what was wrong. I was trying to catch my breath, it was one of those hard cries. Before I could answer, he said...I think it is always best to tell someone how you feel (as he patted me on the back and hugged me). His daddy was always so loving and compassionate to me, and Tye reminds me so much of him. I asked him if he wanted to hear, and he listened. And he smiled. Oh God, how I wish I could have convinced Brian to do some recordings for Tye. It is a devastation surrounding Brian's death that I have yet to come to terms with. That the opportunity was there, and he refused it. I don't blame him, nor do I understand it. I was right there on the journey, but could never really imagine what it would be like to know you were dying. My counselor once told me that it wasn't my death to die, that I had to let him do it his way. That was one of the hardest things to do. I wanted the storybook movie version, where he makes videos for Tye to teach him how to shave, or writes letters to his wife and stashes them around the house for her to find after he is gone. In real life, death is not nearly as glamorous.
So March 21, 2008...THE day finally did come. My memories of this day are etched forever in my heart. I don't want to forget. But remembering is so very painful. Please say a prayer for us today. Tye has had a bit of a rough time lately, asking a lot of questions, more than usual. I am in a different place with my grief than I was a year ago, and for that, I am very thankful. But all the progress in the world doesn't take away the memories of those moments, when the death of someone you love so deeply and so profoundly, becomes a reality.
Thanks for checking in on us. As Tye reminded me tonight, he is always with me in my heart. I just wish Heaven didn't seem so far away.