Today you would have been 38. You didn't see 37 on this earth. Are there birthdays in heaven? Since you are no longer in your body, I have assumed there are not. I have often wondered what age you are in heaven. How will I recognize you? Will I be old and gray and you will be forever 36? Do you even see other heavenly souls as they appeared on earth at all or is there an entirely different realm of recognition that we on earth cannot comprehend because we are limited to the senses we use in this earthly body? Do you gain an omniscience in heaven? Can you see us on earth?
If so, then you would know the struggles I have been having lately.
I do not love this time of year. It isn't fair to the boyz for me to have this demeanor right now. This is a fun time for them. They love Halloween and I squelch their excitement becoming Scrooge-like regarding all the stimulation, candy and costumes. Some of my apathy may be warranted - additional candy in the boyz' sugar-filled world and the agonizing costume decision-making process, yet I remember my own enthusiasm as a child for particular events and occasions. Pure unadulterated excitement. The boyz have that excitement but I get so involved in my own struggles regarding this time of year I am not only missing it, I am discouraging it.
This time of year reminds me so much of you and I get very wrapped up in thoughts of you - thoughts that cause me much confusion. Fall was YOUR time. You loved the cooler weather. You loved the crisp air and the preparations for the winter nesting season ahead. You cleaned and organized the garage. You prepared the cars with a good coat of wax for the winter. This is football season and you would sometimes veg out on that couch for hours watching your favorite teams. This is hockey season and you personified hockey for me. You loved Halloween - dressing up, taking the boyz trick or treating, carving pumpkins and eating pumpkin seeds. We did carve pumpkins this year again. The boyz love it, too. This year they even helped with removing the insides of the pumpkin. However, I did not save a single pumpkin seed. As each one was tossed, I thought of you and how you would squeeze through all the pumpkin guts to extract the seeds. I was ever so thankful to have less mess as none of us desired to ingest a nicely roasted pumpkin seed later. I know you would have sighed and shook your head at that, but I am REALLY okay with that.
Additionally, this time of year reminds me of all the struggles of 2 years ago when life took the more certain steps towards your death. When I took the first steps to call hospice as you took a sudden turn for the worse. When you ended up in the hospital again with another surgery. When Gavin ended up in the hospital just a few hours after you were released. I get overwhelmed sometimes at the thoughts of what my life was like, of what our boyz witnessed, of the constant turmoil we lived in the midst of and I simply break down. I don't understand it because I am going about life just fine now and in the midst of that turmoil, we had peace and joy and we loved life. However, remembering it all, it is almost as if I actually FEEL the chaos and trauma that we SHOULD have felt at the time. I guess at the time, God's spirit took control to help us not only survive, but ENJOY the time. Today, God's spirit is with me in THIS present time but I am overcome with emotion at what we lived through.
Also, today is your birthday.
I get sad.
I get angry.
I get bitter.
Mostly, though, I get confused.
Confused because I have all these thoughts and emotions regarding you right now. I know the boyz do to. Confused because life is going really well for all of us. Confused because you are flooding my mind with the past despite that someone else is filling my present. I think it is fair to say that confused can best describe what anyone would feel mourning a past that will never be while they are falling in love with someone else wondering what the future holds for them.
Confused because I can't seem to let myself just let go and enjoy life and the good things that are in it. I find something wrong with every situation. If I can't find something wrong with the situation or with someone else, I find something wrong with myself. I'm not spending enough time with the boyz. I'm helping them too much with their homework. I'm not helping them enough with their school work. I have them in too many activities. I don't have them in enough activities. I have too much to do around the house that I never get to. I need to do more projects around the house. That takes time away from the boyz. I need to work out more. I need to work out less because it takes too much time. Things with my guy are going swimmingly. Things with my guy are going TOO swimmingly for how long we have known each other so something must be wrong. You get the idea.
I continue to sabotage my own happiness. It is as if I have become so guarded in my life and what I have endured that I cannot just allow good things to enter my life for fear of losing that good thing. If I stay guarded and wait for the shoe to drop, when it does, I will be ready. I will stay strong and I will overcome.
Because that is what has defined me for so long - I cope, I overcome, I keep my faith, I move on. It is difficult to change my thought pattern to accepting blessings as things that may STAY. Changing to such a way of thinking opens me up to vulnerability. Living like that means I am no longer afraid of losing.
I see it in every one of us - me, Gavin and Grant.
I see that Grant has changed. He is living for the blessing of today assuming it will still be here tomorrow. And he is happy. Happier than I have seen him in years. It is a beautiful thing to witness.
Gavin is guarded. He is cautious. He finds wrongs in every right. Maybe it is his age and that he is also afraid of accepting the blessings of today for fear they will be gone tomorrow. Gavin is me.
I know what you wanted for me and for the boyz. We talked about it several times. My prayer right now is that we can all move forward with receiving the good times, the good people, the good blessings that are bestowed upon us with the same assumption that they will continue to be here tomorrow that the rest of the world lives by.
I pray this "difficult" time of year and your birthday can transform into the milestone marking the time that Angie and the boyz began living assuming the present can evolve into a beautiful and blessed future.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010