Nine years ago, we stood hand-in-hand wondering…
You have no idea how hard it is. Not a clue what it will be like. But you’re pretty sure that it’s going to suck for at least a while.
It’s that time of year again — when sluggishness and sadness creep into the daily grind. I swear, I don’t bring this on myself. But I do respect it. That is, once I acknowledge it.
Fortunately, I suppose, it is not as blatantly obvious as it has been for the past 9 years. I may not be jumping out of bed any faster, but I am not under the covers sobbing anymore. At least not thus far. Nonetheless, there seems to always be an undercurrent of the loss. It is no longer the in-your-face memory of Tom’s final weeks of life that it once was. I guess time does heal the pain…eventually.
In past years, this is the time of year when YaYa tends to run himself down to the point where any sickness he has been hit with is easily able to take over. With pneumonia taking him out of school for a week’s time on three occasions, I am always nervous when he falls ill. As for BoBo, since he has not been with me until now, I am just beginning to see if he has the same tendency to fall ill during the transition towards the first day of Spring.
Well, BoBo has been fighting a cold for nearly two weeks now while YaYa stayed home from school on Monday and begged to stay home on Wednesday. As for me, I have found that although the days are getting longer, I have been excessively tired. Like I have observed in the boys, I have found myself shifting into overdrive this past week in an effort to override the exhaustion. As a result, I can now add being sick and sore to my tiredness.
*sigh* [Read more…]
Each year, time magically takes back the hour that was given to us in the fall, like an indian giver takes away something they have just given to you. I remember the year I practiced tough love on my firstborn. That day, an hour felt like two and like 30 minutes at the same time.
Time is like that when you are waiting to do something that must be done but is difficult nonetheless. The week that followed was dark and gloomy with the feeling that someone had knocked my lights out literally. I was gravely depressed from the loss of a spouse followed by the decision to send my son away in hope of saving him.
Of course I had to make my youngest understand that what I was doing was necessary. It hurt so bad to have both of my children hate me for the very act of love (albeit tough love) that I was forced into.
Every year as I awaken to darkness, when my morning was full of light just the day before, I remember the dark despair of that year when time not only took back the hour given to me the previous Fall but also the boy whose life filled me with more love than I ever knew possible.
Interesting as it is, that Spring is the time of year that most associate with new life. For me it is that but also the time that I associate with loss – not only this but the loss of a spouse, a father, and now a friend too.
Thankfully, there was just a hint of early morning light today when I finally opened up my eyes. A hint of light, and a hint of hope.
Each year, after sending my son off for a week at Camp Kesem, he emerges a little more in his own. He is unique, that young man. Sometimes he is a little quirky, clumsy, introspective, curious, or flighty. He, like all of us, embodies different qualities on different days. Now more than ever, as manhood begins to take hold of him, he is ever-changing. Although his friends have come up with their own nickname for him, rather than the sweet way he referred to himself when he forever-suffered from ear infections and couldn’t hear his name quite right, he will always be “YaYa” to me — not so little anymore but still my YaYa.
The leaders at camp, all amazing college students who really do “make magic happen.” Having created this unique experience through their own efforts, these student-leaders put their fundraising, financing, marketing and project management skills to work to create a fun, emotionally-supportive environment for kids who have a parent with cancer, or have lost a parent to cancer. These kids need to be kids, but their needs are often overshadowed by the demands of cancer treatment (or grieving). Here, they get a full week of having their needs met.
This is my son’s 6th year of this invaluable camp. He looks forward to it every year and we insure that nothing stands in his way of attending; he has only a year or two left before he is no longer eligible to attend. With 5 years of healing, YaYa is now in a good space to help the kids who are still overwhelmed by what Cancer has robbed them of. It’s quite different from his first time here, just 3 months after his dad died. The counselors continue to sing praises of YaYa’s leadership and mentoring qualities when we reunite at the end of camp. Already, my son is talking about the upcoming year where he will enter into OLP (outdoor leadership program), as well as the possibility of becoming a camp leader when he attends college. It’s a pretty cool thought.