At least…..

“At least you had 20 years with Richie” If I had a dollar for every time I have been told that! I could I certainly could live high in the hog until the end of my days! I usually just nod my head and not think about it. But in the past few days it has really struck a chord with me. Does this mean I am luckier in my son’s death for the 20 years as opposed to someone who only had a few days, weeks or years? I am going to give four different death stories that have touched my life. They all have different amounts of time and circumstances. Then we will see who is luckier.

Let’s start with Renee. She was pregnant and excited for the new life she was carrying. Her family was busy buying everything they could get their hands on. Then she went into early labor. Just a week before the six month mark. She fought for more than a week and then the doctors had no choice but to deliver. Little Ian was delivered and only survived just shy of 2 hours. In this short time she held her baby, loved him, prayed for him and memorized every part of his tiny self. Time with her child: less than 2 hours.

Zack was the son of Tonya. Tonya spent ten years trying to have a child. Then when she gave up, God blessed her with a son. She raised Zack for 18 years. He was on the way to his high school graduation rehearsal when he was in a car accident. A few days later in ICU, he turned 19. Five days after that, he succumbed to his injuries. In the 19 years Tonya had Zack, she raised him, loved him and lived for her only child. Time with her child: 19 years 5 days.

Richie was my son. He was my firstborn of three. If you have been following my blog, you know our story. Summing us up because I will spend hours writing of his life, he was called home after an auto accident almost two years ago. Time with my child: 20 years 5 months 23 days

Ricky is the son of a precious lady named Mrs. Laurie. He is one of two sons she had. He fought hard to beat cancer but lost his battle in March. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. Time with her child: 52 years 5 months 21 days

So which one of use Mothers is luckier? Is it one that has lots of memories to cling to? Lots of memories at times that cause us to want to scream because they are nothing more than memories now? The one that got 19 years with  her only child she didn’t think she would have? The one that had 20 years and but has her other children? 52 full years with a son that she thought would bury her? I could go into great detail about what each has and what others don’t. The one that has grandchildren from her child to watch versus the one that will never have a grandchild. The way people say it it almost makes me think that I should have one the lottery. Oh I had 20 years so bells and whistles and confetti should come out. On and on I could go!

But why compare. If we all four were to sit down to discuss our stories together, we would all have the same feeling… This is horrible all around. None of us is luckier for the amount of time we had. None if us are sitting around thinking about how the time we had was just the right amount. Not one of us would say that if we had a minute more it would have just ruined our lives. Or one minute less would have been much easier. You cannot put an amount on time when it comes to your children! The natural order a Mother thinks is this: The perfect amount of time we should have with our children is the time we have until our death, not theirs. That is the most perfect time no matter what it is. No matter how many other children we have. No matter how many memories we have.

I am not lucky for the 20 years, 5 months and 23 days I had. I am grateful for the 20 years, 5 months and 23 days I had. Forever grateful! Anytime we have with our children we should be grateful for. No matter what age our children are called home, we will mourn the could haves. We will forever wonder what they would be doing at this time in their life. What would we be doing. All I know is each and every day when I talk to God, I ask him to give my son love for me and ask him to just let me live one minute longer than my children still here with me.

In-Loving-Memory-A-Pair-Of-Shoes-Mothers-Loss-Of-A-Child-

Dear Jeff,

Dear Jeff,
We are on the eve of our 10th wedding anniversary. 10 years! I think it is safe to say we beat the odds people gave us in the beginning. 15 years total to all the ones that doubted.
When you think about it, it says a lot of our love for each other as to how we did make it this far. We have been through things that most couples never experience or could even fathom. We have been broke, jobless, medical issues, teenage years with the kids, issues of the heart, family drama, issues of self and worst of all the loss of a child. Looking at all the statistics we have beat all odds that said we should have divorced multiple times. But through it all we know at the end of the day that the morning means nothing without each other. We can face anything that is thrown our way. We may not handle it the best way, say things that make each other mad or cry, or truthfully make us want to smack some sense into the other. But in the end, we handle it our way and go from evil looks to smiles and laughter.
The past 19 months have been the real test of us. Even after the loss, we have been thrown things that just seem unfair for us to have to even entertain our already burdened souls with. Sometimes I think God gives us these trials to show others how to stand next to each other with your head high even when you want to get under the covers and not face the day. While walking our enormously large and clumsy puppy this morning, I was thinking about tomorrow. The plans we had made didn’t work out like we wanted. We made other plans instead and didn’t even get disappointed. Rolled with even more punches. And then, while Maggie Moose was doing her large pile of stinky business,  I saw it. Right there on the septic clean out pipe. A tall dandelion standing strongly beside it with a slightly shorter broken one next it. It made me think of us for two reasons. You the tall strong one and me the broken damaged one being held up by you. Many times you have had to hold me up and keep me from falling into despair and self-pity.  Many times I have leaned on you for guidance on how to get out of life’s mud pits.
The other reason is simply, out of all life’s crap, beauty will grow. It made me think of Robert`s words on joy and happiness. We may not always have happiness in our life but we should always find the joy. So in the spot where all the crap goes, a beautiful symbol of us grew. Today’s joy was from two flowers, one tall and strong, one slightly broken, found while letting the dog poo.
I cherish the years we have had. I look forward to the years to come. We can handle the joys and heartaches thrown at us as long as we look for the flower in the poop! I love you every day!
Your wife,
B

image

Funeral flowers

Jeff’s Great Uncle recently passed away and although I didn’t know him, I went with Jeff to the funeral home. I was so proud that I was putting on my big girl pants and going. I have come a long way in almost 10 months. I walked into the funeral home by my husband’s side. I was attentive to people as he spoke with them. Then it happened…..

It came that time in visitation where in every visitation you must go speak to the family and pay respects. We turned to go into what I call the death room. Why do they even have these rooms set up like this? It is a tiny room with the casket, the immediate family and flowers. Tons of flowers! How do they even fit that many flowers in one room. And the smell! It took me back to January when we were standing in a room just like this with our son in the casket. Let me tell you, funeral flowers smell different from birthday bouquets or get well arrangements. Funeral flowers have a smell of sadness, despair and the utter stench of death. The very moment I turned into this room, the smell smacked me like a bag of nickels in the face. I turned to Jeff’s mom and just told her I had to go. Thank God she understood. I went straight outside and was gasping for breathe! I think I would have stuck my nose in a skunk’s behind to get the smell out if it had walked by.

Why do “funeral flowers” smell the way they do? Since his passing, I have received flowers and plants at random times and I always smell them. Just making sure that they do not have the smell of “death” on them. They don’t, so I think I am a little looney. I even went to the plant shop where I got the spray for the casket and while there, I snifffed it out. It smells nothing like the way the little room in the funeral home smells. So maybe I am just a little looney or off. Maybe this is just something I associate only with death. Maybe they should have a different room for the flowers. No matter what it is, funeral flowers smell horrible and I hope i never have to smell them again!