Friday, October 15, 2010

Mid-October 2009

As I've mentioned before, this week marks the anniversary of one of the most difficult times in my life.  Fall is a bittersweet season anyway, and always has been for me, but even more so now. 

There are so many things from last September and October that I don't really remember too many details of, and I regret that.  I wish I had written down specific days and events and thoughts so that I could reflect on them now, when I'm able to.  Of course, my mind was elsewhere, and we were busy helping to make Edna's transition as easy for her as possible.  I know that on this day last year, we were in full bedside vigil.  She was already lost to us in all ways but one, and practically every moment of the day and night was filled by trying to make sure Dad was okay as we watched her breathe and held our own breath as the pattern became more and more irregular. 

We are headed to the lake in a little while, for what is sure to a somber weekend.  Dad is struggling again as we reach this anniversary, after rebounding in the last couple of months.  I have had a difficult time balancing my own grief and distractions with encouraging him to continue to fight the good fight.  In what I hope will be a healing moment for him and not a re-opening of the wound, Dad wanted to host a memorial dinner at his house on Sunday night for family and close friends, so we'll be back for that Sunday evening.  It's sure to be reminiscent of the family gathering after the funeral service, and I got to looking through pictures of that earlier today.  Here are some of the more poignant photos and memories.

Close-up of the flowers in the casket spray.  The last gift we ever gave Edna.
 My dad with his brothers.  I am so happy that I took this photo.  You can't tell by looking at him, but Uncle Bob (middle) was fighting his own fight with an invasive brain tumor.  He was so happy that he was able to make the trip and be with his family.  Little did we know that in a few short months, we would lose him, too.
The family photo taken at the graveside.  I love this picture, although it breaks my heart that it takes events such as these to get us all together and posing for a photo. There are three generations in this photo.

 I know I'm probably breaking all sorts of internet safety rules by posting this, but I don't care.  The youngest generation meeting the past generation as Andrew and his cousin play on their great-grandparents headstone.  I know Andrew has had a lot of thoughts and questions about these people he never knew since, every time we visit the cemetery, and I'm proud of him for respecting and wanting to know about his heritage.
 Life goes on, even quickly after.  Kids are way more resilient than we are, and as thoughtful and perceptive as Andrew is, he's still able to move quickly on to the good stuff.  In this case, his Halloween costume and slinging webs in Grandpop's kitchen.

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