Spring was always my favorite season. But now........not so much. It is such a difficult time of year for me for so many reasons. First comes the warmer weather and the first days when you hear motorcycles and I can practically feel those people enjoying their first rides of the year. Joe could not wait each year and the first day when the weather even slightly resembled warmth, he was on his bike. I hear the rumble from my house during Spring and I think of him constantly.
Then comes the end-of-year school things; and (gulp) Father's Day. Every year I ask the teachers in advance what they will be doing so I can prepare my kids for what they will do when all the other kids are making something for their dads. This year was no exception. It's difficult to say the least. The barrage of advertisement for Father's Day doesn't help either and I hate wondering what goes through my kids minds when they hear or see them. This year despite our plan on what Alyssa would do in school when the kids were making a Father's Day card (she asked if she could still make one for daddy and put it in her "daddy box"- a box where she keeps things..whatever she wants...that reminds her of her daddy- which I said yes to) things still did not go well. First, after I told her it would be fine to make a card and put it in her daddy box, I felt the need to make sure that she understand that she will not be able to give the card to daddy; in a nutshell, that he is not coming back. As her mother I am constantly listening and watching the tiniest of behaviors in her that might give me a clue as to how she is processing her loss. I think that sometimes she believes or convinces herself that her daddy is just "gone" but he'll be back at some point a long time from now. It may seem mean for me to tell my children that their father is not coming back, but I know that it is the right thing to do. It pains me so much....all of it....from her asking to still make the card for him to me asking her if she understands that she will not be able to give it to him. It all hurts in such a tremendous way that I cannot explain with words. And there is more. When Alyssa came home with her card she said that when the teacher announced the assignment she got up and walked to her and said "but Mrs. Mason I don't have a daddy". As she told me this story she began to cry. I hugged her and told her I was sorry. I didn't know what else to say. My poor daughter. It is impossible to know how many times a mother's heart can break.
In addition to Father's Day there is Motorcycle Week in my state in which tens of thousands of bikes attend. It is a big reminder of Joe not only because of constantly seeing and hearing motorcycles, but also because there are always accidents and many years people lose their lives. When I see pictures on the news of twisted motorcycles laying on pavement or hear the stories of the crashes it brings back a lot of painful memories.
After that there is the hot weather and camp in Vermont. Camp is the last place where I saw my husband alive. The last image I have of him is him with his head tilted up blowing me a kiss as he walked away from me. It is where we spent weekends and vacations in the summer. It has always been hard for me to go there since he died, yet it is what we do in the summer. What else can I do? My kids love it there. LOVE IT. We have family and friends and summer would not be summer without camp. I love it there too, but getting there is hard. Almost three years later it is still hard for me to think of going on vacation and not having Joe come. I should be used to it by now. But there is something about packing up my house and going there that rattles me and makes me have days where I want to lay on the floor and cry. I can't explain it. I wish I didn't have to.
There is also my son's birthday (July 19); the anniversary of Joe's death (July 25th) and our wedding anniversary (July 29). This year we would have been married ten years. In a cruel twist-through no fault of his own- Luke has a countdown posted on the wall to a made-up opening game of his made-up hockey league. He decided his opening game would be on July 29th (I am sure he has no idea as to the significance of the date). So every day he counts down the days until July 29th. Sometimes the universe just sucks. But what can you do.
So, I guess my point here with all this is that this time of year- end of Spring into Summer is a difficult time. Full of so many wonderful and exciting things but also tinged with pain and many reminders of what should've and could've been. And what happened.
Tonight I got a fortune from a fortune cookie that said "Don't waste time on what could have been". I'm trying to understand if that's too crass to take into account in my situation or if it's good advice.
I want to end by saying something on an entirely different note. Although I have all of this "stuff" in my life, the fact that I am tremendously blessed is not lost on me. I know that the life I live is full and rich and privileged in terms of family and friends and love and health and so many other gifts. Although many days I tire of hearing my own voice reprimanding my children, there is no greater pleasure for me than to look at them and see them smiling and laughing and being silly and having fun. I watch them play sometimes and my heart is full- bursting with love for these two little people. I cannot imagine a more beautiful girl than my daughter, with her bold and bossy and aggressive personality, yet her long beautiful hair blowing in the wind like a princess. And to watch Luke be so constantly happy, joking (really joking..like making you laugh out loud because he is so funny) and full of fun is something that I marvel at. To think that this little guy has lost so much, a father who he has real memories of, yet he still lives on happily and bravely is such a beautiful and inspiring thing.
Those two kids make life meaningful. And beautiful. And I love them.