I guess grief comes in waves — for awhile I was doing pretty good, but lately it’s been rough. The pain is crippling — it’s sucks big donkey — well you know what I mean. But instead of talking about how much life bites the big one right now, I have a good story…
Okay, this part sucks, but it gets better — Johnny’s headstone is in. On the way home from Joey’s paintball party Saturday, Mike stopped by to check it out. It’s cool (duh), and reads ‘Roll Forever’. Mike also had the boys with him, Joey, Kyle, and Joseph — just as things started to get a little emotional — BAM! — out of nowhere the cutest little bunny runs out from behind the headstone giving everyone a heart attack. They all thought it was odd how the 4 of them had been walking around the very small area and none of them saw the bunny — it just ‘appeared’. They laughed their butts off knowing it was Johnny telling them to ‘knock it off!’ Johnny loved scaring the crap out of people (apparently he still does!).
I stopped by on Tuesday. Super hard day. I cried a lot — and begged Johnny for something big — a ‘sign’ — to let me know he’s okay. But nothing. No rabbits, no butterflies, no dragonflies, no birds, no antelope, no grizzlies, no crocs ( you get the picture), — or anything you read about that might symbolize a loved one is with you. More tears. And it was pouring down rain. The harder I cried, the harder it rained — I would stop and the rain would stop. I got out of the car to see the ‘family garden’, and cried some more (FYI: buy Visine stock!). One thing I love though, waaay before May 26 was ever a reality, Johnny wrote in the steam (or what some would call the ‘grungy film’) on the inside of my sunroof: ‘MOM’ with a bunch of stars all around it. It makes me look up to heaven and smile. Okay… I’ll take that as a ‘sign’.
Typical Houston weather yesterday, rainy and muggy — not good for the hair… For strictly vanity reasons, I almost turned the a/c on in the house — but heard it might be cold in the morning (today), so held off. MAN it was friggin‘ cold this morning and only got colder as the day went on — it was still flat and gray, with rain.
This morning was ‘Morning with Moms’ at Sophie’s school — something we’ve done since Joey was in Kindergarten here — it’s breakfast for Moms only and of course their kids. There I saw fifth graders who were in Johnny’s Kindergarten and First grade classes. They had play dates together, I saw the girls who used to fight to do his homework for him, I was their room mom for two years — and it really sucked to be surrounded by hundreds moms with their little boys. Of course I had my Sophie who always makes me smile, brightens my day and makes me hug a little tighter – but this morning still sucked.
Tonight was our orientation at Bo’s Place and I had to pick the kids up early from school — it was still cold and rainy. (More sucky stuff — Bo’s is near the Medical Center so it was the first time I drove the ‘route’ since September). Bo’s isn’t ‘therapy’ — it’s a peer support group, geared for kids and parents who have also lost a sibling/child. I’ll fill you in later …
We do our thing, yadda, yadda, yadda… and as we are leaving Bo’s, it started snowing — well, probably more like sleeting but in Houston, we call it snow. Mike and I drove separate and I followed him as he decides to go through the Med Center – right by TCH, already decorated for Christmas (it was the quickest route home…). I tried not to cry, but it didn’t do so good. Sophie announced she missed Johnny, asked why he had to die and said she thought he was always going to live and be okay. I agreed with her and told her everyone thought the same thing. The harder I cried, the harder it snowed. This time big fluffy flakes we don’t normally see here. The last time it snowed in Houston was Christmas Eve 2004, 5 months before Johnny was diagnosed. I remember it well. Everyone was at my parents house and the kids were going crazy — we all were — it was snowing!!! WOO HOO!
Tonight Sophie was beside herself with excitement — this was the first time she remembers seeing snow (in 2004 she was only 2). Then it hit me. I said, ‘this is Johnny’s ‘big sign’, letting us know he’s okay’. But I still cried. Like the day before, the harder I cried the harder it snowed and the flakes got even bigger too. When the snow let up Sophie said, “Johnny’s just filling up his bucket” and then it would start snowing again — crazy hard too — I’d guess you could call it a “Texas Whiteout” (you could still clearly see in front of you).
Yesterday was in the 60′s — and all last week and really, all through fall, the temps never dropped much below 50 for more than a few hours. Tomorrow’s forecast as well as the rest of next week will be back in the 50′s and almost 80 by the weekend. But today it decided to snow.
Christmas Eve 2004 it snowed and everyone was happy and healthy (no cancer) — then it didn’t snow until now — 4 years later, and I like to think that we are all healthy (no cancer) and on our way to being happy. someday…
(…. it still sucks big donkey balls though!)