Concert

July 28, 2010

John Mayer and Train with my oldest daughter tonight at the DTE Energy Music Center up here in Detroit. I very well might be the oldest guy at the concert…

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“Sorry to hear…”

July 27, 2010

The kids and I are back up in Michigan for a week visiting my parents. It’s our first trip back here since my wife died. Every Monday morning, my dad meets a group of guys for coffee at a local restaurant. Some of these men have known me since birth, and through that, they know about Caroline and the kids. I went with him yesterday morning, and I think I heard the sentence starter, “Sorry to hear…” at least 6 or 7 times. Everytime I shook a hand, I was greeted with that opener. And everyone of those times, the opener ended with, “….about your wife.” I honestly wish no one would have even brought it up, because bringing it up was worse than not acknowledging it at all at that point. So I smiled, said thank you, and moved on to the next person with the “Sorry to hear…” opener.

Book review:

July 24, 2010

Getting to the Other Side of Grief by Susan Zonnebelt-Smeenge

A few quotes:

“The major problem widowed persons have is that they do not typically choose pain; they try to avoid it. Most of us have been taught that grief is something to endure, something to put up with. If we just hang in there, life will get better. But we want to encourage a different approach: Don’t avoid the pain-attack it. Don’t endure the grief-manage it. Choosing to grieve is a necessary component to a full and healthy resolution of grief. Getting to the other side of grief doesn’t happen without the pain and heartache.”

“Perhaps you’ve seen the poster with a cat out on a limb. The caption reads, “Some say you’re strong to hold on. But sometimes you’re stronger if you let go.” When your spouse dies, the tendency is to hang on. At the beginning, hanging on is probably the only thing you can do, but you know you can’t stay on that limb forever. You can’t grieve for the rest of your life.”

I think I’m reading this book too early on still. It’s a good recommendation someone gave to me, but I think it would help me in a few more months. I’m not really ready to head into the “other side of grief yet.”

Into the Mystic

July 16, 2010

The kids and I were out shopping today for the basic needs that I’ve just forgotten to shop for lately, and I heard “our” song come across the store’s radio. I tried to ignore it at first, but the longer into the song, the harder it was to concentrate on what I was doing. All of a sudden, my youngest asked, “Dad, why you crying?” I didn’t even realize that I had tears streaming down my face. So there I stood, with the sounds of Van Morrison in the background, wishing I could just hear my wife sing “Into the Mystic” one more time. People walking through the aisles were probably curious why this grown man was bawling like a newborn baby, but all I thought about at that moment was wanting to hear my wife’s voice again.

UF

July 9, 2010

Couldn’t have picked a better fit for T.J. myself! Exhausting day for both of us, and an evenly long day tomorrow. It’s interesting seeing orientation from the parent’s end of things. I think T.J.’s ready to register and begin classes tomorrow, but it will come soon enough. Campus is looking great right now.

Remember and Remind

July 3, 2010

We’re driving down to freshman orientation at the University of Florida next Wednesday (7th). In the two days that will follow, T.J. is going to be given an overload of information about what it means to be in college. While this is going on, I’m going to remember and remind.

I’m going to remember the time he first recognized my voice. I’m going to remind myself that I’ve been grooming him to find his.

I’m going to remember the first time he walked across the room into my waiting arms. I’m going to remind myself that those same two feet will walk him toward a bright future.

I’m going to remember the time he held my index finger so tightly on his first day of Kindergarten. I’m going to remind myself that those same hands will create a new and unique greatness in this world.

I’m going to remember the time he wanted me to take him driving for the first time and how proud he was that I applauded his skills. I’m going to remind myself that he always will need that pat on the back or nod of approval.

I’m going to remember how painful it was watching him watch his mother die of cancer. I’m going to remind myself that she is always within him.

I’m going to remember how I feel right now, watching him begin the next step of his journey. I’m going to remind myself that he always knows where home is.

Book review:

July 2, 2010

I had a lot of flight hours between here and Reno this past week, so I decided to take along a few books to pass the time. The Tender Scar: Life After the Death of a Spouse really impacted me. Moreso than the other three books I took along, this one hit into my heart at a time when I’ve really been questioning my faith. From this book, I took away the fact that there will be a healing for me, but it will take time. I will be able to live life again, even if I forget to breathe sometimes. The road is dark and sad right now, but there will eventually be a season of light again. It gave me a lot of hope in the lost that I’ve been wandering in lately. It’s a deep valley sometimes, but I’m trying to remember that┬áJesus is right there in that valley with me.