January 18, 2011

Volleyball practice Tuesday/Thursday 5:00-7:00

Tennis practice Monday/Wednesday/Friday 3:30-5:00

Young Life Thursdays at 6:00

Volleyball tournaments on the weekends, tennis season coming up, how is one man expected to keep up with all of this?

Long weekend

January 17, 2011

Long weekend…watched 15 volleyball matches

One of the girls lost the final game of the silver medal tournament. The other lost her first game of the bronze tournament. But I couldn’t be prouder of how both of them played. Great weekend.

Then I came home to a jury summons that must have been sent on Saturday. I should have stayed in Charleston.

January 10, 2011

Took my son back down to college on Saturday. He’s so grown up, not a little boy anymore, but he’s not quite yet a man. He’s in the molding process, and even at 19, he’s still watching me. He still looks at me to see how to judge the situation. One day, he’ll have his own kids to teach those lessons to; maybe even a son of his own. It’s great to watch him fly; while knowing that with all the pain he’s had to endure, he’s still a grounded kid.

January 4, 2011

Had a lot of time to think yesterday. I can’t be on this branch of grief forever. God, it’s hard to move along though. Caroline, you were, are, and probably will always be the greatest love of my life.

My son and one of his old high school buddies went up to the Falcons game in Atlanta yesterday. They spent the night, and left early this morning. Around 9:00 or so, I got a call from my son. “Dad, how far is it from Savannah to Macon?” Car broke down. Two 19-year-olds stranded on the side of I-16. What’d I do? I did what any father would do I guess. I took off for Macon. Two and a half hours later, car was towed, and I had the boys safely in the front and back seats of my car on my way back home. Why? Because that’s what dads do..

“Christmas” thoughts..

December 24, 2010

I don’t even know if I should really type this, but I have been writing all week. This has been a tough week for all of us, but it’s been overwhelming for me. When I hear that some men are re-married 13 months out, I wonder why I’m stuck in this rut. But then again, I had 25 great years of marriage, and I can’t imagine moving along from that that quickly either. So perhaps I need to write down some thoughts or memories that I’ve kept up in my mind for the past week..

My wife was an amazing woman. The greatest gift I will ever receive is the love of one woman who saw my faults and loved what she saw anyways. Together, we made “the future”, as she liked to call our four incredible kids. And it’s in that that I now miss so much..

I miss the way she’d sit in the crowd and cheer on T.J.’s Little League games. She had a “you’ll get it next time” attitude that always made losses easier to handle.

When Whitney went off to summer camp at the urging of some of her friends, Caroline was the first one she talked to when she became homesick. The gentle reminders of, “we’re here. We love you. Just remember we’re not far away,” helped ease Whitney’s worried soul. She stuck it out the rest of those three weeks away.

Zoe fell down the stairs when she was 4 years old. She had to have stitches and a lot of soothing. Caroline stood there with her, stroking her hair, telling her that “Mommy was there”, and Zoe was a trooper that day.

I remember when Abby first learned to walk, I was at the course. Caroline called me and said I needed to get there quickly if I wanted to see our girl’s first steps. I finished up what I was doing, angry at myself for knowing that at least 45 minutes had passed since Caroline called. I got home, and I saw Caroline rocking a sleeping Abby in the chair. Knowing I wouldn’t be there right away, Caroline rocked Abby away for a nap. Two hours later, she woke up, and I saw my baby’s first steps for myself.

It’s hard to say goodbye to knowing there will be no more memories made with her in them. I have those in my mind that I run through time and time again that’s just us..

the late night conversations that usually ended up with me asleep

the fooling around early on a Saturday morning that usually led to paranoia when we’d hear a soft knock at the door followed by, “Mommy, Daddy, are you up?” (and if one of my children should read this, how do you think you got here?)

holding her right hand as we walked, always the right, because she always said she liked the feeling of my wedding ring

watching how her brave character melted into scared uncertainties once the door was closed and the reality of cancer became too much

I want those times back, even the scary ones. But why would I be so selfish to think that she’d want to leave Heaven for this…even if it’s us..

Perhaps I need to begin the process of letting go. Essentially, I’ve been doing it since that day in 2006, when the doctor told us what we already assumed, ‘…it’s cancer…I’m sorry….you two should figure out a good way to tell the children….I’m so, so sorry…’

But letting go is hard. It’s tough. It’s the most difficult part of life, at least for me…letting go of the past…embracing an uncertain future…without her in it

Emotionally, spiritually, I feel her…and much of how I parent our children relates directly back to her, but I’m the one who has, and will, take those graduation pictures. I’m the one who listens, tries to at least, to the “boy” stories my girls tell me about..the one who will one day watch those three princesses find their own Prince Charming and settle down into a life together..the one who will tell them that their mother is looking down at them in those dresses of white….as happy for them as the day she herself took a chance on a foolish little lanky (at the time) kid like me.

I’ll listen to T.J.’s stories of meeting “Mrs. Right”, and know what both of us know…Moms are always your first love….

One day, perhaps, I’ll bounce grandchildren on my knee. I’ll become Papaw…or Pop-Pop…and I’ll teach those children the art of golf..the way I learned it when I was a boy…the right way…the proper way..before commercialism took hold of the game…back when it was a game…

I’ll teach those children their history…how it all began with one good ol’ boy from Michigan who met a Southern Belle…and together..they made a wonderful life….

Looking ahead, the future has potential…uncertain as it seems…perhaps I will one day learn to embrace it…

When Caroline died, a large part of my heart died along with her…a piece that’s gone forever…but there are still pieces of my heart left….left to love with…to feel passion with…to believe with…to hope with…that even though I wake up wanting her by my side….I can still feel her with me…and that….I hope never leaves…

Decisions

December 13, 2010

I’ve decided when my son comes home from college this next week, we’re going to sit down as a family and talk about sifting through some of Caroline’s clothing. I want to do this as a family. Some of her T-shirts from various functions, her sets of pajamas, and some other things in her drawers; I don’t really know what I should do with them. Some of the items in the closet, I will keep. I suppose they are just clothes. 13 months later, they’re still just clothes. I went into the closet the other day and took a second to smell one of her shirts. The smell’s gone, or at least too faded now. I’ve been weighing this decision for a couple weeks, and I just feel that perhaps it’s time to start. Someone told me about a place where you can take clothes in to have them stitched into a quilt. I might consider that for the kids.

When Life Throws You Lemons

December 8, 2010

I’m not going to get into it on here, but if this is read, my mother got some news today that she was half-expecting, but it sounds different when actually said. If you don’t mind a nice thought or prayer.. Just another stone in the middle of the road..

Is it possible?

November 9, 2010

It’s been a year; is that possible?

And yet, despite the foggy, silent, lonely, and bitter days…I’m still here

I’m proud of myself for knowing that my wife is proud of me too.

“I walked a mile with Pleasure, She chattered all the way; But left me none the wiser, For all she had to say. I walked a mile with Sorrow And ne’er a word said she; But, oh, the things I learned from her When Sorrow walked with me!”  ~Robert Browning Hamilton

Just some thoughts..

October 27, 2010

It’s the feeling you can’t shake. It’s the groggy wee-morning hour nightmare that leaves you praying you’ll roll over and see that everything is ok. Your wife will be there in bed with you. Your world will once again be secure.

Unfortunately, security isn’t there anymore. Emptiness has taken its place.

And you suddenly realize, “this is my life now.” I have to somehow find beauty in the ashes.