Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Six Year Mark : The Music Cafe Closes

      



                       Tomorrow, Daniel will have been gone from Earth for six years.  He departed on Black Friday, and this year, Thanksgiving falls on the 27th and Black Friday, once again on the 28th, just as it did on the year of his departure.  These subtleties are not lost on me, and I am afraid that I might never cease to notice these.




 

                   Like most families, Daniel and our other children had routines. We had things we liked to do regularly, and we had regular outings.   When our two eldest went to college,  Daniel and his older brother Matthew and I continued to home school.   We also had a number of diversionary activities which kept our lives busy.  Weekly, I would take both boys into town to the library where their own laptops could access the super fast internet connection.  They would do some schoolwork and research there, but I was fairly well aware that most of the several hours a week there was spent internet gaming.  They loved being dropped off there, and I used the several hours to run errands, fill prescriptions, pick up dry cleaning and alterations, and get to the bank.   When I picked them up Daniel especially wanted to go to the music cafe.   The music cafe was a business created by a young man who had graduated from the music school at the university in Richmond.  He found a way to combine his love of music, of business and of food in one endeavor.  The music cafe is a lovely rustic cafe which has a stage. It provides great coffee and tea, breakfast, lunch, and a light dinner.  Several nights a week both local and some big names perform in the fairly intimate venue.  The back of the structure provides music lessons by the owner and other seasoned performers and could actually be used as rehearsal or recording space. One can also buy guitars, guitar strings and other musical goods.

This is the owner and his family.  They were kind to us when Daniel passed.



                 Daniel especially,  used to love to go to this cafe for a soda and a brownie after the library.  Occasionally we would have a meal there.  The owner has a lovely young family who would often be in the cafe from time to time. Of course, now that Daniel is gone, I wish I had taken him there more often and sprung for the meals rather than just allowed this place to be a treat station with music.





                This year I read in the local paper that after eight busy years, the music cafe has closed. It remains intact and up for sale.  Daniel would be most unhappy about this, if he remained here on Earth.   My hope is that even in such a difficult economy someone else decides to take over and keep this point of light and of music open for other families.

                It seems sometimes that as each year passes since Daniel's departure that more and more things he cared about seem to depart or evaporate one by one.  The music cafe was something I had hoped would remain here for a long time.

              Daniel would want me to say,  Happy Thanksgiving.








Update:                    Just shortly after their closing, a new group took over and reopened the music cafe. They have revamped the menu and have a different vision. My hope is that this wonderful place survives and thrives, almost as if Daniel could visit  when on furlough.



Friday, November 14, 2014

Black Friday, Indeed

              
Daniel, when he still occupied the realm of Earth.



         I do quite well living my life most of the time.  It helps to stay busy and to have many interests. I often tell myself that without Daniel that in a sense I need to live and love for us both.  I try to care very lovingly for his remaining animals, many of whom are very old now. I also try to be supportive and loving to his siblings, my other children, whom he loved dearly, but with all the competition and petty conflict which arises between siblings, even in normal families.  I miss my father, as well, but if we have good parents,  all of our lives we are being prepared for the day when our parents will leave the Earth ahead of us.  Of course, we are never prepared when our children do.  Most of the year I do well, and then there is this year.

                        At the end of November, the day after Thanksgiving it will be the infamous Black Friday.  It is the day when Daniel got up in the morning, dressed, tried to get us up bright and early to Christmas shop, and then collapsed and died just moments after we agreed to get up,  and he had completed a joyous breakfast.  Of course, to the rest of you, especially in the US,  Black Friday is the retail holiday, the day after Thanksgiving where many stores balance sheets turn from red solidly into the black profit margin region as the Christmas retail season pushes into full force. It will never be that again for me.  This year will be the first year when Thanksgiving once again falls on the 27th of the month, and then Black Friday falls on November 28th, the actual day of Daniel's passing.  Of course, I am dreading this day, the anniversary of the day in which Daniel's energy evaporated in a witnessed instant from his body, and never returned, despite CPR, despite the use of an AED, or a medical helicopter staffed with some of the best emergency staff that could be assembled.   I can't help but wonder sometimes that if I stood in the bathroom on November 28th this year, six years after Daniel's departure, at the exact moment when his heart beat for the last time, if I might see him, or perhaps a parting in space and time that would provide just one last hug, or a word of wisdom or encouragement from Heaven.

                    I know I am being greedy, but a mother's love and the yearning that accompanies the death of a child, especially one not anticipated, leaves us sometimes thinking this way.  My wanting to hear from him is truly greedy because I think I heard from Daniel earlier this month in a dream.  My daughter's first child, a gorgeous baby son who carries Daniel's middle name as a moniker,  has just been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and at only  a few weeks of age, already has pancreatic insufficiency.  I told myself that although this is still classified as a terminal illness, that research and management is far better than it was prior.  I have also told myself that it may be better to have a child for whom you know time may be limited, than to lose a child whom you believed would live to be a grandparent.  It was within this veil of sorrow that in a dream recently I had lunch with Daniel.  He  told me that he knew this child before he was born and that this child's course will be supported not only by God, by Daniel, and by our family who has already passed  We sat eating grilled cheese sandwiches with pickle chips and coca cola.  You would think Heaven stocked better food, but perhaps to Daniel, this was heavenly food.  He sat with me and was barefoot with gray slacks and a white cotton long sleeve t-shirt.

                 And so, we enter the six year anniversary of having lost Daniel, with  new worries, a new sorrow, and a new reason to work hard to remain healthy and to stay on Earth ourselves, in order  to lend a hand to Daniel's beloved sister and her new family.    Life does have to go on and sometimes it will be sorrowful,  whether we wish it to stand still, or not.




This is a bit more encouraging than my post

Owl City featuring Britt Nicole                   "You're Not Alone"