Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Little Place

Do you remember the part in the film "Somewhere in Time" when the character Richard, finds a penny from the present day, and then is instantly transported back to our time, never to see his beloved Elise again while on this Earth ? I remember seeing this film in the movies and hearing the gasps across the theatre, as I shuddered. Losing our son to a trip to the bathroom is a lot like that moment. Unexpected, permanent, shocking, and horrible. I know that Daniel would not want me to focus on the last moments of his life, or what happened on only one day, so I am working on, myself. When I return to those horrible moments of finding Daniel, doing CPR and the bizarre day that followed, I now try to focus on something wonderful and special that we did together or that we did as a family. I am going to try to do that today. I don't want to forget any time with Daniel, even that last difficult day. I want to remember how hard we, and the rescuers who arrived in the helicopter, worked to try to save him, but I know, that I must not continue to second guess myself and I must not ruminate here.
Today I will remember one of the wonderful moments we had together. When Daniel was two, we decided that living in the suburbs would make our children fabulous consumers. They already knew every fast food restaurant within a ten mile radius, and we hadn't been to 90% of them. They also loved Toys R Us, Costco and Sam's Club. Tae Kwon Do lessons alone could not keep us in the suburbs. We decided that we wanted our children to learn about animals, to hatch chicks, raise rabbits, have a horse, and perhaps a goat. We wanted them to be able to change their own oil, and perhaps the starter to their car. We wanted them, in short, to use their creativity and to learn to appreciate the world that God made, not so much the stores than man did. We wanted them to have some measure of self sufficiency as well. So, we bought country land and began to build a house. It wasn't completed until Daniel was three, and at that time, the children helped us pack everything in a huge number of strong boxes (the free ones from the liquor store.) We stacked these same size boxes in the large finished basement which opened into a garage, where the boxes could be easily loaded and moved from the garage area to a moving van. It took us a couple of weeks to do this. In that time, the three older kids restacked some of these boxes,and made a bit of a maze and a playhouse of sorts for Daniel. One day, as I packed and cleaned up another room in the basement, I had occasion to look for Daniel, and I called out "Daniel, where are you ?" To which he answered in typical adorable fashion, "I'm in the little place". Apparently, the playhouse made of stacked boxes all around was a special place for him. He was sitting on a box of books, reading an early reader, inside "the little place". He sat for a long time reading his books in total silence. He never forgot how much he loved a place small enough that it would fit only him. He was cosy and for those days before we moved, it was his place alone.
I am posting pictures today in memory of the little place. These are small homes for single people or small families, which would have fascinated Daniel when he was small, or perhaps even would today. I hope all of you find a small, cozy place in which you feel safe and secure, as Daniel did.

This haunting version of Danny Boy is sung by Eva Cassidy who went to Heaven six months after Daniel was born. In the song afterward, the Eva to which Mary Chapin Carpenter is referring, is Eva Cassidy.
In the following

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