Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Constituents Obama Probably Doesn't Wish to Meet Anyway

There are many times in which I think Daniel probably looks back from Heaven and laughs at the things which go on here at the house.   James, whom we adopted as a young teen, is now almost seventeen. He has a mop of curly longish blond hair on his head and like most teens, has some really interesting ideas concerning footwear and clothing.  Today for example, Barack Obama is coming to our nearest small city,  Charlottesville, Virginia, which is neither all that near, or all that small, when you live out here in the country, but that is another post. Although neither James or I are Obama Supporters, as a homeschooling family, we wouldn't mind the historical experience of seeing the president speak, or even meeting him. It seems the wad of free tickets to see the President  today have gone unclaimed, so we would have a fair chance at doing both.  James appeared this morning in a tartan pair of thin fleece pants which look to me to be pajama bottoms, accompanied by a shirt which says, "I am not shy, I just don't like YOU". He also had on a pair of sandals, the type which the other kids call "man-dles".  This did not strike me as "meeting the president"-wear.  James thought it was perfectly appropriate given the fact that this President leads through repeated incidents of issuing executive orders. The more I talked to James, the more I realized that the kid knew more about the president's foibles than I thought he did, and that his dressing in such a manner was indicative of the level of respect he thought the president should receive from him.  In this way, James and Daniel are similar.   Daniel, had he still been here, would have gone today, dressed in a shirt and tie, with hair long-ish.   He would have politely told the president what he felt he was doing wrong, in likely an articulate fashion.   James, would do the same, but perhaps with less  polished and less respectful language.  All the while Daniel will likely be looking down, laughing at us.
     James doesn't want to go if he has to change clothing. Oh well, I didn't want to get stuck in hours of traffic anyway.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Memories of Cooking with Daniel

Plain apples with caramel sheet over them, with sticks placed, before entering a 200 degree F. oven.

Daniel,            As you probably know, this week the weather turned colder, and in late August we are thinking about Autumn.  Almost instinctively my thoughts turned to orange mums and setting up a bail of straw at the gate with some gourds and a pumpkin. It's August !    Do you remember that you and I once made those candy apples ?  You know, the red ones which are so dangerous to make with a young child because the candy gets so hot before the apples are dipped. I am afraid it probably wasn't much fun for you because I was afraid you'd get second degree burns from the whole process, and didn't let you do the dangerous parts !    I wanted to show you a different way we made apples this week, in practice for Autumn.  Stephanie and I made caramel apples.   This is much safer and if this quick way had existed, I think you could have done this all by yourself !     I still love you so, and think about things you said and did often. For someone who hasn't been here in a flesh suit in almost four years, sometimes you dominate the conversation !  Feel free to spend time here, anytime.  I love you so.

Their caramel suits look just a little big at the beginning.

After five minutes in the oven the caramel does distribute a bit better over the apple.

These were delicious.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Snippets and Distractions


  I can assure you that despite the fact that I haven't posted in a couple of weeks that this blog is very much on my mind.  Having secured a publisher for the book concerning our experience with the loss of Daniel, I think often of the postings here.   The blog has been a wonderful snapshot of our thoughts and our feelings since Daniel's passing, whereas the book is a true linear trip from Daniel's birth, his life, his passing and our life afterward.  Since it is a parallel endeavor to the book, it will continue.
   This week has been challenging.  The publisher tends to call just when I am in the throes of writing an important passage, and just like songwriting, interruptions tend to throw us onto the train tracks below the intended path to our destination.  They mean well, but may not understand my schedule, and that I must fit writing into a life with other people, and with a farm also.
    It also seems that time has a way of moving on.  I learned this week that a friend of mine from my youth died recently of cancer, and that before he did, his mental state deteriorated enough to alienate all the people he loved.  There never seems to be a shortage of things for which to have sorrow, here on Earth.    I also have had dreams this week of Daniel.  In one dream, Daniel was about five and asking me for two chewable tylenol.  "I thought you were dead", I asked.   "No, I'm fine" he said. "I don't really need these" he said, as he chewed two purple tablets. In life, there are still lots of mysteries.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How the Mothers Who Have Lost Children Seem to Recognize Each Other



    Today I was on a quick shopping trip as I bought a cooler, some ice and some drinks as we all planned to meet later and have a family "Paint-it-All" at our daughter's new house.  I was in a hurry, but before I paid for the items in the cart and got the ice,  I left the cart, and I stopped in to the large bathroom.   The music was too loud in the ladies room, and a woman in the bathroom and myself were washing our hands.  She made a comment about the music and when we looked at each other, there was a recognition of sorts.  It's truly strange the way that people who have lost a child seem to recognize this in another.  I would like to think that I do not have a perpetually lost or sad look, but perhaps I do. Perhaps my loss is indelibly printed on my face sufficiently to be recognized by another mother.  Before I knew it, the woman was telling me that her son had been in a car accident within our area some years ago, and that when the police and ambulance arrived, that he was gone. Despite searches with dogs and other policework, no trace of him has ever been found. Police wondered if he wandered from the crash site, and drowned in a body of water some distance from there, but no body has ever been found.   Once again, I know where my youngest son is, but so many people I have met or with whom I have had contact lately, do not.  It seems young adults disappear with some frequency never to be heard from again.   She had a good operational knowledge of all the young men who have disappeared locally, and there are quite a few.  I hope I run into her again sometime.   I also hope my remaining sons being armed will be enough to keep them safe.   I would like to believe that young adult children being missing, and not being found for years is a rarity.  It certainly does not seem to be.

"One More Time" Richard Marx

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Search for a Publisher Begins


    This November it will have been four years since Daniel departed Earth.   Since then, here on the blog, we have examined feelings, thoughts and experiences about the loss,  dealing with the loss with a clean autopsy,  and all of the aspects of life and family life which have followed.   Many times over the past four years, people, other authors, and occasionally publishers have asked why we had not yet written a book about Daniel's life and our experiences afterward.   In all honesty, the focus was first surviving our loss, second, helping others who have endured a similar one, and third, raising awareness of several things.  One, that children, teens and adults sometimes do suddenly drop dead, and upon autopsy no defined clear cause of death is found.   Secondly, we wish to bring awareness to groups like SUDC, which advocates for those involved in the aftermath of Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood.   Third, we wish to being awareness to the variety of disorders which are SADS,  or Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome, in which an undiagnosed issue or exposure causes the heart rhythm to convert from a regular sinus rhythm to a rhythm disturbance which is incompatible with life.  We had hoped that our blog not only supports those families who are left picking up the pieces, but that we could help to prevent some of those passings, and thus honor Daniel while doing so.  It did not seem appropriate to "write a book" or "cash in".   Now, as we approach later in the year, the fourth anniversary of Daniel's departure from us, it is time.  It is time, while our other children are still nearby, or are nearly launched to remember him and to create a book in remembrance of him, which may help others when devastated by the sudden loss of a child.

            We will still be here on blog, but the entire story of Daniel, what happened, with personal pictures, and non blog materials is now seeking a publisher, and will be refined until it is ready for market.  I would love to hear what you would like to hear about, or which publishing house you believe should have a chance to publish it.