Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Found: A Picture of Daniel in a Blond Wooden Frame


Even in grief, the happy memories should never end.

           This week I have spent some time taking care of my new infant grandson while his mother has been working, ensuring excellent insurance coverage for his cystic fibrosis.  A great deal of his care is nursing care, rather than simple infant care.  Much of it is also time consuming.  Toward the end of the week while he was sleeping in the afternoon I had a chance to go through some things I've had in boxes.  It is time to either decide to give some of the more lovely momentoes of our children's babyhood to my daughter, or to donate them. We simply can't keep everything, although believe me, sometimes I have tried !   It's time to free up more storage space, at the very least.

           In one box I found a china half moon lamp which sat in my eldest son's nursery during the first year of his life.  I found some pewter banks shaped like a carousel which were baby gifts for one of our children when they were tiny, although I am unsure who gave it to us, or which baby was the lucky recipient. I found all manner of child safe night lights. At the bottom of the box I also found a perfect framed picture of Daniel which oddly was taken at about the same age my daughter's baby is now.  It was almost as if Daniel was wishing to say, "I remember when we were together and you were taking care of me at his age !" This framed picture sat in Daniel's nursery on the dresser in our home in the suburbs,  until we moved to our first farm, and then, for a time, Daniel shared a bedroom with our other son Matt.  Many of the things in his first room were simply never used again, and then so quickly weren't really age appropriate any longer.

            I thought that perhaps in taking care of my grandson that the moments of caring for Daniel as a baby might blur, and I might forget details of Daniel's babyhood.   Strangely, this has not at all been true.  Just as my other children were, each of them are distinctly different individuals. In fact, caring for my daughter's baby has actually helped me to remember Daniel's babyhood in detail as well as the distinct differences between each of my children in babyhood  just a short time in much more detail.

            I am not yet sure what to do with some of the articles I found in the box, but the blond framed picture of Daniel at four months will have to go in a position of honor where I see it from time to time. Daniel, your beautiful flesh suit may not be on Earth now, but it was, and I plan to remember each of those days as best I can, through the remainder of my own days here on Earth.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Unfinished Online Business

Dear Daniel,

           When you passed so suddenly six years ago there were many things I could not do, and in the shock, many things that were not immediately available to my memory.  You loved the internet and had quite a life there. Although I had been a part of setting up those accounts initially, because you had been so young, I not only didn't recall your passwords, but I couldn't remember where the paperwork where I kept them had been.  This was sad because you completely disappeared from your internet haunts and from computer gaming with no explanation to internet friends.  Some time later your brother Matt did inform some of the groups where you and he had been members, but I have always felt that I failed you by not properly managing your internet legacy.

              Today, while getting a jump start on early Spring cleaning, I was working on filing and throwing away a stack of papers I found in a file stuck between furniture in my room and the bed. From the receipts and paperwork most of which I threw away, it had been there for quite some time.  One of the papers I found was the registration confirmation to your e-mail account.   I had long since forgotten your ID and your password was penciled in below it.   You hadn't used this account since November of 2008.  Well, I am assuming that because this is when you ceased to occupy your flesh suit here on Earth.  I don't know why, but I decided to log on and see if your account still exists.  Apparently, following a period of disuse, the id again becomes available.  I decided to reregister all your information as it was,  in case any of your friends ever try to contact you, in future. At least I could tell them what happened.   Everything we had registered before is now entered, except that they needed a longer password that we had used initially, and they needed a cellular phone number. I used the same pseudonym you has used before.

              I don't really know why I did this. Perhaps in some small way, having your e-mail address reactivated means that you never really died.  Maybe you just exist on a plane of thought and energy and can check e-mail telepathically.   Maybe in some way, you are aided by having your e-mail activated.  Maybe you will simply recall how important you were and are here among the family you have still tied to Earth.

             Feel free to shoot me an e-mail.   With an e-mail address, you could review the book I wrote about you.   In all seriousness now, you are, and always will be, truly loved and truly missed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Splash of Daniel

Sometimes, it seems as if the farm and the animals cry in Daniel's absence, a lot like the frozen holly. I hope he is doing something important where he is.

         I try hard not to look back at the time pre-2008 when Daniel was still on the Earth, and compare it too strenuously with the present day.  To me, his mother, it seems that life when he was on Earth was in color and one good thing happened after another. Following his sudden passing that day, it too often feels as if the color, the sense of humor and too much of the hope in life, evaporated with him.  I am very mindful that the loss of a child must be even more intolerable for the family without other children.  I have been fortunate in that we had three other children, and that we adopted a son the year following Daniel's departure. This gives us other souls to love and with whom to engage.  Sometimes, the spirit of Daniel is palpably missing from many family gatherings.

                And yet, once in awhile there is a special day.  Late in 2014, in the week that followed Christmas, our daughter and her baby were at the farm, along with our eldest son A., and our son Matt, who was home from the university.  J. who is our son who came to us through the blessing of adoption, was also there.  In just one block of time, I felt both Daniel and my Dad there for the gathering.  There was laughter and amusement. There were irreverent jokes and for a moment, I almost forgot that Daniel wasn't really here in the flesh.  The legacy of Daniel won't be a large family of his own, however it will be a family who was indelibly impacted by his intellect, his humor, and his music. Without my father, none of us would be here on Earth !   Yes Daniel, we are still here, and in many ways, so are you.