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Monday, September 26, 2016
I haven't been sick with anything other than a cold for about three years. Somehow I have managed to catch the flu. I spent last evening figuring out what I should do since it's been such a long time since I had to treat myself for flu. I started with extra vitamin C, then moved on to regular strength tylenol when I became febrile. I added Mucinex and lots of water when I became congested. Then, when I developed a wheeze. I brought out the nebulizer with medication which I will be using at least twice daily until this disappears.
Since I didn't spend time yesterday exerting as much energy as I do normally, I didn't fall asleep easily when I went to bed. The program I was watching ended at eleven, and before you know it, my wheezing was back and it was midnight. Then I tossed and turned, drank more water and it was one. Then, the dogs barked
Then, finally feeling a bit better, I lapsed into either unconsciousness or a deep sleep. I found myself in a dream with my father. Despite the fact that my father passed in 2008, he and I were in a navy blue Land Rover, and Dad was driving. This was interesting because most modern Land Rovers are automatic transmissions now, but this was my Dad, so he was driving a standard shift. He and I were making an evening run to some Goodwill Stores. Once we got there, Dad found some new intelligence software that someone had donated. "This would be useful", he said, as he presently doesn't have access to the software used in intelligence reporting. I bought some leather bags that were new and had been donated by a store to Goodwill. Dad also found a new pair of leather shoes which he delightedly picked up quite reasonably. I have no idea of the significance of this trip but I do appreciate my Dad visiting when it's possible for him. His appearances for visits in dreams help me to recall the feelings of his occasional visits and trips we made both together and with my kids. I will take these visits any way that I can get them. Perhaps Daniel will come next time. They tend to visit separately, even though they both contend they "see each other all the time" and are in "close proximity". I know that they care for my animals who have passed, and when they are away, the animals are cared for by Mrs Brandt, a friend of my family's from my childhood who loves dogs and other animals.
I awoke with simply a cold. I was a bit peeved that I could not keep the leather bags I had bought during the dream. I am encouraged with the time I spend with Dad, and I am glad he finds a way to visit me sometimes.
Since cold and flu season is here, please consider getting a flu shot early. Best wishes to you all.
Friday, September 9, 2016
When you lose a child, many physicians and ministers in particular, allot you a time in which to grieve of about a year. Then they expect that you heal sufficiently to head into what they call "the new normal". If you don't, they consider that you are grieving abnormally or perhaps even arrested in the development and maturity of your grief.
I was a great little soldier through my grief. It's not because I am particularly brave or not in touch with the devastating loss we had experienced. It's that I had three other children and a husband who was understandably broken following our sudden loss of a healthy 12 1/2 year old beloved youngest son. I was certainly broken. I just needed to make sure that everyone else would survive this loss before I fully examined what the loss of Daniel from Earth really meant to me.
This November, it will be eight years since Daniel abruptly left his beautiful flesh suit. Eight years later, I don't believe that there is a new normal. I think that what happens to most people is that they craft a life without their child or the loved one they have lost and they do so as if the life they lead is the result of a fractured timeline. What I mean by that is that if Daniel had remained here on Earth, then he would be twenty years old. He would be in college or working. He would have adult friends and be driving and planning for the future. He would be going places with his older siblings. They would be planning vacations together. Instead, the branch of the tree that would have been Daniel's is now absent. The life we lead is not the one we would have. Our lives without him have continued to grow on that tree and as bright as some of the fruit in this timeline might be sometimes, the tree has now grown as a disrupted timeline.
The reason this is important is that in order to make best and most productive use of the life we have remaining, it's important to describe our situation, at least to ourselves, accurately. I don't cry much, although I think of Daniel each day. I miss seeing his wonderful life unfold. I miss his commentaries and I miss seeing what he would become. I will also miss seeing the family he would have made.
I don't believe that anyone who hasn't lost a child or a loved one can truly understand the pervasiveness of such a loss, or all of its implications. This does not mean that I am lost. I accept and believe that God keeps Daniel and that I will see him again when I leave this existence myself. I believe that at some future day we will be reunited.
This does not stop my feeling that in late November, 2008 that the loss of Daniel altered the timeline we expected to live. The timeline was replaced by one with less joy. I will continue to build the best life I can for my children, my husband, and my grandchildren, just as Daniel would have strenuously requested, had he had the chance to speak to us after his passing.
Please remember that those you love who have experienced a crushing loss might feel this way also. There is no genuine return to the days before such a tragedy. Be kind as you talk to others, especially those who know grief, either the anticipated kind, or the kind that envelopes us. May your "time line" be linear and as you expect.