Some things I'll miss...
As any parent would when suffering the loss of a child, shock and panic sets in and the mind goes frantic. I have always thought that in a crisis I would be the perfect person to be there to assist. I'm even tempered, I'm logical, I'm calm and I can think straight and make quick decisions on behalf of the group.
It seemed to me this past week and a half that I did pretty well with all the crappy decision making that needed to be done in such a short time-frame. I kept reminding myself to focus on the task at hand. I was petrified I would forget something and then after the funeral I would beat myself up for forgetting something that Chris would have wanted. Something I should have known better than to leave out. There is no re-do. No editing to improve it. I didn't want to do it at all but I really didn't want to be angry at myself for doing it incompletely.
My family of helpers, my team was sitting on the living room floor fine tuning all the components of the wake and funeral when I hit a critical outburst. "Did we cover everything?!!!" I just didn't know. I was assured by my team everything was perfect, nothing was left out. I had to trust it was. I found that I was not quite the perfect person to assist in a crisis and I had to give that up to those around me. They were carrying me and that was good. Maybe I'm just not good in my own crisis situation but I will be for others?
I saw an episode on Oprah one time, years ago. It was all about human responses to situations. That episode was how I determined I passed the test as a leader in a crisis. Maybe you remember the show? If not I'm sure it's online somewhere. I’m fuzzy on a lot of it but If memory serves, Oprah was secretly taping the lobby of her studio as people were entering to see her show. They were told their seats were unavailable and they couldn't come in. Of course, in truth they did still have their seat but Oprah was seeing who reacted in what way. Some people yelled, argued, etc. others were more willing to listen. I can't remember all of the episode, I think they did this sort of undercover taping in different situations. The idea though, was to see how people react. Are they rational? Do they listen? Are they screamers? Can they negotiate or come to an agreement on how to work it out? I felt I passed with flying colors. I was shocked and amazed at how some flew off the handle and were argumentative. That would never be me.
Well, my note today is about how I have panicked this week. I had the silly notion that if I didn't immediately start writing down everything I could remember about Chris that I would forget him. I KNOW that won’t happen but that irrational side of me - like from the group on Oprah that I determined I wasn't one of - well I became one of them. I'm trying to reel it back. I have way too many things to share with you about my kids and my thoughts. I'm even fine with me being the only reader. It makes me feel good to put it on paper.
So here is my irrational list of what I will miss about Chris:
- turning on the living room TV and finding the volume up way too loud. The station would be one of a few shows: ESPN, Diners Drive Ins and Dives on Food Network with Guy Fieri or Pawn Stars
- his size 14 sneakers blocking the front door
- the shower head pushed up so high that the water would fly right over my head until I adjusted the nozzle
- the kitchen chair cushion tossed on the floor because he couldn't fit comfortably under the table when it was under him
-returning my car with the seat pushed way back, the mirrors adjusted and the radio left on after borrowing it to drive Bailey home. (He argued mine got better gas mileage)
- waking me up when he got home late to show me something Bailey gave him or something he bought to give her
- climbing onto my bed in the evening while I sat propped up on my iPad and watching TV. He would sprawl on his back next to me, hold our little toy poodle "Happy" up over his head and tell him he had terrible breath
- hearing the two quick beeps of his car horn when he was locking it in the driveway and I knew he was safely home
- making his daily lunch, adding a personal note and sitting it in the stairwell so he wouldn't forget it on his way out
- having mini text arguments with him about his curfew time when he wanted more time out
- his feet in the creaky stairwell
- texting him to be quiet from my bed at night because he was still up playing Xbox, keeping me awake
- grocery shopping each weekend and being excited at the savings on my bill once he left for college
- telling him to stop yanking on the railings or he'd loosen them
- calling me "momma" and texting me "lylyly" every night
- hip checking me in the hallway or kitchen when we were both moving around in the same space. He would be oblivious that he bumped me and sent me off my feet! When I brought it to his attention he'd simply say "oh sorry". He was clueless and that was cute :-)
I know I won't forget my son. I know my irrational thoughts are just that but I'm glad to share them anyway. I'll have plenty more as time goes on but for today I feel good about these few that were on my mind. Enjoy this sunny day and do something nice for someone. I will do the same.