I'm sitting here watching Remember The Titans on TV. Of course it reminds me of Chris. He loved this movie and has the DVD. I could name ten more movies off the top of my head that make me think of Chris too. When this movie ends The Blind Side is coming on. Must be that the TV programming staff is missing football as it’s off season right now.
Seems every direction I turn my head there's another reminder of my son. I went out to eat this afternoon and got nachos. Yep, Chris loved them so I ordered them with pulled pork and toasted him. They were good! :-) I ate them all (just like Chris). I went outlet shopping today and wandered into the Under Armour store. Everywhere I looked Chris appeared. He wore UA gear all the time. If not on the football field then just for casual days. There's a bunch of it in his room as I type. I didn't buy anything but I did pick up a bunch of XL items just to hold them and wish I had the need to make a purchase. I had no reason to be in the UA store as I had checked with Jeremy in the morning and he didn't need anything there. Why did I subject myself to that store?
I have a choice in how I choose to deal with all of the things that happen in the course of a day when it comes to Christopher. I can face them head on and barrel through or I can recoil, shut down and pretend I don't see them. It's really very hard sometimes but I try my best to stand up and deal. It's exhausting but the best thing for me to do. If I don't push myself I’ll never do anything!
I was out a few days ago and found myself (coincidentally) in the midst of a conversation with three other moms of high school seniors. The chatter was about college, where each was going, what acceptance letters have shown up and talk of all the time and effort that has gone into getting to this decision making time with the kids. My heart was shredded as I stood there. I could have excused myself, I wanted to run away, but truth be told it was probably better for me to do what I did. Stand up straight, listen and hang tough. These same conversations are happening all around me and they will continue to. Why wouldn't they? My son was a senior. He was in the thick of this the same as the other seniors. It's what they've been eating, sleeping and breathing for the past year.
I've been finding out on a pretty regular basis what colleges Chris's friends have been choosing. We know our choice would have been SUNY Cortland. Well, at least that was the last conversation we had with Chris so that's the one I will always go with. I wish I spent today at the outlets loading up on new fall clothes or dorm accessories but that's not my reality now. Now I watch from the sidelines and encourage the rest of the seniors as they choose their path. I also dote on Jeremy as much as he'll allow without smothering him, which is hard! I have to be careful to let him live and keep my irrational worries at bay.
Did you hear about the Mazzone Hospitality fundraiser coming up in July? I'll attach the link here if you're interested in reading about it.
I find it ironic that I would now LIKE to own that motorcycle. It's something I have secretly objected to for either of my sons. Now? Yes, I'd love that SHEN/Shaker colored bike! It symbolizes a fear I need to release. A motorcycle is not a death wish. It's all in the way I've been viewing it. I see things differently now. I highly doubt Jeremy or Chris would kill themselves on it as Mike and I used to tell them when they'd tease they were getting one. Both boys are smart and responsible, our objections are unfounded and fear based. They need to be reviewed and reconsidered. I do feel a car is safer but I guess I shouldn't make a blanket statement about motorcycles just because of my opinion.
I think it's important, and healing for me to face what seem to be tough but simple, everyday experiences rather than shy away from them. They will never stop so acknowledging them is better than denying they're happening. I need to eat so I've opted to embrace Chris's favorite foods. Believe me, pulled pork was not what I would ordinarily order but it makes me feel good so I do it. I pretend I'm savoring it just as Chris would have.
I can't continue to pass Guptill's on Rt. 9 in Latham and sob. I need to go there and have ice cream with Bailey now that they've reopened for the season. If I go there I pray I will eventually get over the ache and sadness that he can't take her there anymore. They loved it there, me too. I'm going to go soon even if I cry my way through my first dish. I want to enjoy my visits there again.
I certainly haven't mastered the skill of embracing the pain but I have come to see that if I have a little pep talk with myself when I’m in the moment I manage better. I try to use the "bring it on!" tactic to help me cope. It seems to be working for the most part. I do have trouble and it doesn't always pan out but for the most part I do pretty well.
I hope when you find yourself in a crummy situation you're able to take a quick moment to size things up and work through it. It makes a big difference in how the rest of your day plays out and how you handle the next obstacle. It's not a bad habit to get into for helping yourself along. I subscribe to it! :-). Maybe it'll work for you.
Thank you for reading.