Saturday, January 14, 2012

A park and a memory

     For those of you who may not know, I am also a real estate agent, besides a homeschool mom, a blogger, a writer and a speaker, etc, etc.(What Mom doesn't have twenty hats?).  I took four years off after DJ passed away and got back into the business just last year. 
     Today I got to show a young couple some homes, they are shopping for their first house and ofcourse it is exciting for them and me--I love watching someone fall in love with a house right in front of my eyes.  As we were driving today I passed a park called "Golden Rod" park.  This park is a huge place of importance to me....
     When DJ was a young boy he did flag football, he was on a team called the Goldenrods. They practiced at this exact park and I have many memories associated with this place and this team--three of the memories are extremely sad.
      Three of the boys on that very small team have passed away.  DJ was the first, dear reader if you don't know DJ hit his head while skateboarding at the age of 13 and never regained consciousness. 
One boy on the team was diagnosed with terminal cancer the same year the boys played football together.  He  passed away just a few years ago.  Within the same week of the second boy's death  another boy from the team was in a horrible car accident and passed away.  Three boys on a team of 18, three boys gone too soon, three family's lives were forever changed.
      Why am I telling you all this today?  For a few reasons---1. There are a lot of triggers for grief (today I did not fall into a hole, but a few years ago that park could have done it).  When we as bereaved parent's see a park, see food at the grocery store, see a boy walking along a road that looks like our child, see the world at all we can have a trigger for our grief.  The memories associated with food, places, events, etc are everywhere.  To those of you who have not experienced this hell, be patient with us when something triggers our pain that you don't understand.   2.  Death is everywhere and just because you don't see it doesn't mean you are immune to it.  I couldn't imagine that DJ would be gone years later after being on a football team with a terminally ill child.  That other child I knew would die someday just from the diagnosis but they were "that family, the other people, them".  Oddly enough, I turned into "that family, the other people, them". It is a horrible reality but it is mine  3. We are all just a life decision or a phone call from death and tragedy. It may not seem a happy thought to pass along but it is true.  We could be that person in just a heartbeat, or worse yet, in the lack of a heartbeat we do become that person.
     I don't have a challenge for any of you, I don't have any great advice to offer.  My main statement today is just to say "Be kinder to those around you today because you don't know how much longer you will have any of them."  God bless and much love, Lisa--forever DJ's mom

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th for me

     So many people think of Friday the 13th and all it's superstitions.  Don't cross the street if you see a black cat.  Better not walk under a ladder or your world may end.  Be careful not to drop that mirror, no one wants 7 years of bad luck. 
     For me it has a completely different meaning.  DJ was buried on Friday the 13th of October 2006.  For the rest of my life I will not associate black cats and ladders with this date.  I will remember trying to hold DJ's hand while he was in the casket and his hand feeling hard. I will forever remember the church, the people, the weather, the casket, his outfit, my children, the limo ride, the food after, the lone flower that came home with me instead of my son.  The list goes on and on as I know it does for so many of you. I will associate this day with the worst day of my life for the rest of my life. 
    Why do I bring this up to you all today?  Because we all have THAT day.  Or THOSE days.  The many days that are associated with our children's death.  The day of an accident or the date of a diagnosis.  The day of the phone call, of a doctor's visit.  The day of entering the hospital, the day of picking out our children's clothes to be buried in.  Again, the list goes on and on. 
     What so many people who do not have such a death don't understand is that the day of the death is not the only day we the bereaved remember.  And because of that the anniversary dates of all those lists can take a long time to process.  We may be down and out for a week before the anniversary or a week or two after.  We may go into a whole on a day that seems completely nonsensical to the outsider but not to us.  One day is not enough for us to mourn our child, to remember them.  There are so many days that are connected to our child that so many do not understand.  And for that reason, we just can't "get over it".  Forever and ever there will be days in that 365 day calender that will remind us of our child's death.  It doesn't matter if it is 25 years later or 2 weeks after the death--forever and ever days remind us that our child is no longer with us. 
     Be careful and aware of these dates as they come up.  The anticipation of the date is almost always worse than the actual date but don't let it side swipe you!!  And if you are reading this and have not lost a child or loved one--I challenge you to be more compassionate and kind to us when we just don't seem like ourselves.  Because in all rationality we will never be ourselves again and you have no idea what the calender is saying to our hearts on any given day.

    I wanted to remind you all that my book website has changed to computer spider stole my old address but has not made my book any less available--just relocated.
Flowers on a Child's Grave is a compilation of 14 familie's interviews of how they survived the loss of their child from ages 20 min to 35 years of age and how it affected everything from their marriage, intimacy, siblings, etc.  I wrote it after a woman compared the loss of her dog to that of DJ and I didn't want that to happen in the future for any parent.  God Bless you all today and take a look at your calender and be kind to yourselves---  Lisa--forever DJ's mom