20 March 2010
Journal Entry from the Past Triggering Tears 30 August 2003
Do you ever have those days where you find yourself in tears and kind of numb? When there’s a taste of null and void in your mouth and to have one straight thought can’t be mastered?
My son in law lost his brother this past week in a work related accident and my family members find themselves reminded of how it was six years ago when we lost our son Michael in a car accident. I want to call his mother and give her my regards, but then I get teary and realize I would not be any good at this point. Just thinking about talking with her brings back the memories of our own experiences. My oldest daughter and I talk on the phone and our voices crack as we clear our throats, as the memories flood back and time is once again turned back.
There are little things that can set me off, as I find myself listening to the radio at a red light and the memorial song to Notorious Big "I'll Be Missing You" comes on. Him and Michael died the same year, 1997, along with Princess Diane. Michael's friends requested we play it for the service and we did, as we left the chapel. It was a perfect song for this setting and time.
Every step I take, every move I make
Every single day, every time I pray
I'll be missing you…
Thinking of the day, when you went away
What a life to take, what a bond to break
I'll be missing you...
When I run across my mother's handwriting whether it be on a letter I have saved, a recipe she wrote out or perhaps a card she sent to say "Happy Birthday", I find myself running my fingers across the dried up ink to see if I can still feel the pulse of her emotions as she wrote that message that I still treasure to this day. I remember her calmness and how she was the true matriarch of our family and cared for all us children and my father while he served in the Air Force. I have learned much from her example and each meal I prepare or task I do, reminds me of her and the way she taught me or at least tried to teach me the correct way. I, being my father’s daughter, on the other hand tend to be a little defiant at times and do things my own way. Usually, my results are not as good as her’s. And once again, a lesson is learned, even through the veil.
When I went to visit my family in North Carolina recently, my sister brought out photograph albums and old memories. She had safely tucked away the baby clothes, now aged yellow with time, that my mother has sacredly kept all these years of our moving and growing up. We compared pictures with clothes to decide what was whose. She lets me bring the coveted treasure home with promises to keep them safe and to clean them, as I am able.
As I look at my “good intention project pile” beside me, there lies these tiny, infant clothes placed on top of “Michael’s White Box”. The box that holds the last mementos of my son which were given to me by the funeral home. Sympathy cards and funeral announcements fill the box that is only opened when I need to be assured that I still have that part of him left with me. His military dog tags and a beautiful guest registry with a peace dove adorning its’ blue covering quietly rest inside, along with important papers and a surplus of pictures I had duplicated for friends and family.
He is casually sitting in a seat at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, home of his beloved Cardinals. A beautiful smile fills his face and you can see the happiness that radiates this day as he is with Molly, the only girl he ever truly loved. I have wished him a lifetime of “Mollys” when I remember how happy he was at that time. And then, my vision is blurred by this sacred “trigger” as it brings on happier times when the world was calmer and life seemed to be perfect.
An old Jim Croce song from 1975 comes to mind titled “Time In A Bottle”. Michael and Annette were small and we lived in North Carolina when that song came out. I remember it well.
If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day
Till Eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you
If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you
But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with
If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you
The world lost Jim Croce shortly after he wrote that and other memorable songs. Fortunately for us, the memories and the words live on and in today’s world of technology we can find Jim’s voice once again on Amazon.com and I find myself wishing I could find a “Michael.com”.
But, there’s not, and I remember his face and his voice calling me “Ma!” He is sitting right beside me and gives me one of his famous hugs, as I try to type and get to the last word of my humble, throat grabbing thought and emotion. They say it gets easier with time… I don’t know who “they” are, but “they” must have never buried a child.
So today, I cry for many women. One, would be my son-in-law’s mother, Wilma. I remember how she tried to comfort me when I experienced the same agony and emotions, while trying to be strong for others. I cry for my daughter who once again experiences the hurt all over again, as she wears her hat of the strong wife, mother and daughter-in-law that she needs to be right now. For the step-mother who loved him as her own and his sister and all the others, men and women, who knew his smile, his touch and his life.
We can not “put time in a bottle” or create a living “.com” site for those who have passed where we can see them and communicate freely. But, we can take these precious memories and these triggers and savor each second and each smile and know that in the eternal rhelm of things that life is eternal and families will be together forever someday.
And then, ever so gently, another “trigger” comes to my thoughts…
I have a family here on earth. They are so good to me.
I want to share my life with them through all eternity.
Families can be together forever Through Heavenly Father's plan.
I always want to be with my own family, And the Lord has shown me how I can.
The Lord has shown me how I can.