Friday, April 16, 2010

A Reed Family Update...of sorts

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My dear,

Saturday marked four weeks since you were last with us. Much of the time it still doesn’t seem real. It seems like just yesterday you were sitting here with me, having coffee, talking about our day, processing your trip, catching up with each other. It seems like just yesterday you were making your regular Friday pizza. It seems like just yesterday I was washing your clothes, cutting your hair. Is it all really over? Never again?

The house is so quiet. No loud singing coming from the shower…no “Hey Renit” coming from various rooms in the house…no exclamations of “jes drippin’” throughout the day as you sweat. Mornings are the worst as Hannah, Noah and I are all exhausted and don’t have much to say. You always helped us wake up in the morning, making the kids breakfast, singing your wacky songs.

The kids started back at school on Monday. They are emotionally drained and trying to catch up from two weeks of missed classes, which isn’t easy. [And I know you'll appreciate this, to top it off, it’s 96 F with a heat index of 108 F and the air conditioning isn’t working at the school.] The three of us have pulled close together which has been great – I only hope it lasts. We are doing a grief journal each night, which helps the dialogue a bit, but they so need you here now to help them process this. Noah is trying to be strong – his finished his meds for staph and so we are now just waiting to see if any new spots appear. Hannah is also trying to be brave but is getting angry at the “elephant in the room” that is so real to them but that most other people don’t notice. She turns 17 next Sunday - it's hard to believe our little girl will be seventeen. It's even harder to believe that you won't be here to celebrate it...or her 18th birthday...highschool or college

There are so many “I wishes” that I go through each day. I wish you could have heard the testimonies given on the impact that you had on peoples’ lives at the memorial service, in person, by email, cards, letters, comments on the blog. Do you know that a blog reader from Australia sent you flowers? That notes of condolence were received from over 20 countries? Did you hear your brother, Don, and your Uncle Lloyd say how proud they are of you?

I wish I had known how close the end was – I would have looked in your sweet brown eyes and told you I love you and helped you leave this world, instead of helping the nurse try to make you more comfortable. Did you feel alone in that moment?

I wish I knew for sure what you were experiencing right now…after all the conversations that we have had about dying. But then we wouldn’t call it faith, right?

I wish we had bought an air conditioner for you so your last few days would have been more comfortable.

I wish you had a chance to make that dish that you were so excited about when you came home from Nigeria – Bobotie - we still have all the ingredients in the house but I just can’t bring myself to make it without you here to eat it.

I wish…I wish…I wish...

I can’t put anything of yours away yet. I know I’m choosing to remain in denial but I just can’t do it. Your shoes are still by the door, waiting for you [of course, I put them by the door from where they had been kicked off in the middle of the room, but I digressJ].

Remember how many times you said to me about various things you do, “You’re going to miss that when I’m gone.” You are so right. What I would give to have one more day…one more hour with you. To think that I won’t have that chance on this earth is unbearable right now.

I love you.


ps - I have to admit that the camera has gathered some dust. I haven't been in the mood to take pictures, even though I've heard your voice telling me to; but I did find this great video clip of you and Noah...[Subtitles: You don't know what it's like; you don't know what it's like; to love somebody, to love somebody, the way I love you. (Lyrics from the Bee Gees)]