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Sure…when playing Cranium (a charades challenge) Bella did yell “Photosynthesis” instead of the word, “Bloom.”  She did use the term “Metaphorically speaking” in context and accurately a while back.  When she was lauding the fact that she got this special stick out of a tree one of our church members said, “Jay, I was the one who got the stick down out of the tree.”  I asked him, who has the stick?  She did.  Turns out she got it down after all.  When she and Joe get home from school, Joe asks her for permission to get on the computer (well, we’ve since corrected that behavior).

However, the other morning (read: early early morning) she also came into our bedroom and said, “Daddy, some times I get really sad in my bedroom and just cry.  I don’t want anyone to wake up so I do it quietly.”

That morning on the way to school I talked with her and Joe about how night times are very often when my brain goes off thinking about all kinds of things, including Trey.  Joe added that he gets really angry lying in bed.  I asked him if that was correct (as I know it to be worried/fearful…not angry).  He said, “Oh, I was talking about the mornings.  I wake up angry not wanting to do whatever there is that day…most often it’s school.  At night, you know, when my brain goes through the loops?  That’s when I get afraid.”

So there we were, the three of us talking about how our grief comes upon us in the still of the night.  It was a real eye opener once again.  I have recently been so myopic looking inward that I had ever so gently taken my eyes off of the kids.

You see, I am not…nor was I, really dreading next Thursday (the one year anniversary of Trey’s passing).  Granted, that’s a large part of what I was self obsessing over.  “Was that ok?  Am I in denial?  Why is that?  Why have others talked about how horrible that day is?  Am I ok?  I don’t feel ok but I’m not horrifically sad and dreading THAT day…every day is tough enough.” and so on and so forth.  I hadn’t remembered to prepare Joe and Bella for that day.  Well, let’s be honest, I have no idea how one does prepare for that day let alone prepare a 12 and 10 year old.

Also, the day that I was speaking of above was Sunday into Monday morning…Mondays being the day that we go to The Caring Place.  I asked Joe if it was tougher for him emotionally going into Monday in advance of our time there or Monday into Tuesday after we’ve been there.  With a very slight if not minimal pause he said, going into Monday.  Which is good as it means the time there is positive and productive…well, at least not negative.

At times I wonder what the impact has on others beyond my immediate/immediate (so immediate I typed it twice on purpose…as in, just the 4 of us) family.  What about my brother and sisters?  What must my mother and father be thinking/feeling?  As I have stumbled through these past few months where are they in all of this?  I’m sure that it’s ALL over the spectrum given the tremendously different emotional make up of all involved.  I would really love to have a big sit down and open dialogue with whoever about where everyone is in regards to the loss of Trey.  I know many couldn’t even handle the thought of that let alone the reality and that’s ok.  With those who want to I have had mini conversations on the side, one on one.

So, we roll on.  I listen for Joe and Bella a little bit closer at night.  I check for signs of anger/fear/guilt/self condemnation and reassure Bella that she is safe and that Joe is right where he needs to be.  In conclusion, I referenced earlier that I am not dreading that day.  You see, just like a clear scan for Trey sent people through the roof with excitement but left Rachel and I shrugging our shoulders I think that to a degree the same is true of next week.  That day is the anniversary of his death.  Well, I can look at his bed every day, the one where I saw him lie one year ago Thursday.  I see pictures of him every day, and he’s not here…every day.  I can hear his voice every day.  I can see him chomping on pretzels watching YouTube videos of some amusement park ride in Mongolia every day…but he’s not here…every day.  I don’t need a yearly reminder that he is not here.  I don’t fear it being worse…that day.  I can go there any day.

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