Do you hear that? It's almost 1 o'clock in the afternoon and it's quiet. Luke , Seth, Ry and I just helped my mom with some yard work. It's a beautiful day today, sunny and 67. So beautiful that Seth and Riley decided to stay at Nana's and "help" some more. Luke is locked in his room, again, but this time working on a project for school. I think it may just be the perfect time to take a few minutes for me and evaluate where I am in this whole messy process of Grey's loss.
I guess "messy" isn't quite the right word anymore. It's rare that I find myself a blubbering mess. More often I find myself just sad, lost in Grey's memories. My biggest challenge has been the time of the year. I can't help but think, that if I can just get myself through this first season, Halloween through Christmas, I'll no longer compare everything to last year.
As a family, we've been focusing on change, making sure that the things we do this year to celebrate the season, are completely different than the things that we did last year with Grey. I imagine that change is starting with Bill's schedule.
For the last 13 years, Bill has worked nights and weekends so that he could be home with the babies during the day. Thirteen years is a long time to not have your daddy home on the weekends. It's even longer for the mom who has had to take care of 4 boys all by herself (thankfully with the help of Nana). Never once have Bill or I ever complained about our schedules, because it was best for the kids. But now, with Grey gone, it just doesn't make much sense anymore. So, starting next weekend, Bill will no longer work Sundays. It's not the whole weekend, but it's a start. He's also going to some day shifts, being home some more nights. It'll be an adjustment, but I'm sure it's one we'll all get use to pretty quickly.
Halloween is the next event that was looming over me. I imagine October 31st is a day I will never forget, sitting in the hospital being told that my son could be terminal, and then our reaction of discharging him to make sure that he could Trick-Or-Treat just once in his life. Grey was so oblivious, dressed in his giraffe costume having the time of his life. Me, pushing him in his stroller, with my nieces and nephew running around us, trying to hide my tears. This Halloween will be different. One of my good friends, knowing what the day could bring, invited me, Bill, the boys, and Mom over to her uncle and aunt's for a Halloween party, followed by Trick-Or-Treating. Bill has already gotten off and we're really looking forward to it. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I have the best friends. I don't know what I'd do without them.
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. Thanksgiving was the day that we found out Grey was actually terminal. I think no matter what we do, the day itself will be hard to handle. I think our best approach is to spend it as a family, with maybe a close friend or two. After Thanksgiving dinner, I imagine we'll put up our tree, as we always do. I'm sure I'll be full of tears, but I have no doubt that together we'll make it through.
We're still looking for a way to celebrate Grey's life on December 12th, the day he died. We were going to plan a big walk, but the thoughts of it just exhausted me. Again, I'm sure we'll figure out something. I thought about a Spurs game, because I know Grey would want to see us happy, but they're out of town. Any ideas out there? I'm sure we'll release some balloons. Any of you that would like to join us are welcomed.
It's funny that our crazy red cardinal is still getting my attention. We went out to eat last night at Cracker Barrel (sorry Ceci) and their country store was full of cardinal stuff for Christmas. I bought a plate to put up on our mantle next to Grey's urn at Christmastime. It has a cardinal on it and it says "Hearts come home for Christmas". Again, I hate birds, but there is just something about that cardinal. I'm sure Grey is amused that I will probably have a house full of cardinals before the season is over.
I still have the issue of Grey's room. I've always said that I would have to move before I could take it down, because it just wouldn't feel like home without a place for Grey and his things. Riley has gone back and forth about moving into it and having his own room, but only with a bribe of it getting painted in camo. And when it really comes down to it, I don't think I'll be able to do it. I love Grey's room. And even though I know he no longer needs it, I think I do. It's the only place left that I can walk into and still smell him. Crazy, I know. But if you've lost a child you know what I'm talking about. Sometimes just knowing that there are things in there that he touched is enough.
So, I continue to take every day for all it is. This weekend hasn't been as hard as some in the past. The coolness of Fall continues to make the days beautiful. The smells of apple cider and pumpkin continue to warm my heart. The picture in my head of Grey dressed as a giraffe make me thankful that I was even lucky enough to have that picture at all.
And, I continue to trudge through this season, with the help of many, knowing that the sounds of Winter will be next.