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Happy July 4th

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Another deluge of emotion, a veritable flash flood of grief threatens to sweep away my shaky foundation…  My thoughts are murkier again, clouded with increased worry and unease…overcast with helplessness and frustration.  I am losing details again…nothing registers for any length of time…it is like someone is writing on a blackboard with charcoal and I’m frantically trying to take notes.  While the logical part of me knows that no good will come from my angst; I haven’t the ability to cast off this shadowy state of mind...    

I awoke early this morning, and as I listened to the heavy silence blanketing our home, I realized that I have been kidding myself…I have made neither peace with nor progress from our point of origin three weeks ago.  The events of yesterday served as a vivid, painful reminder of how easily the unthinkable can happen…your worst nightmare can so easily become your awful reality.  I absolutely believe that you should not live your life in fear, for fear is not of God; but it seems I fight constantly to keep it at bay.  It lingers in the background, a malevolent force waiting to ambush me…especially now that another young man from our community has been lost through a situation parallel to our own.  I convince myself, “It’s already happened to us once; surely it couldn’t happen again,” only to counter with “It has happened before, so why not?  It certainly could happen again.”  We are as exposed as we ever were, perhaps more so, if you consider the vulnerable state in which we currently exist…  

I decide to do what the rest of my household is doing today.  I will take the well worn road of denial and simply pretend that everything is fine.  After all, ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ is my alternate theme.  Up and at ‘em, Happy July 4th  I will pretend that life is good…because it really IS, even though it is NOT the life we planned and we’re hurting SO much…  I will pretend that we are the same people as before…DESPITE the fact that we are permanently damaged and irrevocably changed, the essence of each of us STILL remains...  I will just pretend that Brian is on his way home from somewhere, anywhere, and will meet us on the 9th green in time for the fireworks show…and hopefully by then, I will have another convincing lie to tell myself…  

Which begs the question…what should we do with holidays?  Do we go forward with our old family traditions, seeking the comfort found in familiar routines?  Or do we devise entirely new rituals, since nothing will ever be the same again anyway?  Perhaps it is best to take every single one individually, each day standing on its own, deciding as we go…  What is the point in complicating the future, as there is no telling how we will feel when we get further down this road?  And we may not agree on what to do; I overruled John about today…the only way I could possibly get through it was to be surrounded by people, staying busy, pretending, and having no time to otherwise think…  

John continued his long standing tradition of playing the Flag Day golf tournament with his buddies; he didn’t fare as well as in years past, but he managed to finish.  The tennis courts were busy; I watched for a while, not playing as party preparations were awaiting my attention.  I was humbled to learn that this year the round robin participants were giving the proceeds to Brian’s memorial project.  Beth took off for the pool early, hanging with Jess and baking away in the blazing sun, sporting a red glow for her efforts.  Grace pulled another Houdini, escaping my watchful eyes through a carefully constructed plan, disappearing with her friends for most of the day.  As I bustled about, I thought I saw a glimmer of my old self, but it faded so fast that I’m not sure it was ever really there…  

Brian would have been very impressed with the turnout, not to mention the huge buffet…he would have skipped all of the real food and feasted solely upon the dessert tables.  Our home was filled to capacity with friends of all ages; some were new to join us, others had been here before.  Many changed their own long standing plans with families in tow, just to make our difficult day easier to bear.  I am sure that we were a sight as we trudged across the fairway in masse, finally reaching our destination and settling in for the annual fireworks display.  Once it started, I had no need to pretend any longer; although I couldn’t see Brian, I knew he was with us; I could feel him in the love that encircled us on all sides…    

I am working to create an informal support group and have created a group under the forums; anyone who has experienced loss is welcome to join.  Please send me a message if you have any suggestions or would like to participate in a face to face get together; again, all are welcome.  Wishing you hope… TG    

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator   

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