It has been a whole week since my step-dad passed away. In some ways, the week has flown by.. but in others it has been in extreme slow motion. I still haven't really begun processing his loss as the week has been focused on mom and another huge crisis that hit my personal life that I cannot really talk about here. I'm really, really tired. I'm tired of driving back and forth places... to mom's house to take care of things there, to the hospital and back, running errands, dealing with kids, taking kids places, picking kids up, etc... I'm tired, tired, tired of driving. I wish I could stay home a whole week and go nowhere. I miss my life, even though I was out and about then too but it's different. I'm just tired. I go to bed tired, I wake up tired, I feel tired all day long. I wonder if I'll ever not feel tired again.
Friday, mom was able to leave the hospital on a 6 hour pass. I picked her up and took her with us to the airport to pick up my niece, Cassidy, who flew in from Florida. We then drove WAY out to east Mesa, where Fred's body is, so mom, Cassidy, and Max could view his body before he is cremated. Sam and I did not want to see him. Mom had to fill out all the paperwork. I felt like I was not really there but observing... I keep feeling like I'm having an out of body experience in my circumstances... just numb. I also wanted to hold myself together because I was the driver. But it was hard watching my mom sobbing clutching Fred's wedding ring to her chest. After we left there, we drove 40... yes, that FORTY miles back to my mom's house. She had a short fainting spell but was not injured. We stayed at the house a short time and she braved facing the garage where Fred took his life. I had to get her back to the couch after only about 1 minute, have her lay down, and get cold rags for her face. She just melted into grief. Those who choose to take their own life relieve their own pain but never see the agony and confusion the family is left in for the rest of their lives. It is an incredibly selfish act... and in this case, so contradictory to Fred because he was such a giving man. We will never understand.
I got mom back to the hospital around 6:00 that evening. I am amazed at the staff who is caring for her. I have seen incredible compassion from everyone. They are caring for her so well. I have also seen her opening up to complete strangers and allowing them to enter into her own pain. I have seen her crying with someone else in THEIR pain. I have heard of her witness of Jesus to those she is around. I have watched the other patients constantly flocking to my mom for hugs, a pat on her back, holding her hand, and telling me how much they all just love my mom.
Today, she was doing better. She will be released tomorrow. I'm sure it will be an exhausting day. We will meet with the pastor shortly after her release to actually plan Fred's memorial service. Fred's three children are all flying in tomorrow as well. After almost 21 years of my mom and Fred being married, this will be the first time all 6 of us children are together. Fred's two daughter's and I have never met. How sad is that?
My sister arrived Tuesday afternoon. It's been a while since I've seen her as well. Tuesday night is an anticipated night for my kids. Weeks ago, we purchased movie tickets as part of a fund raiser with the school with coins we have collected since February. We have been saving for a special fun thing for summer. When the fund raiser came along for a preview screening for the new Harry Potter movie, we dumped our coins out and began counting. We have been looking forward to the evening with anticipation.
We have been overwhelmed at the outpouring of love, concern and help from those around us... especially me and my support system from church. I feel so loved and protected. I have had people running errands for me, taking care of my kids, doing my laundry, making me meals, taking care of the vast amount of details with the funeral home, sitting to talk to me, hugging me, helping me in so many, many other ways. I've been in awe of God loving me through those around me. God is revealing himself in great ways through my circumstance.
And now, I need to get some sleep. Thank you for your notes and prayers.