The Last Email
It has been a month and a day since Simon died. Sometimes it seems like it was a lifetime ago, sometimes it still seems like he should be walking through the front door any minute, as though he was just gone on a long trip. The kids and I are coping and getting back into a regular routine with school. I’ll head back to work part time next week. I am taking the older kids on separate vacations in the next few months. It will give us something to look forward to and quality time together. I have a few “dates” scheduled with my mom, girlfriends, and platonic male friends so that I can acclimate back into mainstream society after a summer of chaos and loss. I need excuses to wear lipgloss and wear clothes that don’t involve the words yoga pants or stretch cotton.
Our son mentions that he misses his dad every few days and wants to verbally process how we will move forward. He wants to know logistics: who will take him to school, who will play sports with him, who will help him in scouting, etc. He hugs more and shows empathy more. He has stepped up around the house and shown increasing responsibility. Simon had a big talk with him before he passed about being the man of the house; the words seem to have stuck. Our middle daughter is more emotional. If she is tired or hungry, she falls apart and says she misses Dad. She doesn’t want to get rid of any of his things. She has insisted we not sell our current two cars when we buy our new car. She has always been part sentimental, part hoarder. She likes me to stay pulled together, though. If I start to tear up, she says, “Stop freaking me out, Mom.” Gotta love the logic of a five year old. Our youngest has been clingier than usual but still doesn’t understand what happened.
Doing the daily things has proven to be the most exhausting emotionally and physically. Taking care of the house, shuttling kids to school and activities, homework, managing chores, laundry, and meals. I did all of those things before as the primary caregiver but would, at the bare minimum, get affirmation and tangible help from Simon. Now, I do all those things, plus extra chores he used to take care of, and at the end of the day, I have three kids to interact with. They’re pretty sweet but adult interaction is sorely missed. Our son can’t discuss current events with me in depth. Our daughter can’t watch R Rated documentaries with me on Netflix. None of them tell me I look pretty but they are great at pointing out my “jiggly butt” and “squishy tummy.” Sigh.
So, feeling a bit hopeless and weepy this afternoon, I remembered that Simon wrote me a sweet email shortly after his devastating diagnosis:
June 24, 2014 Since the day I dropped you off at the airport after you visited in September 2003, I knew I loved you. Well, enthralled with you seems more fitting. Thank you for giving me the ten best of my thirty-four years. I am sad that our time together seems like it is going to be cut shorter than we both expected. But you have truly been a blessing in my life. Our kids are great and they will be taken care of by the One who has a always taken care of us.
Ugh. I miss him. But S.E.R.I.O.U.S.L.Y., I have to knock off this feeling sorry for myself. Feeling sad is okay. Lonely is okay. Feeling ungrateful is not okay. Simon was so good to me and our kids. We got the chance to say goodbye. We had closure. We have hope in our Creator. We have a legacy for our kids. He gave me his blessing to live life and move on. I’m just kind of kicking my heels right now but I’ll get there.