Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fireworks

The sadness seems to come and go, in cycles at least a week at a time. A few weeks ago was a very difficult time for me. I was completely crushed by the fact that Henry had never chased and caught fireflies. Every time I saw one all of the things that he never got to do started to line up, one after another after another until I forced myself to break the train of thought.

There's a lot he never got to do.

For the Fourth of July, we went to watch our local fireworks display. As the four of us waited for the sky to darken, the fireflies began their dance.

I remembered that Henry had seen fireworks, twice. We had been to our minor league baseball stadium the summer before his diagnosis, and he watched them then. He really loved them. And, when we were on his Wish trip to Disney we watched them one night. He liked them briefly, but wasn't feeling well and on so many medications that he didn't remember it later. But I had a real sense of calm that he had seen them.

I thought a lot about that as we watched the fireworks that night. I can't measure every event in my life on the measuring stick of whether or not Henry got to. Clearly the stick is too short.

And isn't it for all of us? Even in a full, blessed life in these modern times and with modern amenities, there is so much that life has to offer, we can never do all we want to do.

Acceptance.

I keep coming back to this, and wanting to write about it, but struggling with how.

The desire for what isn't can torture. The acceptance of what is soothes. There is pain, and grief, and hurt, along with the wonderful memories I have of him. But I don't need to add to it.

3 comments:

Betsy said...

I am inspired that you can be so wise, so rational with Henry's loss still so recent. Your words really hit home to me. I so frequently mourn what our family won't be able to do with my husband's brain tumor diagnosis that it isn't healthy and doesn't help me live in the moment. I think of you often and wish you peace. I'm so very sorry that Henry is not on your lap tonight.

SOCKS said...

Dr Smak,

I have been waiting and waiting and checking and checking your blog for a new post - and it was worth waiting for.

I sense a sign of "going forward" - not forgetting and not missing him - but continuing, for yourself and for others.

I am glad for this.

...tom... said...

...

The desire for what isn't can torture. The acceptance of what is soothes. There is pain, and grief, and hurt, along with the wonderful memories I have of him. But I don't need to add to it.

I immediately thought of your own 'bucket list', over there, at the side of your blog home page. Your bucket list is still 'open', by definition.

Henry was obviously too young for a 'bucket list'. But as parents we all have dreams and goals for our children. Things we want them to experience, to achieve, to relish. Things we did as kids, things we never could do...

Henry's 'bucket list' is closed, by definition. I sense that you are now finding some solace and peace and joy in remembering the items, the moments, the experiences you were able to 'check off' with your son.

Surely it is a much bigger step to acknowledge, to let go of, the fact that many of those 'bucket list' items will never be broached or completed.


Thinking of you and yours, as always...


...tom...
.