November 7, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Cleaning out old, duplicated, not used things out of the house. Some things are just hard to have here, others just take up room. It feels like a spring day with the sun shining and the temperature at about 70 right now. I don’t know if we will ever get rid of everything we need to, especially in that garage…but it feels like I have made a bit of a dent in it already.
I have a cedar chest that I have filled with Fred’s things but I just cannot put the funeral book, cards, letters, programs, and misc. pictures in there. Not really sure what difference it makes if they are in the chest or on my desk but I just cant do it yet.
He would be here helping me today. Cleaning up, going through stuff, and laughing.
I came across his little drawing he did the day he got lost in Target. He wandered from his Dad while the girls and I were on the other side of the store. I know he was scared. I know he was scared on April 5th too. He was lost but Dad and I could not find him in time.
I am trying hard to get rid of things in the house and in my life. I am the lost one now, trying to find some way to pick up where I left off. I found a box of dvds that Fred and I had sat and watched together and laughed. Grant grabbed them this morning and watched them — it brought back good memories but also hard. It was hard to laugh because I could feel Fred’s laughter. I put them away, too painful.
I have a box somewhere upstairs that has all of the kids dress up clothes over the years when they were babies and toddlers. I want to find that box and put Fred’s things in this cedar chest, but something stops me from getting the box. Most of the clothes I kept of Fred’s have lost his smell, but I remember him wearing each thing. I torture myself thinking of his body, alive, inside of the clothes until I just cannot handle it anymore and have to put everything away. I am sure I will just do the same with his baby clothes and blankets.
I want to look out my kitchen window and see Fred in the yard. Mowing, playing Frisbee, raking, practicing his golf swing, playing horseshoes, starting the grill….I just need him here.
Beauty in our lives is often overlooked. I grew up while raising my kids and learned from them as they learned from me also. Fred was an old soul. He loved people and gave them chances that others would not. Fred also got frustrated when he was not the best at something or could not figure something out. We all do at some point or another. The beauty in my son was overlooked by some and maybe even misunderstood. Fred was simple, not complex. He did not need a whole bunch of stuff and just wanted a family. He wanted to live simple. Maybe that is my fault because that is how we have lived all these years. We just do with what we have most of the time. Chris and I find beauty in other things…
Fred could talk to anyone about anything, both of the boys have always been able to. I watch Grant at the bar and his personality and ability to make a friend out of anyone is similar to Fred’s. I truly believe that if someone has a problem with either one of them, it is mostly their problem.
Obviously today has been a hard, but the most comforting thing is that I can walk through this house and remember him in every room, and feel his smile and his sparkle.
Leaves fall on the ground and the air gets colder every morning. A winter without Fred, a Thanksgiving and a Christmas without my son, without my whole family. A hole in all of our hearts, a missing spot at the table. A lost life that will never come back to us. My heart breaks minute by minute without him, all of these firsts without my Fred.
Beauty is in front of you. I am lucky for many things but so many are walking through life and not getting it. Not understanding how precious their children are, not realizing how fragile their lives are. I try to imagine that this did not happen sometimes. I have to remind myself that it is real. I want to be part of people’s lives but it hard to listen to complaints about kids… it is hard to put myself in a place where I can empathize. When Tom Barker committed suicide I was upset. He was one of our favorite customers, a really good guy. I could not go to the funeral because I was beside myself. I could not imagine what his parents felt, his family, his friends. I was shocked. Well, now I know and shame on me.
We have things in life that we must do, because it is the right thing to do. We may not like them, but we need to do them. Those family gatherings that you hate going to…the boring ones with all the older family members that you don’t know how to talk to….go to them. It may not make sense or be important to you, but it is important to someone else to see you there. Can’t seem to figure out why you do what you do everyday? Feel unappreciated by your kids and your spouse? Do something about it. Open your mouth and talk, don’t yell, don’t find fault of everyone else….just talk. Cant find anything beautiful in your life? Look harder, and think longer.