The Fankhauser Family poses for the Eddie Bauer catalog.
Today marks the ninth anniversary of the day my mother passed away. It’s strange to think that it’s been that long; so many things have changed since then. We moved and became homeowners, had a second child, I lost my job and am now back in school full-time. So many things that she was not a part of, and that’s just in my life. My sisters and brother, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends — we’ve all had to go on without her.
Someone — I don’t remember who or when — told me after Mom died that the grief doesn’t lessen with time, it’s just that the moments of grief get farther apart. Whoever said that was right. In those first few months after she passed away, those grief moments came barreling at me from all sides, often surprising me with how they made their way in. The obvious moments, of course, like tucking in Chester at night with the quilt that she made, finding cards or letters or pictures from years before — all of those moments brought what seemed would be unending waves of sadness and anger and frustration.
But there were also the moments that didn’t make sense, like a commercial or an offhand remark overheard at work that had nothing to do with anything.
One game the boys play, as do most children, is “house.” I haven’t figured this one out, though, because it usually consists of them playing cars, legos, etc.; they stop in the middle of whatever they are doing, one of them declares, “Let’s play house!”, they pick roles and then they just go right back to whatever they were doing. So I’m not sure what the actual game is, but they seem to enjoy themselves.
The Wise One overheard this exchange a couple of weeks ago:
Peanut: “Chester, let’s play house!”
Chester: “OK. I’ll be the father.”
Peanut: “OK. . . . I’ll be the Holy Spirit!”
I got home last night from work to find Peanut asleep in my bed. He was running a fever and had climbed into bed with mommy, so I left him there and climbed into his bed instead. This morning when mommy left for work, I went back into my own bed to get a bit more sleep.
Later this morning, after I hit snooze a few times, I rolled over just in time to watch him wake up. He opened his eyes, gave me a great big sleepy grin, then reached out his hand and just laid it on my shoulder. He left it there, and just laid there, smiling. Finally he mumbled, “Good morning.”
Man, I’m going to miss these moments. They’re already few and far between with Chester, and now Peanut is getting older — he’ll be five very soon. Well before I’m ready for him to grow up, he’ll grow up anyway.
For now, I still have these moments, and the diving, leaping hug at the door when Daddy comes in, and two boys, in bunk beds, almost-but-not-quite waking up when I get home from work, giving me sleepy-breath kisses, looking past me and saying good night to the wall.
Filed under boys, family, photos
Got a call from my brother last night, and we had a really good conversation. He really sounded like he was doing well — bored out of his mind, but coherent, funny, and acknowledging that he is where he needs to be. I am so proud of him!
Please keep him in your prayers as he knows there is a lot to be done once he gets home to maintain his sobriety.