I have not been able to write for a while due to two reasons, the first being that we were in Mexico for a week, and the second reason is that I usually do a new post in the evening, but that has been the time that I miss Drew the most.
All things considered, we are doing well, but I will try to tell you a little about what life is like right now. Please don't be discouraged in reading this, and I will try not to write sad posts too often. I will finish this post (which threatens to be lengthy...) with an update about our trip.
As long as I can remember I have most often woken up with an excitement for the day ahead. I still wake up with that feeling and then my mind adjusts itself as I remember again that Drew is not with us. He is here, just not HERE. The favorite part of my day was going in with Peyton to get Drew, seeing him get so excited to see us, and watching him and Peyton together. I miss that. I don't start off sad, just resigned. Peyton is usually awake first so the day is usually off to a flying start, and often with a laugh or a shake of my head at something Peyton is up to (thankfully). We have been doing a daily Bible reading at breakfast, which often lately has had some mention of the Lord healing someone, so it always provides a good conversation and again, some more reflection. After that there is so much time to fill in the day - I am not accustomed to having a preschool child around!!! I have always had a baby! In the last 4 years I have always had a diaper bag and a baby with baby's needs to meet. Even though Peyton has always been around, before Drew he was a toddler. During Drew he was a toddler/preschool child, but Drew had needs to be met and Peyton had to share his time. Now it's just Peyton - what a difference!
Peyton is so glad to have me around all the time that he wants me to participate in everything he does all day long. I find myself battling inside to balance things because I know there are still things to be done, but I feel like I need to spend every waking minute with Peyton. I am driving myself in circles with this! I know he needs to learn to play on his own and that it's ok to spend some time doing the things I want/need to do, but given our experience over the last 5 months and the state of mind due to grieving I feel almost guilty if I don't spend my time with Peyton. Oy! I do enjoy life with a preschool child though I must admit. He is very entertaining. He is actually probably the best thing for Jordan and I as we go through this - though he misses Drew like crazy and often asks about him he only pauses for this reflection for a moment before resuming life with joy and energy. He provides a good reminder that though we will always be aware of Drew, after giving grief it's place, life ought to carry on.
Usually throughout the day there is something that triggers a strong memory of Drew, which I ought to be thankful for I think, but right now, it just makes me a bit sad. I found a sheet the other day in my laundry pile that used to be on Drew's bed. For a moment I thought it might smell like Drew and I desperately searched for his smell on that sheet. It wasn't there, and I remembered we had washed it so his cousin could use it. But as I was remembering this for a moment some part of my brain prompted the thought, "That's ok, I can go upstairs and smell him deeply." It was like a blow to the gut as the rest of my brain quickly reminded me that I couldn't do that. It's a very strange place to be. There must be recesses in my mind that have yet to deal with this idea and the permanence of it.
By the time Daddy gets home from work in the evening, I am glad to have his presence around, and find strength and comfort in it. Peyton and I have alot of fun together and as mentioned before, I can't go through the day moping, crying, or grieving, partly due to Peyton bringing joy, and partly because I don't want to upset Peyton. (I learned this week that if Peyton sees me like that for long or if I talk about Drew alot during a day it is harder for him and he cries alot. The one day like that this week every time he got hurt or was upset about something, it turned into a cry over Drew being gone.)
Evenings are the hardest, after Peyton has gone to bed. Over the last couple months that was some of the most special time with Drew for both Jordan and I. It is hard for many reasons, aside from it being time that was so special that now seems empty. I can finally let my feelings show in the evening, and I am also much more emotional (on a normal day) in the evening. This is a bad combination! Poor Jordan! Someone will need to take him out for a break once in a while! This combination is the reason I haven't blogged this week. If I have been even keel, I don't want to open the floodgates, and if I haven't been even keel, writing has felt like too much to do.
The grief process is strange. I think the most frustrating realization right now apart from the obvious is that this is not just a stage that will last a week, or a month, or a year or two, but rather something that will be with us to some degree for our entire lives! I am praying to our Lord that the pain and rawness will subside and that he will bring flowers out of the snow -- that he will help us not to live with bitterness or deep sadness over this long term, but that we can begin to glow with his radiance through the peace of knowing Drew is with him for as long as we live. I know it will take time to get through the first part, and Jordan and I fully expect to grieve different lengths of time over this. Both a mother and a father will grieve, but they will grieve very different things, and on different levels.
God has blessed us with a couple of relationships that help us cope. There are a few families that we are in contact with that have been through or are going through similar situations that are providing so much support. I am thankful for his hands reaching down through people.
One of the things that gets me the quickest right now is how hard it is to retrieve memories of Drew. If you aren't already the journaling type, please get some paper and a pen and write down those memories you think you will remember. What I wouldn't give right now for a day by day account of what life was like with Drew and of all those special little things he did in a day that I can't seem to remember right now. I wish I would have written even just two words on the calendar every day about the highlight of that day. Two words takes such little time but what gems they can be! I did journal while he was in the hospital but looking back over that I often wrote more about his condition on a given day than about what he was doing. My heart aches over this. As a result, I want to recruit your help. If you have a memory about Drew, can you please send them our way? We can have an online Drew party! All we will need is the music!
I promised an update about our trip - I hope you are not yet too tired of reading. I will keep it short and provide more on the next post. Saturday, October 11th we decided we needed to get away for some family time. We had contemplated it for a while, but that morning we began to look into it diligently. By Saturday mid-day we were booked for a trip to Mexico for a week. Sunday morning we flew out! We have never been so spontaneous our married life, but we are so glad we did it. It was hard to believe we were actually going, but by the time we hit the beach Sunday afternoon it was reality and we were so glad to be there.
If you are a Calgarian, you know what a "wonderful" summer we had this year - not ideal at all unless you like stormy and cool summers. Aside from the weather issues, we were inside most of the summer, so we figured we were far short on our Vitamin D allowance. We also wanted some time apart from any distractions to put our family back together. It was good to get to spend such concentrated time together and being in the sun and warmth was very healing. I could write much more about but want to post pictures too so I will put another post together about our trip.
Thank you to everyone who has sent cards and flowers, and for your prayers - we are so grateful for the thoughtfulness of everyone around us. It helps so much to have this support!!