I know these types of posts bother folks. So, this is your ~~~Warning~~~ I was asked how I think Shawn would respond to my difficulties regarding my guilt about his death, if he could speak to me directly. I cannot go down that road. I will do posts like these, occasionally, as a way of working through my guilt and grief. These posts are how I am sure conversations between Shawn and myself would take place. We were still at the getting reacquainted stage, when he died, but I am sure I will accurately portray what Shawn would say.
Today is an unb.day, for me. I will explain after I say: I have no idea why or when I started calling birthdays~~~b.days. I just liked how it sounded, and I have done this for many years. My real b.day, is February 29th, which happens once every 4 years. The day is called Leap Day. The year it happens is called Leap Year. This has been confusing for many a folk. Those of us born on Leap Day are often called Leapers. Growing up I never knew anyone else with the same b.day. Several years ago I had the opportunity to attend a b.day party for “Leapers”. It was so neat meeting other leapers. People often ask when do I celebrate my b.day on a non Leap Year. My Hub says, “It is the second between February 28th and March 1st. I was born shortly after midnight, on February 29, so, February 28th was the day chosen for my un-b.day -as I call them (unbirthdays). Recently, I had filled out required spaces for the Starbucks rewards system, March 1 was chosen as my birthday for receiving a free drink. I called them up and explained and asked if my unb.day could be changed to February 28. They made an unneeded apology and made the changes. I am curious what the Starbucks system will do next year ??? Which reminds me, I had forgotten that I have crossed over into the teen years. Next year will be #14, for me. WOW !!! None of this b.day stuff is meant to come across as braggadocios, it is just one aspect of silly me.
WAKE UP MOM !!! I know you don’t sleep well, but I needed to get this out of the way. I am not going to wish you a happy b.day. I know that since I have been gone, it’s one of those days you dread. BUT I needed you to be reminded that I loved having you as a Mom. I hope you will appreciate the kindnesses of others, when they do Happy b.day you.
Shawn you scared me. No I still do not sleep well. And, a few weeks ago, when I was actually sleeping, someone yelled, Shawn is dead !!! I do not know where the voice came from-it was very loud and firm. I dread sleeping because I have to wake to the reality of your goneness. Besides, you know me, I just startle easily.
So Mom, today is your 2nd b.day, since I died. Actually, you would call it an un-b.day. I know this has been a very tough year-those reality slams are real gut getters. Mom, it is your guilt you place on yourself I am concerned about. I think you need to read what you wrote for my 31st b.day. On my birth day, you were ready to die so I could live, how in the wooorld would I ever be able to think you wouldn’t do ALL you could for me before my end ? I don’t want you to be so sad. Fact is, I am sure there are many who miss the jovial side of you. Somehow, Mom, I need you to trust that God knew what was best. Mom, could you please tell me what have been the hardest things to deal with, since I died ?
Shawn, a couple of phrases that have pierced: God is purging sin from my life, and this will make me stronger. Some words just are not helpful, especially for a person like me, guilt filled, good or bad though it be. I feel awful that I have told God, “I hate this (your goneness), I hate this, so much” . I learned, this week, that I have 3 issues challenging me: 1. (M) menopause known as a negative. 2, (G) grief is a sad and a negative. 3. (A) asthma is a frustration. I guess that just puts things out in the open. I learned that these issues are exhausting and very trying. I have been told I need to cut myself some slack—well, that is a job in itself !!! My difficulties with M, G, A (listed above) are not the worst things I have to deal with, nor is the loneliness of my journey. The hardest thing for me, is the dread of every minute, every month and every year, of your goneness. I don’t want to face it every breathing moment, but that I must. Nothing can fill the void of your goneness. Nothing is appealing. Life hurts so bad. Why did God need this to happen ? I had a moment when I was reviewing with God my strange life-it has not been an easy one-I told God I just need a little break.
Shawn, someone told me that my grief is selfish. They said it was wrong of me, knowing your condition and wanting you to survive. They asked if I really realized how awful life would have been, for you. All I can say is I never wanted you to have to live such a pain filled life. I just miss you. I just miss your voice. In the hospital, I loved it when you would rest your head on my hand. I think folks don’t really understand the pain of goneness, especially , a child, especially the hard decisions that had to be made.
Mom, look how far you have come. You have been a good and reliable worker. I just wish I could have seen you driving your bus. Gives me chills, my Mom driving such a big rig !
Hey Shawn, I was thinking about my bus. I came across this photo with both Bob and myself, in buses. How sweet of you to have put them on the wall. I think it looked like one of my ornaments, there, as well. I need to enlarge it and look again. I am driving a different bus than the one in this photo. I want to continue driving, this one, until I retire. I drove it before your situation, so it holds specialness for me. I am changing its name. It is going to be called, Champ. You see I was asked to come up with a phrase about you. You will forever be a champion, in my eyes. Hey Shawn, I decided I am like my bus.
Oh Mom, I cannot wait to hear what you mean by that-you are so silly.
Yeah, well you see~~~keep in mind, I am not a mechanic~~~ this is in simple terms. The brake system on my bus is controlled by air aided by a D2 governor. Every time I press the brake, air is used. The air compressor refills the air tank reservoirs. When the tanks reach 120 psi the air compressor shuts off. The D2 governor, controls the amount of air in the tanks and spits extra air out, which is damp. (Air dryers and automatic drain valves are found on many newer school buses; however, daily manual draining ensures no contaminates migrate into critical components, such as brake valves and chambers . The ABCs of Air Brakes for School Bus Drivers Earning an air-brake endorsement doesn’t mean that a driver fully understands the air-brake system. Here’s a primer that will help to fill in the gaps. by henever you go past a bus like mine and there is an air release noise, the driver is not trying to scare folks. It is just the bus at work. At the end of each day I pull a chain that helps drain the air tanks of dirty moist air.
So how are you like your bus ?
Well Shawn, I think I have an internal D2 governor. My emotion tanks, need draining, throughout the day. Various things are involved in my reality slams, causing a build up. Sometimes I just need to decompress. My release is through: sobbing, groans and questionings. Hope that made some sense.
Mom, it is quite the visual.
Shawn, this is so weird. After all these years, a vivid recollection came to mind. It is of a coat and hat, Gram Million made for me. She did not use a pattern, she just had a picture in her mind of what she was going to make. I remember the process, being measured and fitted. The color was a dark teal. The fabric was tight loops- kind of a wool look, like on a lamb. The buttons seemed large and were a dark teal. The reason this is a big deal, today makes that memory at least 50 years old. So, if God has me live 50 more years I should be able to hold tight the special memories I have of you, My Precious Shawner.
Hey Mom, wish I could have met Gram Million. Sounds like the 2 of you were cut from the same cloth.
Oh, Mom ! I think it is neat that you used my sunrise photo for your blog background. I hope Melissa remembers it, and can tell you about it.
Shawn, I was so tickled to get your photo up. This blogging stuff has been tough-so much to learn !!! In time, maybe I will see it”s purpose. Every time I plan to stop writing, someone pops in and says to not stop. Whatever !!!
Mom, “Loopin’ ” ? I know some don’t appreciate your way of using words, but it always gave me chills to hear the cute words or phrases you came up with. I am proud of you for “loopin'” before each work day. I know you use the time to pray for a lot of folks. I know you have a very heavy heart, even for those in other countries whom you will never meet. I am, so thankful for the prayers for my big sis, Melissa. I think it is great you pray for ALL of my family. Thank you. I still want my children to know you as Gram K. You need to find ways to interact more with them.
Shawn, speaking of words, when I am typing and the spell checker activates, there is a box: add to dictionary. I love that. Regarding praying, I must admit since my prayers for you didn’t work I have been nervous praying for others.
Hey Mom, I was in a very bad condition, after the fire. AND, yes, to save my family, I would do it again. Right now, it is too early for you to accept, or be at peace with. A lot took place at my end. It is going to take you a long time to heal. It is my prayer that God would ease your tormented soul.
Mom, before we close, I pray that God give you many wonderful memories of our short time we had together.