Audio is Available, My Grief Challenges

Shawn’s Forever 29 February 29, 2016 in October, my elementary passengers asked me my age. They remembered that I have a funny Then, it dawned on me, I was going to have a real in 2016.  I gave them a couple numbers to multiply so they could figure my age. It wasn’t until I heard their answer, that I put it together; my real b.days are on February 29,  Shawn was 29 when he died. So, Shawn’s forever 29. Shawn Watering the Lawn1   Could this be one of my Shawn connections from God ?

Back in November, I had visited my family for Thanksgiving. Upon my return, Bob told me that he had had more troubles with the gold car. My Gold Car   I knew this time was it~I needed to find a way to let a Shawn connection go. Another bum from my trip; was when I figured out  that somewhere between Moscow and Happy Valley, I had lost the 3 mood rings from my bracelet. They were the rings I wore when Shawn was in the hospital. Silly me. Most of the time, I was wearing hospital gloves and couldn’t see if the mood rings were correct. I had lost and found them a couple of times, before. I decided I was not going to let this bother me, they were just silly mood rings. Or, did I let it bother me ? I had been in a sad funk and was begging God to get me out of it.  Well, I ended up with a bad cold to go back to work with. 

Bob’s tell of his problems with the gold car, played over and over, in my mind. “The gold car has to go”, were the words I remember hearing him say.  I, still, have not wanted to let go of the gold car-Shawn rode in it with me to DEQ, when we first bought it-how could I let it go ?

Near the end of each driving day-I am heading to my last school. I have wanted to drop this part of the run. I have not liked it. Before arriving at that school, there is a lighted intersection that I get stuck at,  for several minutes-everyday.

 Around November 30th my mind kept replaying Bob telling me his troubles with the gold car. I was looking at the various cars passing in front of me.  I saw Soul after Soul after Soul: gray, black, light brown, red and a lot of  green.  This happened several times. About December 14, I was getting tired of this. Why was I noticing these cars-I hadn’t before ???   I told God if I am to let the gold car go, then I need something that will be me. I told God I needed a deep blue, Soul. Since I had not seen one, I figured I was safe and would not have to let go of the gold car. One Wednesday night I could not sleep. I looked up the Kia  Soul website. I decided to see what color choices there were. I could  not believe what I saw,  the color was called “Moonlight Blue”.

The next day I asked my friend at work if she liked her Soul-she was so pleased with her new car. In-fact,  all 3 bus drivers that have Souls-they love them.  I asked how much my friend had paid for hers. I choked when she said 20,000 $. I told her I could not see Bob agreeing to that. I told her the color I wanted. Her car was black and only a few months old.  She  said she did not know there was a  blue one. The next 2 days, at that same signal,  I asked God to help me let go of the gold car. I told Him that if I could find a Moonlight Blue, Soul, I would try to let go of the gold car.          I am hard pressed to explain why I have such a difficult time letting go of anything that has a Shawn connection.

It was a Saturday when I gave Bob a hint of what I was looking into. I do not think he took me seriously. I went to Carmax off the Expressway-December 22. David Paul Greene was my helper. I told him I was gathering information, on a specific car, to give to my husband.  David did not even know that Kia Soul came in a deep blue color. Blue being my favorite color !!! David typed in the information and found a dark blue Soul, in Beaverton.    Moonlight Blue Kia        As we were talking, out of the blue, David mentioned that I could keep the plates from my gold car. Those words nailed it for me-why I do not know.   With Christmas a couple days away, I would need to give David permission to get the car here, so I could check it out. If I wanted to see it before the new year. I had told him: “No hurry.  I want to do this-with Bob’s okay, on my 14th-I am proud to say.”

  We did the starting paperwork so I could go to the bank. I found out I could have had a check that night.  I told B~~ at the bank, that I was in no hurry and that I was doing this for my real She told me that interest rates would be going up the first of the year.  I  said: “No thanks. I need to pray that Bob will be okay with this, but most of all that he wouldn’t feel I was twisting his arm.” 

On December 22nd, I had an appointment with my counselor. He and I discussed the things that are causing me some problems. Then I told him about a change I thought I needed to make. At first, he seemed surprised. I think he thought I was going to say something else. Then his face cheered up-after hearing the details of finding my new car. He thought the idea was very good. He said he thought I needed something to  work towards,  for the next few years.

I went home and told Bob about my research.  He did what I thought he would. He found a white Soul half the price. I simply said: “It is the wrong color.”       The next morning, Bob looked up the white Soul-it was sold.  I told Bob he could have bought it for himself. I told Bob I was going to ask for the car to be brought over. Because of Christmas closures, it would take a day or 2 longer.

December 23rd I got in touch with David, at CarMax and asked him if the car could be brought over. Because of Christmas closings, there was no way to know when the car would get here.

On the 28th I had a work physical. I drove past CarMax, on the Expressway, on my way to turn in work  physical papers.  I saw a black Soul where my Moonlight Blue should have been. After my work stop, I mustered up the courage to stop at CarMax and make sure they had the right car-or all was off. I knew David had the day off and was worried who could help me. The hello guy asked if I needed help. I told him that I just needed to make sure they had the right car. He pointed  the way and said: “The car should be open if I needed to sit in side.” It was a long way down the row of cars. Until I was about 3 cars away, I was still sure it was a black car.   It was my car, the right color. It was locked, so, I took photos.   2015-12-28 13.06.32The 28th Bob and I were running around before traffic was too bad. We were at the bank, We were given a list of to dos regarding papers for the car. Bob said: “Well, it looks like you won’t be getting a real gift for quite some time.”  I said something like; that was fine-this is something I need to do.   I told both David and B~~ Dec. 29, 2015 was to be the day the transaction needed to happen. 

The 29th, Bob had a bus class, he assured me, we could make the 4:30, bank appointment.  David would be waiting, for us, around 5.  I started counting down- in less than 12 hours, the gold car will no longer be ours.  All the paperwork went smoothly. I was glad for Bob reading and agreeing to and declining details I did not understand. At CarMax, we got to see the new car. Right next to it was a dark blue Challenger-the kind-of car Bob wants. He jokingly said how thrilled he was for my car choice, as he went in the opposite direction I was going. He was just a teasin’ me.

David admitted he knew there were cheaper cars, but I had been so exact with my choice,  he didn’t have the heart to try and convince me otherwise, especially after this one popped up.  There were so many papers to sign. Then, I saw behind me, the gold car being checked over. Then, the emotions started brewing. I was signing papers with shaky hands and tear filled eyes. I was having such a hard time when I signed over the gold car. Would I lose that connection with Shawn.  

I do not think I have shared the name of my new car. When I had shared it with my counselor, he was very pleased. The name of my new car is: My Focus Changer. It is my project. I needed something to put my focus towards. I even have a blue heart to pin each payment onto.    I realize this has been wordy and could be shrunk down, a lot, but I wanted to get as many details in, as possible, for my rememberings. 

Yes, I do know that my new car will not heal my depression, but I think it gives me something to work for-monthly. Yep, My Focus Changer.

So, today is my 14th, real, I have had the car for 2 months. I totally, love it !!!  

My Grief Challenges

Baby Blue Eyes !!! February 8, 2014

Last Sunday, at church, I was seated in the balcony. Bob was home sick. It was the time in the service where folks go down to the front of church and get communion elements. There were two young men getting ready to head down. The last one looked right at me. What I saw broke me, to the max. I saw Shawn’s baby blue eyes, looking right at me, just how Shawn would look. I was pierced to my core. No one else looked at me. For that matter,  it is very seldom, that anyone looks our way, as they head down for offering or communion. Why this time ? How can another person have such a resemblance, making me to wonder-maybe my Shawner is just in disguise ? Maybe he is still here. Then I am yanked back to reality.  

I thank God for a precious young woman, who sat down next to me. She just sat and sang the hymn, ever so gently and sweetly-I guess I must have broken down-I don’t remember. I did apologize that I wasn’t positive like her and her relative- who is going  through a difficult time.  How can God, ever, use someone like me ?

On purpose, each day,  I check  my calender.  I have the days numbered, since Shawn died,  A kind of reality check-if you will. For some reason, I keep mixing up the days -or misplacing them. 

I know,  in my head, why my heart is so torn.  My heart does not want to accept  Shawn’s death, he is not “safe in my arms”, this all seems, so wrong.  Many have told me, Shawn is better off.  I just cannot see that right now. Am I so wrong ?

I, often wonder, if I am  the only one struggling with being positive through grief ?

Thus, started another challenging week. I don’t know why I get caught off guard, but, I hit a wall, hard, in the middle of the week.  I hit another wall on Friday. No, not actual walls.  A grief slam. When I looked back, over events, to see why it was so hard, and how could I do better, I realized, Wednesdays and Fridays,  continue to be hell days for me. Oh how I hope Shawn didn’t think I was “torturously” keeping him alive. Such torments. Or, as I said last post, did I not have enough faith for God to heal him ? There seems to be no peace, just gut churnings of guilt. I know folks tell me it is a false guilt, but from where I am, as a mother-I, totally, failed my son. This is something that plagues me, constantly.  Am I like an addict that can’t get above the need of a fix, in my case, a guilt fix ?   How does a Mom truly find peace, with the choices like  I had to make ?  All of you must get pretty frustrated that I cannot just let things go ?

I have been told I am not trusting God.  I feel like Christian, in the “Slough of Despond”. Do I need to calm down, to find the steps out ?

The truth of the reality of Shawn’s goneness, is increasingly more real, each day-no matter how hard I try, I cannot stop it. I do not want to face the actual knowingness of Shawn’s death-it hurts so much !!!  I have seen others come through this type of storm. So, I know it is doable.  For now, it seems so impossible. Then, again,  I am hit with the perfectionism, in me, another task I am failing.         I also, often, wonder what Psalm 23 means in verse 4: “Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me ?” Is it happening and I am just unaware, right now ?

Thursdays have been strange. Each one, since Shawn died, forgottens, have been popping out of my memory folder. Books Melissa, Shawn and myself had read during our home-school reading times. This past Thursday, for whatever reason, I remembered about a book we had read, together, titled: “Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett.   In the story, ivy hid the secret garden’s door. I ended up watching the movie, on youtube.

I was taken back to the time when Shawn had planted some ivy for me. I wanted it to grow, over the trellis that was over the pond. When Shawn came back, Bob and I were going to pay him to do various tasks for me, until he found a job. We were in the process of figuring out our schedules.  Shawn being Shawn, was eager to get some work done. It had not entered my brain to have tools outside, in case Shawn came over while I was at work. Upon my return home, one day, for some reason, I had gone to the back yard. There was Shawn-he had not heard me, He was on his knees. No gloves, no tools, just digging a hole, in the rocky clay soil, and placing the ivy, in. My eyes filled with tears, as I watched him.  He, then, stood up, embarrassed that I caught him. He was hoping to have it finished, before I came home. His fingers were bloody from digging in the rocky clay soil. 

That ivy, and the trees that Shawn helped me move, make it hard for me to ever want to move from this house. I pray God will allow me to stay with these memories.  All this made me wonder: How do others, show us, they care ? What precious memories do we pass along to others ? What actions, of love, speak louder than words ?

2013-05-10 15.46.41K