Friday, January 28, 2011

safety freak

Photo from here

My minivan has a back-up beeper installed and I never fail to safety goggles when required.
I realize that teenagers at the bus stop snicker as I stride by sporting my safety vest covered in all its' reflective glory and a red light flashing out a constant reminder of the whereabouts of my hindend.
And in the past, I would have worried that this safety gear would identify me as a complete dork. A safety freak. Now I see it as protecting my kids.
By wearing this protective paraphernalia, I am hopefully preventing the possibility of creating two little orphans.
I am terrified of leaving them alone in the world. Without Daddy....and then without Mommy.
I have stopped short of wearing bubble wrap beneath my clothing. But I do get my flu shot and wear a helmet when riding my bike. For my kids. I'll do it because they do still need me.

Friday, January 21, 2011

who you were

Some of the fishing companies that Jeff had worked for would provide jackets for the crew with their name embroidered on the shoulder. Once when asked what Jeff wanted marked on his sleeve (he had a plethora of nicknames that could of been used in his name's stead), he had remarked, "Just Jeff". When his coat arrived with "Just Jeff" scribed upon the arm, he had thought it was ruined. I had thought it described him perfectly.
Recently, I have noticed that the person who Jeff was and who Jeff is now imagined to be has shifted. I feel that I alone (aside from his mother and sister) can remember him with his real faults and with his true strengths. To others, he has become an icon.
I've heard him described as a 'Viking'. I've heard another express that he thought Jeff would have loved playing a Wii. When telling a dear friend how Liv had a MASSIVE temper tantrum and that I had (in the heat of the battle) told her that her father would have not stood for her hitting and kicking me, the friend said, "Oh yes, he would have. He was a sucker when it came to her."
I understand that the phenomenon that occurs when someone has died - they become someone in many people's eyes that they actually weren't while they breathed. But it angers me. I find myself correcting other's opinions, recollections and estimations of Jeff's personality. At times, the listener wants to stubbornly hold onto their new 'version' of Jeff. They argue with me, "I know Jeff would have given Briar a toy gun!"
But they're wrong.
He was huge, tall and strong. He could be crushingly terrifying - but he wasn't a least not once he was old enough to have some sense. Jeff hated video games and thought they were a waste of time. Although Liv had Jeff in her pocket, he believed that children must treat their mothers with respect and kindness and at times, he was annoyingly intolerant of her childish ways. Jeff did hunt. He had guns. But he swore that they were not toys and that he would teach both of our children the proper use of these tools.
I am amazed and resentful that some people believe that they knew him like I did. I despise the image that they have created. I want to remember him as he was - Just Jeff.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I' m here. I'm having difficulty feeling "up" and creative. I feel beyond overwhelmed. I feel sad....and somewhat lost.
Liv is struggling in school. Academically she excels....Emotionally she is filled with anxiety and fear. It pains my heart. I want to help her but don't know how. She refuses any support I try to offer in the way of therapists, doctors, etc. I try myself but I am no expert in the way of childhood grief. She is angry....and it spills through our home like a oil slick.
Briar is doing well. He is loving playing L'il Duffers hockey. He's developed an avid interest in dinosaurs. He finds the sadness and stress in the house unbearable.
Life is too busy to comprehend. I am exhausted and sad.
I feel....embarassed that my path through grief has not continued in a steady and linear fashion. I feel like my musings are boring, repetative and redundant. Hence the reason I have rarely posted in the past few months......Sorry. I miss you. I miss your comments and being connected to those out there "in the darkness when I scream - someone can hear".