The boys are…well, doing the best they can. #s 1,2, and 3 are pretty good at expressing how they feel and have been grieving their own ways. I can see it in them and it is satisfying in a way, because I know they’re processing it all. I have been worried about #4, because he seemed to be *not* dealing with it,acting as if nothing much happened, and it has been worrying. It’s not healthy. However, this morning he started talking about what he was doing, and how he was having trouble with his routine because Dad wasn’t a part of it. Doing his normal stuff and not having Himself yell at him for spending too much time in the shower, or leaving his stuff laying on the floor, or even just hearing Himself’s footsteps going down the stairs in the morning, was getting to him. He described the knot in his stomach and how food tasted funny and how he just wanted to sleep.
Finally…what a relief. No, I am not happy that my son is suffering, but sorrow is normal and the apparent lack of it scared me.
#1 and Himself had a contentious relationship. They were so very different in nearly every way. There was anger and bitterness and a bunch of other hard feelings between them. isn’t there generally a kid who doesn’t get along with their father? It hurt me to see it, for both of them. I kind of felt pulled both directions, wanting to defend each of them to the other one. He (#1) was able to let go of the bitterness and all the garbage, and the change has been pretty profound. He is writing again (see the eulogy he wrote, and you’ll understand that this is a VERY good thing). This is one of those things that, for me, is joy amidst the sorrow.
#2 is showing some very real changes as well. I won’t go into them as they are very personal and not mine to tell, but…more joy amidst the sorrow.
#3 is busy, he deals with hardship by getting active and doing stuff. I understand that, as it is my way as well. Mind you, I don’t do it by dumping a load of 2x4s out of my truck while driving down the road, but whatever it takes. He was taking them somewhere to do something useful.
And now, instead of smiling and acting like nothing really happened, #4 is feeling it and showing it. I was so worried about him, that he would keep it bottled in then it would explode out in the worst possible way. But no, it is the right way. He has an appointment to meet with our pastor later this week. There are many men in the church who are ready to walk beside him in this, and for that, I am profoundly grateful. I can’t be a dad, and there is no age when a boy doesn’t need that.
And now I am getting busy as well. It feels good. It’s real stuff, too, contacting the companies he worked for to get the pensions lined up, getting necessary documents and appointments with social security people and all that good stuff. I want to say this and be clear about it: Do not talk to me about government bureaucrats. They have been the kindest and most helpful people through all of this. Everyone, from government workers to the HR people at assorted companies, have been helpful. All you have to do is be polite back, and thank them for their help.
And here is something that made me smile: A little bit ago I was printing out a cover letter for something, and before the letter printed out, a photo of Himself, looking smug and smoking a fat cigar, printed out….What’s amazing is that I had printed other stuff before this, no photo…but out came the picture as I was doing the last bit of printing to get the documents mailed off. I am going to take that as a “Hello, Rootietoot, you’re doing well!”