Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cheese Cubes and Orange Jello

I made an iPhoto slideshow, photos of Robb at Christmas.  I paired it with Sarah McLachlan's WinterSong, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and Song for a Winter's Night.  These are the lyrics and melodies of my heart this season.

Dozens of pictures.

Robb hugging me in falling snow.
Robb teaching Tucker how to unwind the lights to hang outside.
Robb giving them their Christmas jammies that Santa always brought early.
Robb holding Tucker in the Baby Bjorn while he ironed the red satin bows for our Christmas tree.
The Christmas when Tyler was the bump inside my belly.
Tyler with a big, red bow on his noggin.
Robb teaching Tucker how to run the remote for the Christmas train, the one that circles our tree this year.
A picture of four Starbucks cups lined in a row, our treat last year before we drove around town looking at lights.
Robb playing his trombone at our church's event last Christmas, days before he would die.

I showed it to the boys tonight.  I wanted it to matter to them.  My expectations were perhaps unfair.  They wiggled and squirmed.  They had the attention spans of a four-year-old and six-year-old.  Imagine that.

"Look, boys.  Look.  Look.  Look!"  I became exasperated as I watched pictures go by - one of Robb helping Tucker play the trombone, another one of him wearing matching Santa hats with Tyler.

Please, boys, look.  I want you to know that this happened.

"Mommy, are you crying because we were so cute?"

"No, I'm crying because I miss Daddy.  I miss him."

"Mommy, I want my hot chocolate."

"Mommy, I want my blanket."

"Boys, I don't want to talk right now.  I don't want you to talk.  I want you to watch.  Please watch."

I wanted them to see the proof.  I am terrified they are forgetting.  I want them to know it happened.  It happened, boys. He was here.

The movie finished.  I was furious.
Furious that they didn't watch,
furious that my heart spills into my lungs and makes it hard to breathe,
furious that he isn't here.
Tears streamed down my cheeks.  
I held a tissue over my face to hide 'the ugly cry.'


"Yes, Tuck."

"I love Daddy.  And I miss him."

"Me, too, Tuck."

"But, Mommy?"

"Yes, Tuck."

He whispered, as if he were telling a shameful secret, "I'm just not sad right now."

Well said, my little man.  I understand that.  "It's okay, buddy. You don't have to be."

Tyler brought to me the painting of the panda Tucker made in kindergarten Art Club.  "Here, Mommy.  This will cheer you up."

I set it on the coffee table, amidst my wads of tissues.

They didn't need the movie tonight. I did.
They didn't need the reminders.  I did.
They are not forgetting him.
We talk about him everyday.
They haven't gone a year without looking at him.
His pictures line our walls.
He is alive in their minds.  Very alive in their minds.

And someday that movie will be a keepsake for them.  Proof: it really, truly happened.  He was really, truly here.

Tyler ate cheese cubes and orange jello for breakfast because I couldn't get out of bed this morning.  I couldn't get out of the damn bed.

And tomorrow waits for me.  And I'm pretty sure there's another day after that.


Catherine said...

Hugs to you today. I have been there. We are two years out and those days are fewer and further between, but they do still come. And it's ok, they will not starve on cheese cubes and jello.

Becky Johnson said...

Well, if I could cuss for you right now online, I would, but I am scared to. Oh, Tricia, I love you for being raw, for helping me with my own unhealthy grief for you and your family. I think about you all every day as I plan our holidays....nothing else to say right now. Let me get my own tissues and stop heaving. By the way, I loved that part where you said you were, "furious that my heart spills into my lungs and makes it hard to breath.." that was beautiful. Truly beautiful and awful too. Please know I am spurring you on dear sister.

Emily Kaye said...

Even though there are no words...there is love and prayers. Praying for you tonight and always.

gluten free girl in a pasta world said...

I'm so sorry you are sad. I would love to watch your movie if you want to share it. I bet I'm not the only one!

Catherine said...

I cried for you last night and I will continue to do so. I can't imagine how hard this season will be for you but please know that you have so much prayer coming your way. You're allowed to feel miserable and if you ever need help with your boys, please let me know. I'm so glad you had such a good husband and you can remember all of the amazing things he did for you and the boys. I'm so thankful that he will be remembered, always, through your beautiful writing.

April said...

I do not know you, but I think of you everyday. I pray God gives you the strength to get through the days. (I have even bought a book by Henri Nouwen because of your blog.) Please keep writing, it inspires me to keep moving on. Our grief is different, but we are ALL in this together. Grace and peace to you!

Peter and Kim said...

You are allowed to "need" the movie, the visual reminders. You are a brave woman, as you walk this road.
I am praying for you. Someone recently said to me, "I dreamed I was at your funeral, Kim; it was awful." I gasped and breathed a prayer for you--how did that person know YOU have been on my mind? That comment made me think of your pain...and pray that God strengthens you in these days.
~Kim A.

Jameson said...

Tyler will survive. Cheese cubes are healthy and Jello cubes are yummy. It's okay to be sad. It's okay not to be sad. It isn't necessarily a choice. Sometimes the feelings just exist within us. Blessings and prayers.

Kelly Hickman said...

I think you are right. The boys are young and they are living like a four and six year old. But one day that slideshow will be priceless to them. Priceless.

Lindsey said...


Amy said...

Hi Trish- I just wanted you to know that you are covered in prayer this week and that I will be specifically and intentionally lifting you up to the Lord and placing you before God's throne. I'm a friend of Melissa's (she used to be my Bible Study leader back in college) which is how I first heard your story and found your blog. I live in South Africa now as a missionary, where we don't even really celebrate Christmas the traditional way, which leaves me all the more time to pray for you and your family over the holidays.

I pray that you would not just know but FEEL His presence with you and that He would FILL your every want, wish, need and longing in your heart. I'm praying the blessing of God's presence, provision and sustaining power over you in this moment.

He is with you.

Love from Africa- Amy