Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Yesterday we took a crazy little trip down to Espanola, New Mexico to be with Chris, the kids and Kristi’s family. 2 days after his mother’s death, it was Mateo’s 7th birthday.
Mateo and Connor are the same age and used to hang out as babies and toddlers when we still lived in New Mexico. I don’t think they remembered each other – but they definitely struck up a friendship as if no time had passed.
Chris wanted to make Mateo’s birthday as normal as possible. I know it was tough for him to put aside his own intense grief for this one day - but he did it for his son and made it a day all about Mateo.
It felt wrong not to see Kristi there. It feels wrong to see Chris without her. To watch her kids running around without her. It felt so surreal and heartbreaking – I thought that she would walk through the door at any minute… scoop up her baby – kiss Mateo on the head, put her arm around Kaycee…. Roll her eyes at me as our husband’s drank too much and made fools of themselves.
Only she wasn’t there…. And thankfully there was no “drinking too much” on this day.
We watched the kids play and laugh and took what comfort we could from their pure approach to life. And death.
I was glad that we took the long trek down to NM. Connor and Elijah and Mateo beat the crap out of a huge Piňata and Mateo laughed, genuinely, for the first time since Kristi’s death.
It was hard for me to watch Chris. I know exactly where he is right now. I went through it 11 years ago when my first husband Dan died. I cannot imagine going through that kind of intense grief with three kids though… I didn’t have to be responsible to anyone but myself when Dan died. I didn’t have to take care of anyone, change diapers, read bedtime stories… Help 3 little one’s through their own grief. I know that he see’s Kristi every time he looks into their faces.
It was heartbreaking for me to look into their faces. I can’t even imagine what it is like for Chris and Kristi’s mom and sisters. Sweet Kaycee is as calm and collected as she has ever been. I used to call her the smartest 4 year old in the world… With an old soul and eyes that miss nothing. Now, I think she is the smartest 11 year old in the world. I worry that she will grow up too fast – she is already taking on the “mama” role to her little brothers.
Miles is only 18 months old – I wonder if he has any concept of what is happening right now – maybe he knows more than we do. He has steady, soulful eyes. I was holding him at one point and he turned my head towards him and just stared into my eyes for what seemed like forever. He was trying to figure me out.
As we were saying our goodbyes, Kristi’s mom held onto my hands and said, “She loved you guys – and she made sure that we knew it”. I tried really hard not to cry at that point and said, “we really loved Kristi too”..
We dropped the kids off at Scott’s parent’s house and made the long trek back up to Canon City (a 5 hour drive) so that Scott could square up things at work today before we go back down to Espanola (tomorrow) for Kristi’s funeral…. Then up to Denver (on Friday) to catch a flight to Detroit and make it up to my dad’s farm for his memorial service on Saturday. I was initially upset when Scott bought the plane tickets to Detroit – I wanted to be there much earlier – at least a few days so that I could help my siblings prepare for the service. Tickets were just too expensive for anything earlier. I’m glad now. Glad that we are able to be here for Kristi’s funeral.

Right now I sit in a quiet house, alone with my thoughts. I hadn’t realized how much of a GOOD distraction my 3 boys were for me. I’ve never been afraid to be alone with my thoughts – but right now it feels like too much to deal with. I don’t normally survive by distraction and “covering up” but today I must. Time to write a list and prepare for the long next few days ahead of us.

3 comments:

mdk jewelry designs said...

May their memories be eternal.

Have a safe trip and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))) x infinity.

sophie (duckduckgoosestuff) said...

Lovely Rebbekah, your blog has made me cry; I am so sorry and sad for you and yours. I hope you all manage to find the peace you need.

xx

Sherry said...

Rebekah, I was just catching upon your blog, wondering were you've been.

I'm so sorry about your dad and your friend. Having lost my mom, I'm just taking things a little slower than I used to you.

I'll be thinking about you,
Sherry