Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ripping Time

"Daddy, are you coming to my school today?"
"What's at school today?"
"It's my birthday."


Amy attended nearly every school function. Book day, skit day, parent lunch day, field trip chaperon day, and so on. Her part-time work arrangement allowed for flexibility and a level of work-life balance I just didn't have. For each boy's birthday she'd bring in cupcakes for the class for whatever celebration occurred.

So now we mark the passing of our first birthday without a wife; without a mother.

Last week I overheard a turn of phrase that I thought was curious. As I heard it a thought started rising in me. "Amy will find that curious. I can't wait to share it." That thought, still forming, was consumed by another thought: "Sorry. Can't do that. Amy's dead."

With each passing day, lingering remnants of a "past future" are snatched away. In vain, time applies that past future to an unwilling present. Each thread from the past future fabric stretches and tears, slowly rending from an emerging present.

Now I see my boys, of course, rending their time-fabric too.


  1. As I said, look for tomorrow's will rise. Your old friend sits here in the backround should you need me.

  2. If you'd find tips from us mothers helpful, I'd be glad to share how we stay organized and "do it all". It is a lot of work but definitely doable!

    I cannot imagine how hard it must be to have a thought or moment you want to discuss with Amy and then realize all over again that you will never be able to ask her in this lifetime. I'm so sorry. You and Amy didn't deserve this. I'm so sorry this isn't just a bad dream. :( Hang in there for the boys. And to me, you are doing an amazing job!!

  3. Yes, John, you absolutely are doing an amazing job dealing with all of this. Ripping--what a beautiful way of putting something so painful. It's good to keep track of what's going on with you guys on this blog, and Amy did more than most of us part-time-work moms can manage. She certainly had the energy of 2 or 3 of me.


  4. Keep writing and compare yourself to no one. You're doing it. Day by day. Your way. One foot in front of the other. Amy must be so proud of you all.

  5. John,

    I still feel at a loss for words - your courage and grace amaze me.

    As another post noted, there are moms ready to help with advice (and clearly a community ready to help in other ways too).

    I'm recalling a conversation I had with Kyland not long ago about gifts - he said his son never seemed as joyful about presents since his wife died. "I get him what he asks for, but it just doesn't work." I told him its the mom technique to look for the little things not asked for but exuding the spirit of the receiver - that's where the fun of presents comes.

    I suspect you have plenty of resources for such items, but holler if you need my list of online and local sources. And we'll have to make sure to go to Franklin's together before the holidays.

  6. 9 months after my mother died I was far from home, in a place where her absence was less obvious. I was in a music store and they were playing a funny song that she would have loved. I picked up a cd from the display and said "I have to get this, my mother would love it." About 3/4 of the way through that sentence the realization swept in that she would have loved it, but would never have the chance to hear it. It made it hard to speak, I'm not sure what I would have said anyway, so I just paid the clerk who was already ringing it up, chatting happily about how nice it was for me to buy my mother this gift.