Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spelling Words

"Daddy?  How do you spell 'mom'?"
"M - O - M."

"Daddy?  How do you spell 'died'?"

Heavy sigh.  I swallow hard,  "D - I - E - D."

And so began our after-dinner family activity.  Homework for the eight-year-old and some quiet activity like reading or drawing for my five-year-old.  Tonight he decided to write a message and transports us to another time.

Mom died on April 29 I did not no that and then we ate. A piece of pizza and then we watched tv.

Tears welling in my eyes, I gently query my five-year-old. "Really, we ate pizza?"  I had no recollection.
"Yeah, Daddy.  We ate pizza after we stopped crying."

I guess that's true.  I was being eaten whole by grief and don't remember the moments after my boys came bounding home and I had to tell them the apocalyptic news that mom died.  I don't think I ate, or drank, for a couple days until friends forced food on me.  I lost 12 pounds in two weeks.  My boys logged hour upon hour of television and wii time.  We slept together every night. Sort of slept.

My memory of those early hours following that sudden and inexplicable moment are fragmented like some horrible swirling nightmare from a childhood fever I now, as an adult, vaguely remember.  And it's a five-year-old that conjures it forward from his memory as he learns to spell words.


  1. Still can't believe this happened! And yet - even on that horrible day - your son points out how life continued. As it does now - one day, one step, and one slice of pizza at a time. You will continue to be strong and your sons will help you.

  2. I'm so sorry, John. We are spelling words with our 4 and 5 year olds right now too. I could not imagine living your daily nightmare. I'm sorry she isn't here to help him spell "I love mom and doing my homework with her". :'(

  3. "fragmented nightmare." Yeah. What we carry around in us, some of us, and the places it shows up.

  4. Thanks. I'm nearing the one year mark with my four year old. Today he remembered details about Dad's birthday that had become foggy for me. "Remember Mom, remember how we fixed up breakfast for Dad on his birthday. Mom, why do we still have the strawberry milk?"

    If you can write notes and attach them to balloons, why can't you fly a whole German chocolate cake up there into the stratosphere? Not sure what to do for his birthday on Friday...

    Anyhow, your thoughts help. Thanks.

  5. To speak English well, you need vocabulary, a nice accent, and good grammar. To write English well, you need vocabulary, grammar, an understanding of punctuation and good spelling. helps to advance in both the category.
    Give a shot..!!