I’m sitting here, waiting for the sounds of a large truck due any minute to deliver my son’s car from New York. For weeks I’ve thought of this event as “the last big thing.” I actually went to work this morning thinking I could stay busy and just run home for the unloading then return to work. Then it hit me with all the force of a freight train that this really is the
Last Big Thing….
There are so many steps – tasks, really following the death of a loved one. There are people to contact, service arrangements, travel arrangements, accounts to settle….on and on they go like metal rollers on a conveyor belt of grief-life. So many details and decisions to tend to – in a way it keeps you moving forward, which is good. Though there is pain, there is also form, and for a person who likes to keep lists (like me) it has given me a sense of comfort, in a way, to tend to what have really become our responsibilities as though they are still our son’s….and we’re just helping him. His apartment is closed, final bills paid, belongings shipped to our hometown and placed in a newly rented storage facility, services planned, attended, and memorial paraphernalia (pictures, mementos, programs, etc.) neatly stacked in a corner of our bedroom, along with those of my mother who passed just three weeks before Brett…..
What needs to be done today? Who do we call to take care of that? When do you you think we’ll get word on ____? Tasks….jobs….details….all propelling us along to the next day. Some days have gotten easier as there are less and less things to tend to. Most of the paperwork has been handled, no more daily texts and calls with Navy personnel; in fact, all affairs seem to be in order. There’s just the Last Big Thing: Brett’s car.
The sporty little black Nissan Sentra is Brett’s first “real” car. It’s the first one he bought on his own, with his own money. In fact, after getting some advice from his Dad, he decided that, though he had enough in savings to purchase it outright, this would be a great opportunity to establish come credit, so he took out a loan and set up automatic payments so he would never be late. He loved that car! He kept jumper cables and a gas can in the trunk and a fluffy blanket in the backseat for the spur-of-the-moment road trips he was so fond of. It took him from South Carolina to New York where he learned to drive in snow and ice for the first time. He and the Nissan picked up and dropped off countless sailors who either didn’t have rides or needed a DD to get home safely. And it took him to and from work at all crazy hours of the day and night – something I frequently prayed about!
We wanted – we needed that car. It was important to him and that made it so very important to us, not only as Brett’s property, but as a part of him. Finally having it home, here in CA has been the last surge on the conveyor belt. As long as it was “out there” somewhere, we still weren’t done. And you would probably think that would be a good thing, right? Being done?
It’s so not. As long as there has been something still unfinished – as long as the conveyor belt was still moving – there was propulsion…something to keep us moving forward. But after today all of the “things” will be done. And we will somehow have to learn to take more steps on our own to keep breathing and keep living. I’m sure we will…..I just don’t know how yet.
Hey, remember in my first post when I said I couldn’t promise this blog would always be uplifting, but would always be real? Ummm…..this is one of those days. It hurts in every crevice of my body and soul. I’m homesick for my son. And I would do, say, give anything to have one more big hug from him. I so want to save him. I really do. But instead tonight I will sit in his car and once again try to feel his presence and love him as best I can from so far away.
My Heart’s Lament and Psalm
Oh God – with such deep love has come such deep sorrow. I know your love is never away from me. Please hold me close and let me hope of joyful days again. I choose to trust in you, and I choose to believe that I will see “the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Selah