Changing leaves

Okay… so it has been about a year since I wrote.  Maybe its a little overdue, but hey who’s counting?

I have just entered that “it’s his senior year” hell hole that I have been waiting for and just hoping to ignore..I was thinking maybe I could just step around it?

Ha.  Grief is merciless and listens to no one.  Grief can be like a hurricane… waiting quietly and then ripping apart everything in it’s path- leaving the psyche broken and battered.

It started on Friday at the tailgate at FHC.  I had not really shed a single tear since school started…not on even on the first day of school.  I had not planned on going to the tailgate.  I had barely given it a passing thought.  Then the kids came bursting through the door after school and it was a chorus of “mom! mom! mom! (it always has to be in threes) can you pleeeeeeeeeese take us to the tailgate? Theres lots of games and stuff.  We want to go! Please? Please? Please?”

Well for one thing it is rare that I don’t have to work a Friday night at the job I currently have.  Also since I began said job I haven’t been able to do as many things with the kids as I would like to.  Also Rich and I are alternating weekends so that makes the time with them even less.

So without even really thinking about it I changed out of my sweats and threw on some lipstick and away we went.

I was immediately overwhelmed with how packed it was.  I’m not a fan of crowds in the least.  I tried to suppress the feeling to turn and run back to the car.  Here I was in a sea of green and white and pink (pink out?!) and loudness and food and people and two little blonde munchkins holding my hands. People I “knew”everywhere. Kids I “knew” everywhere. Yet no one to save me.

We walked around trying to find games to play and I was frustrated and confused and getting more and more irritable.  Brady didn’t want to play anything.  Bryleigh wanted to play everything.  I was blinking a bit at first, pretending to have a bug in my eye and swallowing the lump in my throat repeatedly.  Finally I could hold it back no longer.  I saw a group of boys Lucas had been in class with out of the corner of my eye, now tall and manly as if they had aged from children in a matter of seconds. I barely recognized them and couldn’t comprehend how they had grown up so fast. Giant tears began to roll down my face as I stared straight ahead, at a wall, just blinking.  Nothing was wrong.  Nobody cries at tailgates. Adults don’t freaking cry in public.  I was mortified.  I didn’t dare move.  I just let them roll down my face and neck and onto my shirt, frozen like a statue.

When I was sure no one was looking I quickly and angrily swiped the tears off my face with my hand.  I announced we were going to find the bathroom despite the fact we would have to walk past a billion people to get there.  People who might see the mascara streaked on my cheeks and my red eyes.

We didn’t last much longer after that but just enough for me to take in a whole vast experience that I didn’t want.  The excitement of planning the seniors final year.  The thrill of celebrating high school football season and community and fun…hip hip hooray.  For a little chunk of time we were part of that…and then we weren’t.

We were a part of the class of 2018…

Until we weren’t.

I screamed and cursed silently about all that was taken from us- not only our boy but those three years he should have been living and learning and thriving and growing.  I have no doubt he would have continued to make an impact on the lives of the people he encountered. How mduch our family has suffered not just by dealing with his death but the loss of a support beam in our family.  He was in many ways the glue that held us together.

What? you say… a teenager who had reached his 15th birthday a mere 10 days before he died?

Lucas was not made of the stuff that most of us are made of.  I don’t think I will ever meet anyone like him again.  I will never understand in this lifetime why God would make someone with such unprecedented kindness, compassion, quiet strength, and purity of heart and take him away from us before he had a chance to truly bloom and grow.

I am sorry that I sound sad and bitter and angry.  I look outside and see the sun dappling the trees that are beginning to turn color and I know Lucas would have reveled in a beautiful day like this.  I will try.  I will try to enjoy it as he would.  I know he would beg me not to cry for him and miss him but at the same time he knew what it was to love and love deeply.  He never wanted me to be sad.  I can still hear the door slamming (the kid had muscles) and his heavy footsteps coming into the house.  The first words out of his mouth would always be,”how was your day Mom?”

What can I do? Keep breathing. Keep moving forward even if it is a millimeter at a time. Try to keep his spirit of selflessness alive in me and hope that he is not forgotten.

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