October 3, 2009

Grief Counseling

I normally love October. The leaves are starting to change. The weather is cooler. We even manage to squeeze in a few weeks of having the windows open before the heater has to be turned on. It's so nice to have fresh air flowing through the house. October is also a month for birthdays. My Mom and sister have their birthdays toward the end of the month. Our neighbors have three of their birthdays in the beginning. Cousins have birthdays scattered all over the month. RL and I have our anniversary on the 27th. It's always been a busy month too. The fair is normally in full swing and we are all trying desperately to relax after the wild and wooly weeks of frenzy R puts us through getting everything ready to enter in the fair.
This year is different. After a very disappointing fair experience last year, R decided not to enter the fair. It wasn't a decision she took lightly. She agonized over it for at least a week and probably longer before she mentioned it to me. I was fine with it. Those last minute trips to the crafting stores, hunting for that last pattern piece she can't find or making sure all her supplies are on hand is exhausting! Not to mention the cooking part of the fair! With the price of groceries reaching an all time high, I wasn't looking forward to buying baking supplies and then having to clean the kitchen after each item was prepared. So I was breathing quite easily as October approached.
However, I was blindsighted when it finally arrived. Mom and I have been going to a wonderful grief counselor at the Hospice House. What a wonderful woman this counselor is! I don't know how many people she sees every week, but she remembers exactly what we talked about the previous week and picks up just where we left off. She asks all the right questions and helps us intrepret what we are trying to say. RL, the kids and I went shortly after Daddy and RLs Dad died. We went for one session and felt we were going to be okay. Mom, however, was having a difficult time and decided that maybe she could benefit from going. I was her designated driver and was invited to sit in on the sessions. Mom was having a tough time remembering what she wanted to say each session, so I was appointed as her official 'memory'. I took in everything that was said and learned a lot about my Mom and Dad's relationship from the time they met until the day he died. It's strange sounding for me to say that I have enjoyed grief counseling, but in a way, I have. Mom and I have grown closer and I've enjoyed that part of it too.
The morning of our latest session, I picked Mom up. She instantly asked what was wrong with me. How do mothers know these things? I really didn't feel good and had been crying a little. I had no idea why - just a crummy morning I guess. We got to the therapist's office and she looks at Mom and starts telling her how great she looks - how strong her voice is - how together she looks - how she even has a little laughter in her voice. Then she swivels her chair towards me and says, "So what's the matter today?" Wait a minute! I'm not the one here for therapy! Then it all hit me. Mom's birthday is in October. Since Daddy was paralyzed on the left side for years, he used me as his personal shopper. He would always call me around the first of October to tell me we needed to put our heads together and decide on a gift for Mom. Well, here we were at the first of October and I didn't get my call. I still feel like I need to get into motion and do what he would want me to do - which I will. It just feels odd for him not to be calling the shots.
To make matters worse.....while we were sitting in the waiting area that morning, Mom handed me an envelope full of pictures she had found. This was one of them:

I love this picture. L was only about two days old and he's got the biggest smile on his face that matches Daddy's smile on his face. L is the youngest of the grandsons, but Daddy treated each one of them just like they were the greatest of them all. Needless to say, the tears started flowing again, but they were happy tears. I'm glad we have these memories of such a great Dad!


KarenFL said...


Mom said...

Oh me...
"Your Dad" was the best man I've EVER KNOWN." He loved me and you girls with every bone in his body and every thought in his head!
He came into my life at just the right time. He didn't wait long to ask me to marry him...and I didn't wait very long to say, "YES!"
I was the "freakin'out sort," while he was the "sane, quiet ONE!"
No wonder you girls prayed for him to "do the deed!"
He was the best ever!