Friday, June 13, 2014
I've been trying desperately to collect my thoughts, in some sort of organized manner, for the past week or so. Yet, every time I sit down to type, I feel like I can't make sense of anything inside my head, much less record it down. But I've got to try, it helps me in so many ways. So, I decided I'm just going to start typing. Here goes nothing...
Another May has passed, another month of memorials, another birthday of Natalie's has come and gone. It's always such a bittersweet day for me. But this year was a little different. My youngest daughter, Kate, is just a little over the age that Natalie was when Brian was killed. I look at her, she is so sweet, so very innocent. So trusting and accepting of everyone she knows. So sheltered from any hurt or wrongdoings in this cruel world we live in. It is such a reminder of how little Natalie was at the time. Such a reminder of how much she has grown, how much she has changed and how much Brian has missed.
Attending the police memorials this year had also taken on a bit of a different tone. It was the first time we attended a memorial and Natalie became upset. I don't mean, cry a little because she saw me crying, I mean sobbing, tears running down her face, hard crying. For the first time, she was able to put it all together, to look around and see so many officers, so many families, so many men and women whom all gathered together for one purpose. The honor and respect paid to all fallen officers, the honor and respect paid to her Dad.
What a dagger to the heart. To see my child physically hurting, and to feel so helpless. I remember sitting there for a minute, not knowing how to comfort my own daughter, because at that moment I couldn't comfort myself. All of those horrible feelings of pain, anger, hurt and anguish came flooding back in.
Then, I remembered the best advice I've ever been given....
Live in the moment.
Not too much in the past, not too much in the future, just right now.
At that moment, we were both sad and upset. As expected, and as we should have been. And you know what? That's ok. I hope if I can teach my girls one thing about grief... It's this: It's ok to cry if you need to cry, cry. It's ok if you need to laugh, laugh. It's ok to throw yourself a little pity party, kick and scream if you need to, just don't get stuck there. It' s ok to live for right now, and be happy.
Yes, I realize at times this advice can be much easier said than done, I struggle sometimes. But I try. I try to honor Brian's memory the best I can, by sharing stories and memories about him with Natalie, and with our whole family. Because I vow that he will never be forgotten, but I refuse to put the focus on the terrible events that happened which took him from us. He lived a life of 26 years, full of love, laughter and some trials as well, but wonderful memories were made that I will carry with me always. Natalie will always know the great man and father that Brian was.
And I vow, to do my best, to listen to that amazing woman's great advice and live in the moment. To soak up every moment of this life I've been blessed with, and the loved ones I share it with. As we all know, none of us are promised tomorrow.
This Fathers Day weekend, we will honor Brian's memory as always, and we will live in the moment. I give my thanks and praise to God for having blessed our family with a man whom is truly an amazing man and father. Derek is the most fun loving, ice cream for breakfast eating, always up for a good time, strong faith based man I know. And my girls are beyond blessed to have him for a father.