Thursday, January 21, 2010

Life After Death, and other things...

Today was a success!
I visited with my high school English teacher, a warm, funny, witty and incredibly insightful person for whom I have so much respect. It has been over 30 years since I sat in her classroom, yet I can remember things she said to us then as clear as if it were yesterday. She taught us all about life in general, acceptance, imagination, giftedness...and discipline! She demanded that we work hard, pay attention in class, and push ourselves, and we couldn't help but pull through. She was engaging and entertaining all in one. Some days she would get sidetracked and just tell us a story about something...then the bell would ring and we would go on our way. The paper was still due on the due date, however!
We shared some things in common, she told me. I had lost a son; she had lost a daughter, long ago. She also had experienced some near-death scenarios and wanted to share those insights with me. Energy never dies, she explained. Life energy goes on even after the body is dead and decomposed. That is why you can feel your departed love ones, I guess, because their energy still exists all around you.
I know I feel Andrew's energy really strongly, the same way I feel my mother and father's energy from time to time. I can feel when Andrew is with me; so can the girls. It's hard to explain to people, but we feel it. They still keep his bedroom intact at the house, although recently they have made some changes. Becca is using his dresser now, so the clothes inside had to be put away or redistributed. I hope Bill and the boys are using them.
I remember Jayne had tried to keep the room shut for the first month or so after Andrew's death...she could smell his scent in there and wanted to preserve it for as long as possible. When we were over at the house last, the girls and Bill and I sat on his bed and talked, and remembered him. It was comforting, being around Andrew's belongings...his TV, his computer, his books and posters and knick-knacks. He had meticulously organized his personal papers a few months before he left us.
Sitting in his room, surrounded by his things, made it seem like if he walked into the room right now it would be so normal. If we could only just give that energy his body back, and his mind, all intact! If only...
We know we will never be completely without you, Andrew, but we miss seeing you so much. We so look forward to seeing you again someday in the afterlife. Love you!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sharing my Andrew...

I am so excited. I have recently reconnected with my high school English teacher who lives a few miles away from me now. I am going to visit her tomorrow and teach her how to blog. What an honor!

She was always such a special person to me and to all of her students. She was fun, vibrant, engaging, and so very fascinating. She knew something about everything, it seemed. I haven't seen her for over 20 years, the last time when I stopped by her classroom to chat during a school open house. Now we have connected on Facebook, and then I called her to talk. She told me she has written several books and been published and has more projects in the works, but all this new Facebooking and blogging is a bit overwhelming for her, especially at 82 years old. She'd like some lessons. Imagine that, me teaching her something! Who would have ever thought?

She also shared, in our brief conversation from the other day, that she has lost a child and that we have much in common to talk about. I will be so honored to share my son, the writer, with my revered English teacher.

Maybe we will both figure out how to get our blogs out there for the masses to read and respond to our posts. That would be fun, rewarding and motivating. Moving forward, I am!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Andrew is all around us...

Wow! It's been one month since my last might be thinking I've forgotten about this. But the truth is, while getting through the holidays and celebrating Andrew's birthday on January 6, I and the family have been thinking of him almost constantly. I hung up the Christmas stockings and put his in its respective place. Later, I received a Christmas card from his Godmother with a note about Andrew and how much he meant to her. I put it in the stocking and plan to keep it there...forever!

The holidays were hard, but we did our best to keep our chins up and remembered Andrew, sometimes out loud and sometimes silently. Like on the day I was remarried...January 2, 2010. Lee and I have been together for four years and right around Christmas time I said to him, "Look! This is a cool date, 01.02.2010." It's a palindrome, the word meaning "running back again" in Greek. "Why don't we get married then," I said, and Lee instantly agreed.

So we invited our children, Lee's son Taylor and my girls, Jayne and Rebecca, along with my sisters and brothers and inlaws and some close friends and a few of Lee's relatives, to join us on a small sandy beach called Spooner's Cove at Montana de Oro State Park and witness our vows. I didn't say anything to the girls and Lee until later, but we stood on the beach in the exact same spot as where I had taken family portraits with my children six years earlier. For me, it was like Andrew was with us.

Today I took some wedding photos and inserted them into a collage picture frame that already contained those family photos from that earlier photo shoot. The finished product is, as I had anticipated, a seamless transition from that day six years ago to now...Andrew is on the beach with us, smiling and having a good time. Our family group then; our family group now. Same scenery, same sunshine and breaking waves--it's timeless, and we are all together.