One month.

Teddy1

It’s been one month. One very long month. One month of ups and downs and and hard moments and easier moments. A month when other friends and friends’ family members have passed away, and each loss made me think of Uncle Teddy. One month in which I’ve learned a lot about coping and grief and grieving what “should be” versus what is. It’s been a very long month, you guys.

My boss’s sister passed away last Thursday. She was a little younger than Uncle Teddy, has two kids – a son and daughter – who are a little younger than Shayne and Kene, but other than her kids, my boss, and my boss’s dad, that’s it. Just a small family. So my boss was dealing with most of the arrangements before and after, because you see she had cancer, one that had been in remission for years and years, but came back and caused all kinds of complications for a few weeks before she passed. A few weeks. It seems so short – and yet, such a long time. I felt awful for my boss as he dealt with everything – family issues, running back and forth to the hospital, his own grief, just everything. And yet…I was so jealous of the closure they were afforded. I spent a lot of time thinking about what was better: being able to enjoy every minute of your life, blissfully unaware? Or being able to say all the things that needed to be said and tidying up what could be tidied? I think I ended up deciding that I would live until I was 119, in good health and in perfect spirits; it seemed a much better option than deciding between two un-perfect choices.

As I was feeling all my feels, I started going through pictures, trying to decide which one to use. Obviously I had many better options. The picture I chose is uncropped, doesn’t really feature the best background, and you can’t even really see anyone’s face. You can kind of see from the corner of his eyes that Uncle Teddy is smiling, undoubtedly at the very animated story little Gracie is telling. But this was the picture I chose. First, I love that he’s holding Gracie again (yes, I know that Uncle Teddy loves little kids, but photographic proof of this for some reason I find endlessly amusing). I love that Gracie, who was a little shy that night (which I suppose was understandable given that she was bombarded by a bunch of people she didn’t know who all wanted to talk to her and hold her) had no qualms whatsoever about telling Uncle Teddy a very long and important story, as evidenced by the fact that she was using her hands for emphasis. I love, too, that he’s sitting there on the couch looking through the scrapbook I brought to show my mom what I had done. Was Uncle Teddy very interested in scrapbooks? No, probably not. I’m sure he enjoyed the pictures, but mostly I suspect he was interested in it because it was something I cared about, and he liked finding out about things like that. He was the kind of person who liked engaging with someone about their passions – unless he thought you were wrong, that is, and then he would very methodically point out why that was. Heh.

There were better pictures I could have posted. But this one is of Uncle Teddy showing me how much he cared by showing interest in two things I loved dearly. And so of course I picked this picture.

It’s been a very, very long month. And grief is hard.

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2 Responses to “One month.”

  1. Kathy Says:

    I love that you picked this picture because the memory is wonderful even though to shot isn’t photo studio perfect. The memory is the important part.

  2. Shayne Says:

    A very long month. Thank you for this. I want to keep hearing others’ stories/memories and not forget.

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