Saturday, September 25, 2010

Beautiful, Beautiful Dream

Today is Tommy's birthday. He would have been 4 years old. I can't believe it. I have a 4 year old. Last night, I had a wonderful dream. I haven't had a dream about him in several months and I have missed him.

In the dream, I was in a school/hospital. (It was a dream...I kept going back and forth) Somehow, I ended up seeing an old teacher of mine and she was telling me that she had gotten pictures of Tommy that someone at the hospital had taken and given to her. Would I like them? I was overwhelmed! Pictures of Tommy that I'd never seen! It gave me the idea to head to the hospital and see what I could find.

I ended up sitting in a room with opaque windows so I couldn't see the patients, but I knew the room was a very small ICU with babies recovering from heart surgery. I didn't know any of the nurses that were coming and going, but I finally got up my nerve to tell them that my sweet boy had been their patient. They remembered his name and gave me more pictures that they had.

After I left, I went to sit in chair in a waiting area to gather my thoughts. I looked  beside me and Tommy was reaching up for me. I scooped up my little guy and got the sweetest hugs ever. I woke up remembering carrying him.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Big Ernie

My second daddy died today. We called him Big Ernie. I met him when I was in Jr. High. He was my best friend's dad. I think I was at their house more than my own at times. I grew up with his sarcasm, his tough outer exterior and softy interior. He cussed in front of me and watched tv shows like "Silk Stalkings". Complete opposite of my own dad.

He's had a bad heart since I met him. He lost a ton of weight in the first year he was a part of my life. "Mama" made sure he ate right. I don't know how many times he salivated over our food as she served him his portion and he said "that's IT?". He would shrug his shoulders and dig in. He worked hard for his family and retired a few years ago from Civil Service.

He was hard on us when we screwed up. He had THE LOOK. Many have imitated, but no one NO ONE will ever do it the way he did. All he had to do was look over the rim of his glasses and hold up his finger. He never had to say a word. We froze in fear as kids (and as adults a few times too) and so did all of our kids when they went to visit Papa.

We called him "Old Man" as a joke. He was far from old, and always young at heart. He wore his hair long and gray. Longer than mine. He appreciated a good joke, the dirtier the better and told them often. As an older teen, he was my go-to guy for a good joke. He read Playboy. He loved a beautiful firearm and was an NRA instructor.

He was fair. Family arguments were met with him throwing up his hands in the air and the call of "I'm going to bed", and when we stayed up to late, he came down the hall and told us it was time to "pack it in".

I miss him. So many memories of a man that has been a part of my life constantly for the past 25 years.

Rest in peace, Ernie. I love you and you'll always be in my heart.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Saw An Angel Today

Today, I was walking around a second hand store, browsing while waiting for Brandon to finish a class with 4H. I heard a song and wanted to walk away, but the person I was with asked me to follow them. This was the song playing.  It's one of two songs that will bring tears to my eyes and bring Tommy to my thoughts. As I stood there, holding back my tears, I looked up and saw right in front of me a picture of Nemo on a child's place mat. It couldn't be! As the song ended, we continued walking around. My friend noticed a KISS 45. It was "I Was Made For Loving You" and written on the cover was my name. Weird. As we rounded the corner, I was thinking of how to tell my friend about all of these coincidences when a statue caught my eye. It was a fairy. Anyone that knows me knows I LOVE fairies. I picked it up to get a closer look. It had one of those brass nameplates on the front.

It said "Heaven Sent".

That was too much! I could feel the love around me. I've not been having the best of days lately. I needed to "hear" from my sweet boy. Saturday is his birthday. He would have been 4. I've tried not to dwell on him and his memory so much for the past couple of weeks. Remembering him on his Angelversary was just a month ago. I guess there's good and bad that the dates are so close together, but once I've gotten past them and my mind settles down from dealing with the pain, I start gearing myself up for CHD Awareness. I don't know how much I can do this coming year.

I've really pulled away from keeping up with CHD families. Or should I say, following updates. It's all so much. The pain, the doctors appointments, the surgeries, the recovery. Death. The memories never go away. I don't want to say that I'm ignoring Tommy's memory, but I'm trying to dwell less on him in my mind. The love is always there, the fond memories are there. I just can't keep watching him die over and over in my head, and every time I read a new update, I want to cry.

Don't get me wrong, I love CHD and special needs families and I try to say a little prayer for them when I learn that they need it. I just don't think I have it in me right now to be as vocal and active as I have been in the CHD community. I need to recharge my batteries. I think today was Tommy's way of letting me know he's always with me and that it's okay to feel like I need a break.

I'm not abandoning my blog. It just might be a little while before I update. Be patient. I'm still here!

Diagram of Tommy's Heart Defects

Diagram of Tommy's Heart Defects
Double Inlet Left Ventricle with Transpostion of the Great Arteries