And Life Goes On

So, this morning I wake with a heavy heart once again. It has been a really tough past couple months with me and death. I think it might be my age that I am at and being a mother and frankly death sucks.

As many of you know, our dog Griffey died March 23. That started this death whatever it is for us in 2019. Then, my husband and I just Sunday night watched the movie Marley and Me. It was a great movie until the end. Sorry if I spoil this for any of you but, Marley dies. It sucks. I didn’t know exactly what the movie was all about so, I never would have rented it had I known it was about the family and their dog and the dog died!

So yesterday morning I woke up just tired and sad with all of those emotions coming up again. Then, yesterday just after lunch, I came up from the basement to put the baby to sleep for her nap and saw the fire truck just leaving my neighbors and 3 police cars there.

I waited but, no ambulance came. NO, no, no! I knew, I just knew. I knew that one of my neighbors had died. They live right next door to us, we share a fence, many conversations, they are the Grandparents next door for my children. NO!

I call their son, he frantically tells me he is on his way and hangs up. NO! He gets to his parents house and I see him run, just run into his parents house. NO! I call my husband he tells me to go over there but, no, I feel like I should let them deal with it, I know that their son will come and tell me and he does.

I am standing in my garage with the children and I see their adult son Cory come out of the house and walk toward me. I quickly run over to him and he tells me, ‘died’. That is all I hear, I say “Who died?” Then, he says, “My dad, he’s dead.” Oh NO! No, no, no. I instantly have to suck it up and fight back the tears and be strong for Cory. NO! Our neighbor Lee was awesome. He was like a grandpa, always talking to our children, saying hi to them, talking to Steve and I. Oh no. He tells me his dad died in his sleep and it seems it was really peaceful.

I had just seen Lee Sunday night as I was walking home from getting candy at our grocery store. I had quickly run to get some movie treats and was running back to watch the movie(that broke my heart and I now know was just the beginning). I came up to our alley and saw Lee’s car in the driveway with the window open. I knew he was sitting in there smoking and I smiled and waved. I saw this hand wave back to me slowly side to side and smiled more. Then I ran into my house having no clue that would be the last time I would ever see or wave to my neighbor.

I know he lived a long life as he was 84 or 85. Lee and his wife had just celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary last month. He was still able to drive, walk, and take care of himself and his wife. They had their same home for almost 50 years and he was ‘healthy’.

I am starting to discover the crappy part of being a stay at home mom. Losing our dog a month and a half ago hurt me way more than anyone else because I am home all the time. I am really struggling with losing my neighbor yesterday as he and I always had great conversations over the fence about everything daily over the summer. I am going to miss him so much! Oh this just sucks.

The worst part is they will probably have to put his wife in a home soon. She is good on her own but, not great as she has some health issues and she can’t drive anymore. NO! I love these neighbors, I don’t want to lose one of them but, I really don’t want to lose both of them! This is the very unfair part of death. It really bothers me that life just goes on. It sucks.

I still had to get up and feed the children, I still need to send them to school, I still need to tend to the house and I still have to do activities with them tonight….life goes on.

I don’t like that at all. I don’t like it that life just keeps going. I know it is supposed to but, that is the crappy part of death for me, is that life just keeps going. I discovered over the years that it isn’t death that scares me it is the fact that life just keeps going and eventually, all the people that loved you are gone too. The memories, the life, just seem to die with people sometimes.

Now, I am a Christian and I believe in Jesus Christ and I believe in heaven. I know I will be in heaven but, when life on this Earth our life with our loved ones ends too. Which I am told and I am trying hard to imagine that once we are in heaven, we don’t really miss people as we are so filled with love and delight that we are sublimely happy. But, it hurts when you are still part of the fallen world.

To top yesterday off for me and I am hoping this is our 3rd in the death circle, I found out just a couple hours after our neighbor died that one of our beautiful HUGE 60+ year old Silver Maple’s in the front yard is going to have to be cut down in the next few years. Oh no.

We live in a neighborhood that pretty much was put up overnight for the GI’s coming back from WWII. We have miles and miles and rows and rows of little houses with huge trees lining the street and in the yards. Our maple trees are so beautiful and are perfectly lined up evenly on either side of the sidewalk in the front of our house. They are big and beautiful and so welcoming. Well, one of our big branches on one of them split with the last wind we had and they said they can remove that branch but, because it is such a large branch and that one branch is over 1/3 of the tree, it will cause stress to the tree and cause it to die over the next 5-7 years. NO!

So, yesterday was the day of death for me, the stay at home mom that was so deeply attached to a dog that seemed in the way a lot when he was alive and I didn’t realize how much I would miss stepping over him. Then, yesterday, I lose my neighbor which, if you can say you have a favorite, he was definitely it. I will miss his shrugging of his shoulders everytime I apologize for my children leaving toys in his yard, or bikes in their driveway, or my dog peeing on their flowers. He would just shrugg his shoulders and say something like, ‘oh well’ or ‘oh, I had children too’. Add the tree that the children and I sit under daily while we play in the front yard with our sidewalk chalk. I usually sit under the bigger one and look at the one I just found out I won’t have in a few years and now I know, life just goes on.

My husband thinks I am a nut case to put a tree in the same category as a dog and a neighbor anywhere near those two but, for me, death is death. It all sucks for those left living. For as long as we own this house, I will have memories of that silly dog Griffey, I will have to sit in my backyard and look at my neighbors house and know he isn’t there anymore and in a few years, my big maple will disappear too. My views will change, my sadness will fade, and eventually, I will look back with happiness and good memories but, right now, I am just plain old sad and life just goes on.

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