(We teased Dave so much about his “lady glasses”. He was so proud of his Target clearance rack purchase.)
“Don’t forget. Kids are resilient.” This is something that Dave would remind me whenever I would worry. And for the most part, they are doing amazingly well. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t tears, or in the case of Samantha, moments of serious anger. After all they are grieving, and they miss their dad. As Sam tweeted, “Miss him every damn day.”
Dave absolutely loved spending time with his kids, and he was so happy when they looked out for each other. I know he would have been so proud of Grant when he took Parker under his protective wing during the candlelight vigil. He would be giving Sam a big fist pump for inviting Grant to go to a movie with her and her friends.
That last Saturday, Parker decided to spend the night at my sister-in-law’s house. I suggested to Samantha and Grant that we watch tv with Dave. I know that it was a little scary for them to be in room with him because of the hospital bed and oxygen tanks not to mention all the medicines lined up in a row. I explained that in all likelihood Dad would be sleeping but that if he woke up, he would see us and that would make him happy. We nestled in for a few episodes of Family Guy and watched and chatted like any other night. At the end of the second show, Sam asked Grant if he wanted to make a Taco Bell run. (This is their thing. Every time Sam was home for a break this year, they would go.) Dave sat up in his chair, clapped his hands 3 times as if to get their attention and then gave them each a thumbs up. A powerful reminder of his expectations and approval. I am so grateful that we had that time together.
Today we stopped by Hayfield to pick up our red foot tortoises who winter in Coach Hill’s science classroom. This turned out to be a much harder visit than we anticipated. We pulled into the parking lot to discover that one of the rocks was painted in the orange and white check of Dave’s famous suit – the words “Tremaine Strong” written on the side. There were flowers under the windows where Dave’s office is. Once inside we couldn’t help but notice all the pictures of a healthy happy Dave. Tears were definitely shed once we got back in the car to head home.
I keep telling the kids that they have to be true to what they are feeling. If they feel like laughing, they should. If they feel like crying, that is okay too. I guess I have said it a few too many times since Sam finally called me out, “You keep telling us that.” Maybe I am also trying to convince myself.
When I feel overwhelmed I try to remember what Dave said about it being okay to be sad, to take it one day at a time, that we will be okay and to remember to allow room for happiness to come in too.