Our Amazing Kids



(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.



7 thoughts on “Our Amazing Kids

  1. How proud you both must be of your three amazing children!!! Yet how incredibly hard it is for you to help them navigate all these different ranges of emotions all the while trying to cope with this enormous loss yourself. I do agree with everything Dave said: it is sooooooo okay to be sad!!! Just take it one day one hour one minute at a time… ….and I think this might be the hardest to do, but try to allow room for happiness to come in too. I can’t imagine there is any right now but eventually one day there might be!!!!! Love to you and those beautiful kids Robyn…xoxo please keep posting!!!

  2. Dave was right when he said, “Children are resilient.” Your children will each deal with their grief differently. There is no “you are supposed to do this or that.” It is what feels right at the time. You and Dave have given them love, security and confidence. I call this a person’s emotional bank, I am sure there is a better term. How I see it is you as their loving parents have made deposits throughout their life in their ‘bank.” When times are tough, they can reach in and make withdrawals and still be okay because their account is so full. You will continue to make deposits in their account as will Dave every time they think of a lesson he taught them or remember a funny memory. Only Dave could pull-off those lady glasses. Thanks for my laugh for the day! Your wonderful family photos help to heal my heart, too.

  3. Hi Robyn, I was turned onto your blog through Laura’s blog and have been following your journey since then. My heart breaks for you and your family and for whatever it’s worth (maybe not much, since I’m a total stranger) know that I’m sending positive energy your way. I love that Dave was always reminding you and your children to take it one day at a time…such wise words. xo

  4. Robyn, I dont know you or your family; I found you through Laura’s blog but I want you to know that you and your entire family are in my thoughts. My heart breaks for you. Sending love from Ireland x

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