August 5, 2015 was……
2 years 6 months
For me it feels like that Alan Jackson song “Where were you when the world stopped turning”. This is the date my world stopped turning. The date is etched deeply on my soul. I remember exactly what I was doing when my Mom’s neighbor called me. I knew from the tone of his voice something was wrong. I never once thought it would be Drew.
I think back to the few days before he died often. They go over and over in my head. I have people tell me “it’s not your fault. How could you have known?” Well I was his mother, I should have known. I carried him in my womb for 9 months and parented him for 20 years. I should have known. I should have known I only had a few more I love yous. I should have known we only had a limited supply of his hugs. I should have known that the last time was the last time. I would have slowed down. I would have really looked. I would have memorized the look in his eye. I would have held on and not let him go. Did I say good things to him before or did I do the nagging mother thing? Did I tell him how much he meant to me? Or did I just assume he knew.
Life takes hold of you and there are days that the only thing you can do is get through it. I hope I am better at doing those things more now with Madison and Molly. I hope they know how much they mean to me because I have told them and showed them. I stare at them trying to memorize their face in case anything happens to them.
I just can’t believe it’s been 2 1/2 years since I saw Drew for the last time. I miss him so badly that there are times I cannot breath. I feel as if one of my limbs has been removed and I don’t know why. The path of child loss is a hard one. It is unpredictable, it is painful, and it is lonely. Working with Smiles From Drew helps but there are days that not much helps it just is…..2 years 6 months ago.
Recently I was told I need to meditate. That if I could clear my mind from all the clutter of my everyday stuff I would be able to connect with Drew more. I’m not a meditating kind of girl. I’ve tried before and I end up just think of several hundred more things that I should be doing. I don’t do well when I have to reflect too long. But….I do want to feel closer to Drew so I have been practicing.
I read an article that said that when you meditate you want to use the same scent every time or listen to the same music. If you are trying to connect with someone, in particular, you will want to use a scent that reminds you of them or smells like them. That made me laugh trying to think of a scent that captures “Drew”.
What smells remind me of Drew?
- There is a time in a boys life when they turn from “toddler” to “boy” and they have this sweet sweaty smell. You cuddle close to them and you can smell that soon they will no longer be “little” but will get bigger and stinkier.
- Fried Chicken. It wouldn’t matter where he was, he would either walk in the door or call me when I was making fried chicken. I haven’t been able to make fried chicken since he died. It’s just too hard. Even just the smell of fried chicken brings tears to my eyes.
- Axe body spray. I don’t think you can have a pre-teen boy and not be exposed to the dreaded Axe body spray. I do believe they think it is a suitable substitute for a shower.
- After football funk….I have no other way to describe it. He would get in the car after playing hard at a game or practice and it would just darn near knock you over. I would roll down the windows and wish for that phase to be over. I wouldn’t even mind smelling that now.
- Juicy Fruit Gum. He loved Juicy Fruit gum. When he got his braces he was most disappointed that he couldn’t have his gum any longer. He would get recurring ear infections so chewing gum helped with the pressure in his ears.
- Little tree car freshener. When he started driving he loved to have one of those little tree car fresheners in his car. Now I know it’s because he wanted to mask the smell of things he shouldn’t have been doing but I can’t see or smell one without thinking of him.
Every time I pass a candle display I smell the candles and close my eyes and see if I can capture the essence of Drew. It hasn’t happened yet. I haven’t smelled one that is quite right. I may end up having to make my own candle. Who wouldn’t want a candle that smells like “Fried Chicken Boy Funk”.
I got word late last night that a sweet boy lost his battle to cancer. He was only a year younger than Drew. I used to cut his hair and we would always see him and his Mom around town at the school events. It is a a sad day when you realize there is now another mother that knows what you are going through.
My hope is that not one more mother has to bury their child. Have to to live with the what ifs…but we are not alone and we should reach out to others that are going through the same thing. There are times when we are not strong alone but we are together. I hope his mother can reach out and know she is not alone and my heart is with her. Much love to the family. I hope Drew welcomed him with open arms.
Drew’s birthday has come and gone and the actual day wasn’t as bad as the days leading up to it. I had to work and we were so busy. I guess being busy was a blessing. Then that evening the little t-ball team had their first game!!! I went straight from work to the ball field.
I wanted to sponsor a baseball team this year to help spread the smiles. So Smiles sponsored a t ball team called The Fighting Squirrels! Drew would have loved it! Drew played baseball too. I know surprise huh? During the spring we were at Ragel Park almost every night of the week. As the boys got older the practices and games lasted longer and longer.
You don’t realize what memories a place holds until they smack you in the face. I was driving into the parking lot last night to the park and I could feel my eyes filling with tears. I had to check my rear-view mirror to see if I had a car full of stinky boys going to practice. Nope, it was just me. No chatter of who was going to hit the ball over the fence, no dugout songs to practice. Those are good memories I will hold onto and hopefully start making new ones.
In the idea of making new memories Smiles From Drew could always use more support. Whether that is a donation so we can help the kids participate in these activities or volunteering to help us get the word out about us. If you are interested fill out this form and I let me know how you can help.