This Friday will mark one painful year since our sweet Bubba returned to Heaven. As I think back upon this year there is a ton of pain… a lot of pain…. but I would like to focus on the positives rather that the pain.
The night that Bubba died it was my dad that stood at the foot of his bed as Hubs and I said good bye to our boy. It was this same sweet man that broke down like a baby having to watch his own baby endure the unimaginable. It was his two hands that pried me from my boy and wrapped tightly around me as I was pulled out of his room. A wonderful grandfather guided Hubs and I through hard decisions and the planning of his funeral. He held us up and never left our sides. I was in such a state of haze that I don’t think I truly ever appreciated what a great sacrifice it was for him to have to endure watching me suffer in such a way. I can’t think of a greater pain than being a parent and having to watch your child hurt and being able to nothing for them. I felt this pain many times late at night with Bubba so I know how heart wrenching it must have been for him. He never once complained about the tasks that they were asked to do… researching funeral homes, going to the cemetery, and all of the details that go into planning a funeral.
"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." - Clarence Budington-Kelland
They say that funerals bring out the best and worst in people and all you need to do is sit back and watch for someone to show their true colors. Well, my family shined like a beautiful rainbow. Within twenty four hours my entire family was by my side. My baby sister was the first to arrive, she walked into our small home threw her bags down and ran to my side. No words were spoken she just held me as I cried. She had arrived to find her big sister a tragic mess; I had been wearing the same clothing for days, hadn’t showered, and was refusing to eat. She helped me shower and hand fed me bites of food with tears in her eyes. She dropped everything in her life to rush to my side and care for me as if I were a child. Words cannot express adequately the love that I have for this dear sister and her actions in my darkest hours.
My sweet mother walked through my door with a limp and obvious pain in each step she took. She had major back surgery removing a medal rod that had been placed in her back just a short time before Bubba’s death. She suffered what I am sure felt like an excruciatingly long flight to be by my side. Hunched over she came to me, took me in her arms, and stroked my hair as if I were her small baby again. She listened to each painful, hurt, and angry word that I shared about my boy being taken from me. I know that she was in so much pain but not once did she complain about her pain as she watched me endure mine.
The source of human love is the mother. ~African proverb
Another sister quickly came to my side and when I expressed how I upset I was about my watch breaking the night before in the madness she made it her mission to find me a new one. She left behind her husband and two children to be by my side, love me comfort me and in my crazy state of panic find me a replacement watch for the one that had been broken when I had pulled Bubba out of his bed. She held, me loved me, and comforted not only as my sister but as my friend.
My sweet Bubba comforted me in a way that only a big brother can. He managed to make me laugh when I thought the sound would never come from my lips again. He held me loved me and comforted me bringing a calming peace that only a brother can. My sweet Bubba and his wife dropped everything to rush to be with us. When Regan said that she wanted to wear of pair of pink converse like Bubba’s to his service they went out of their way to find the perfect pink pair to match her pink dress.
My oldest sister left behind her husband and three children (one was here visiting) and rushed to be with me. She held my hand and watched me carefully, I could feel her eyes on me as she worried about me with each breath I took. She wrote a beautiful poem about my boy and shared it with us all. It was a beautiful way to honor Bubba and bring a piece of beauty to an ugly day.
The women of the group insisted that I needed to go shopping to get something to wear to the funeral. I did not want to go but eventually gave in. We walked up and down the mall and nothing seemed “right”… I mean seriously what does one chose to wear to their only son’s funeral. In a moment of despair in a crowded store my breath started to become labored and before I even knew it was coming I had a panic attack right there in the store. I ran out like a crazy woman. I sat on the floor in the middle of the mall not caring what I looked like to the people passing by. Each of the women made their way out of the store and just sat with me. No one judged me or tried to make me move. They just helped me focus on breathing and pulling myself back together. I love them for that.
Family has always been important but August 9, 2012 my understanding of family took on an entirely new meaning. We might be loud and crazy… We might have our faults… we might not talk on the phone every single day… but at the end of the day we love each other. In that hard and ugly moment in my life a very beautiful realization was made…. My family would do anything for me. My family would look past the financial and physical cost of rushing to be with me because they truly, truly loved me. I am so grateful for my sweet family I don’t know that I could have made it without them.