Life is a fragile dance, is it not? Each day has some new shifts and different conundrums to resolve, and then it is the constants in our life that bring it balance. A major constant has shifted for us all here and that forces us to find new balance. Ryne is another constant for me, and my focus that helps distract the loss, and hopefully I can help distract his loss as well. The same thing goes for Niki and Cale. I am constantly reminded of how fortunate I am to have their love. I can only hope I help them as much as they help me. My family and Tami’s family as well as AJ’s and Ariana’s have been such a great help and great support. And friends. I am forever grateful for the many dinners and letters of support everyone has given us, as well as their kindness and love. I do not think we would be as healthy without it, and it will never be forgotten. Terri is the maestro, and her organizing skills are awesome. The Trevino Restaurant family is to be remembered for the love and help they continually carry for this community and regularly display for their “fellow man”. (It is a term and not a statement of misogyny to all of the newest generation) (Some general terms are still better in the descriptive.) Ryne has slept better two nights in a row, and I hope that starts a trend for him. I have too. I hope to see Niki soon and find out about her classes and school and how her challenges are being overcome. I get to see Cale, and what a blessing that is. Now it is; move forward. I will, and with God’s help we will get to where He has intended us to be.[...]
Ryne is a hard one to figure. When you do not have the use of speech and have expressive and motor control issues you are handicapped in getting across your feelings. This season for us all is a challenge, but maybe even more so for Ryne. For ten years Ryne had us all in his life providing everything, and most distinctively that was Tami. Whether it was showering, nail care, hair cuts, fashion, teeth brushing, hair care, or even holiday and birthday celebration, Tami was his first source. That has been gone other than a word here or there for 6 months. Perhaps he daily held out hope, quietly, that she would be back. Maybe Ryne just thought it was a short season away and all would return to his normal at some point. He now knows it will not. “How can it be?”, he must be thinking. Even when you are deeply aware of what she had and how it all unfolded you think this must just be a bad dream. We will all just wake up and it will not be true. We will have just been on a bad ride and it will be over and we will return relieved back to our previous norm for us. Not so. His momma’s touch and voice and love are gone, and even her chewing out. Crap! “God, please tell her I will some day find her.” Part of a lifetime I will learn to live with, but not eternity. Nope, not eternity.[...]
Ryne is better today. He slept better last night and is not crying like before. I hate to see him cry, but oh how it helps to see how connected he is to what is happening when he otherwise can not tell us in his own words. He really did well with Michelle in PT (thanks) and seemed relaxed up in his recliner last evening. If only he could just turn another corner with a successful mindset. As time continues to move on we shall see.[...]
I feel her but can’t see her. I have been trying to catch up on the things that were undone berween illness and our stolen mail for a month it is a significant setback. Yesterday driving in the mobility van to have long overdue issues resolved I had alone time on the road. I can’t say I liked it much. The time was needed to feel alone, but I can’t say that it was enjoyable, yet it was necessary. Niki and AJ spent the night Thursday night and we gathered and played dice with Cale, Ariana, Kathy, Garry, Margaret, and Nita. Having them all here helped. Niki was then off for school and AJ back to work at the Fire Dept Friday morning. (The City has been wonderful in allowing their grieving.) Thursday morning was oddly tense until AJ lightened our mood. Soon enough we were on our way to the lovely surroundings of the National Cemetery in Santa Nella. Jeff presented a nice story covering the twenty years he has known Tami and every one was encouraged to tell the person next to them a fond story of Tami. Steve sang a nice song, we spoke to one another a few minutes, we went up on the hill to observe, and “BAM” it was over (so fast). I felt sort of numb again. Everyone then left the wind and cold except AJ, Niki, Cale, Ariana, Kathy, myself, and Steve. We had to wait a little bit for them to finish the ground at her site. We paid our last respects and I said a prayer I had written in the middle of the night a couple of days earlier. It was okay to be thee and not mournfully difficult. It felt honorable. As we turned to go back to the limo we glanced at the names in the row immediately toward our car, as they had had their inscription complete given the time between interment and completion of that row, and what we noticed was that her neighbor was a Bronze Star recipient. Not a bad neighbor to have I would say. Not bad at all.[...]
Well. Today is the day I dreaded. Interment. I know that the spirit is gone, but I am haunted a bit by the vision I had 15 years ago when it seemed so real the deceased mother was reaching back lovingly toward her children. I don’t pretend to understand it all, but then again I am not willing to contain my understanding to what the world would have me to believe by each individuals own terms about the unknown we so desperately wish to have a grasp of. We have felt her presence, but are we feeling the tapestry of the relationship we formed with her, or are we feeling in a way influenced by the love relationship with her. Do the parts of our thinking that we share come out in our grief in a way that instead of their influence we perceive it as presence. Or, is it their true spirit we feel? Tami saw a little girl in a cute sundress walking through our back patio a number of years back. She seemed visually to be about 12 years old and had a little basket with her. She was not joyous, nor was she sad. She was just walking toward the patio that is behind Ryne’s room. Bernie, our grumpy saved mix with half a tail, who I liked to sometimes call Walter Mathou, was walking with her looking up at her face with a content look on his face and wagging his stump. He was almost prancing, which is not a behavior Walter was accustomed to. Tami came out of our bedroom from which she had seen her and went to Ryne’s room. Ramona was the nurse that day, and when Tami asked her if she had seen a little girl she said, “No”. Tami asked her if her grand-daughter had come and just looked different to Tami. Ramona said, “No”. Thinking about it some more revealed this little white girl in a sun dress with curly blond hair did not resemble anyone Tami remembered knowing. Tami wondered for a moment if it was an illusion, but what about Bernie. He saw her and seemed quite pleased and content in her presence. “What up wit dat!”. Some things we see and hear and feel are just not explainable in the scientific terms an unbelieving scientist might use. I think we need to reach out with an open and faithful mind and always test yourself against rational. Be mindful of the effect of stress and loss replacement, but then again don’t close yourself from a spirit component of your life that becomes, and seems, more real when you least expect it. We are not just physical creatures, and it is that mystery we must understand before we move on, or not. Tami has moved on but the patch she placed on me as part of the quilt that makes up who I am will never go away. For that I thank her and I thank God. She saved me as I protected her, and God loved me enough to put us together against all logic. Maybe we will know why and the rest of the story in the years to come.[...]
Wow, what a day. Thank you everyone.
In a community type of fashion we celebrated Tami, and what she believed in yesterday. It was a grand turnout for a beloved lady, and if only they took in a little of what she stood for, it would be enough to make Tami smile. I am sure that if this was just her and I alone I would have had a difficult time standing, but I was far from alone. This tumor may have dimmed her comfort but it did not dim the bright light of Tami’s spirit, and it was the spirit of giving and receiving that filled that sanctuary. It was a desire to nurture and to lift up something meaningful and good that allowed people to care and to come. Tami always thought of others and it is with that coat of armor that she stood confident against the enemy. We have felt her presence all around us, and probably right now she is saying, “Well, there Mark is dinkin’ around on his phone when he should be getting Ryne ready.”. Well, I guess I would say, “Sorry Tami, but yesterday and now are about you, so Tough Tinkertoys. Just sit back and enjoy the adulation.”.[...]