Madison and my Dad had a special bond. They were great friends. When Madison was about 4 or 5 we started going to home depot on the first Saturday of the month to do a building project. James started out going with us, but then he was working on Saturdays so Madison had asked my Dad to come with her. It became their thing. We didn't make it all them. Being sick, busy, soccer games, basketball games and such there were some that were inevitably missed. But Dad always made an effort to come. Even on days when he was sick and not feeling well or tired her still came and did his project with Madison. We tried once with Eli to. Eli is bit young still. Dad left Eli up to me. But we would all do them together and my kids were always so proud of their projects and getting to show grandpa what they built. And show Grandma their project when they were done.
We sent Madison to school that Monday morning. When she woke up James had explained that I had gone up to Grandma's to help out up there. Madison didn't think much of it considering my Mom had just got home from her surgery.
When I went home that day when school was getting out. I dreaded having to tell Madison. I remember waling in and seeing her sitting on the ouch with James eating a snack. I let her finish it. I walked away and was gathering my strength for it.
James sat next to her. I sat on the floor in front of her. James told Madison he hadn't told her the whole truth about why I had gone to Grandma's. I did go up there to help. Wanted to make sure she knew just how much Grandpa loved her. But it was because Grandpa had died. I remember seeing her whole body and soul crush before her. The wail that came out of my precious baby girl still haunts me. I couldn't do anything but hold her and tell her how much she was loved.
I remember my mom calling sometime during this and talking to Madison. She wanted to check on her and us. I remember people coming and dropping off food at the house. I remember driving up to my Mom's and Madison walking in to my Mom and the tears.
I remember being so angry! yet having no one to blame. No one to yell at. Not being able to make it better. I remember Eli walking around looing for Papa. Not understanding why everyone was so sad. I remember Eli latching on to my Uncle Don and calling him Papa. At first it hurt. It hurt so bad. But in a way it was healing to know that my Uncle was there.
That night I remember literally passing out in bed with my kids in my arms. All in our bed. Madison informed me she had to leave because I was punching her and everyone in my sleep. I have no memory of this.
The next few days were horrible. Throw in James birthday a few short days later. Trying to still celebrate him. James is still important in our lives. His family not even knowing that my Dad had died till that day. We had been in a fog. I remember siting at my table and James and Maddie reading James' birthday card from his Dad out loud. I don't remember what it said. But I do know it said Love Dad at the end. Because at that point I was done. I couldn't hold it in and went outside and cried. Got myself back together again.
James' birthday is the same day as my Grandma Wagen's. I remember thinking at least Dad gets to be with his mom on her birthday this year.
The next few days were such a blur. Family was coming and going. We had Dad's service. There was a work party to fix my Mom's floors. Something Dad was going to do that week on his vacation.
I still don't remember much from that time. Or the service.
I thank God I had James. Without him I don't think I would have made it through. I still struggle. I fight so many emotions and thoughts and some days I just want to disappear into a cave and never come out. But I fight that each and every day and thank God for that day with my kids and husband. and my family.
We will get through it. But our family will never be the same. Life isn't the same. I know there is a divine plan out there, but really really hate it right now. But keeping the faith that this too will make us stronger. We are only given what we can handle... right?