Jun 24, 2012

One month today.

My heart still breaks.  
I still have fits of crying that rack me hard, 
hurt like hell and I wonder if they'll ever stop. 
I am still in shock of how bad losing a loved one hurts.  
I am still surprised that I had no idea.  Although why would I? 
I can't believe all the change that's happened in the last month.  

Dear Chuck,

Guess what?! You'll never believe this.  In the last month, I SHAVED my head! If you saw it, you'd look at me like I was nuts and say one of the phrases you always say, "have you gone mad?" I've been to visit grandma and grandpa twice and climbed up a mountain by their house.  We're thinking of getting a cat.  A cat! What do you think of that? What do you think Noodles will think of a cat? We're looking out for Lacey.  We've all been with her a lot.  We're checking on her, we're helping her.  She came to Dave's play.  It happened to be on Fathers Day.  We went out to eat first.  It was a really good day.  She loved the show.  Lo bought her a cute new shirt she wore to the show.  We all talked about you a lot.  We talked about you loving cake and she told me about the deals you can get on day old cakes at the bakery.

I've been to your apartment twice now.  I love it and I hate it.  It smells like you.  It makes me sad and it makes me happy.  At first I didn't want to remove a single item.  I wanted everything to stay intact.  I don't know what for.  In case you came home? I must know deep down you won't.  But your apartment still feels so alive.  So full of the energy of you.  Your baseball magnet is on my fridge.  The key decoration Lo had bought you that was on your wall is at my house now.  I think I've found a place to hang it.  I am going to take back some of my furniture you had and put in my house.  Now I feel like it's incorporating you and I can see it everyday and I like the idea of that.

I hope you liked the speech I gave at your funeral.  I hope you know what you've sparked and inspired like wildfire since you left us.  I hope you know that while we'll survive this, we'll never get over this.  Guess what else, you'll love this.  I sleep with Lon, your blanket, on my bed every single night!

I asked Lo if she remembered one of the pranks I pulled on you, we called you and when you answered we played some old song that you know on a record in her room.  We didn't say anything, we assumed you'd think it was a person from high school or something.  You kept saying, "who is this?" And you wouldn't hang up and we were trying so hard not to laugh.

Remember the morning you called me, not too long ago and I told you to stop calling and get a Facebook? Ha ha ha! You said you couldn't get one.  I asked why and you said, "I'm an outlaw!" And told me you were wanted!

I was looking through the pictures on Claudes phone in Leeds and found some of us, Lo took them on her camera phone and sent them to me and of course I forgot to save them.  I am so glad to have found them.  It hit me hard to see them, but I didn't say anything.  I just sent them to myself.  I'll post them for you below.  I found another that Lo had taken and sent me, again one I forgot to save.  It's you with a donut I brought you, ha ha! Those were the last times I was ever at your apartment when you were.

Time sure plays tricks, Unc.  One month feels like so long ago and just like yesterday.  You'd love to hear the way grandma talks about you.  "My kingly son", she said the other day.  Wow, Chuck.  Wow.

When Lo and I have gone on walks, we see a lot of special things, mostly animals.  It reminds us of you.  This little dark squirrel ran along the top of a fence, almost alongside us as we walked for a good stretch of time.  It just felt like it meant something.  We saved a huge butterfly, and saw a family full of baby ducks on that same walk.

Sometimes I am hit by strange thoughts.  I'll suddenly remember that there are messages on your answering machine and it strikes me as so odd and surreal and sad.  Or that you have a new bottle of juice and a frozen pizza in your fridge.  Or that your phone number is still in my phone.  Or if your most recent job and co-workers know that you're no longer here.  Or I'll think of the "thumbs up".  I haven't even been able to tell that story here just yet.  But I will.  Or I'll wonder what Anna is doing.  I thought there was something so special the way you said to us in the hospital, "I want to live with her", when she walked out of the room.  I really thought you might.  She looked so sad at your funeral.  You know what I realized at the funeral? How powerful a hug is.  How sometimes a hug translates something you can't say in words.  I had a few of those that day.

I've also been wondering what you felt like those last few days.  I wonder if you were in pain...and at what point you were no longer aware of us around you? I wonder what will happen when your 61st birthday approaches in four months.  Or what happens at Thanksgiving.  Or Christmas.

I wonder if at some point a family runs out of tears.  I don't know.

I got Claude otter pops in Leeds and they reminded me of you, too.  And of the 4th of July and your little white houses you guys lived in.  I can giggle about the joke we pulled on you a few Christmases ago, the snowballs at the window, one minute and cry about the fact that you are no longer here the next.  That you're in a permanent spot.  A beautiful spot.  But it's permanent.

I'm having a hard time with the permanent.

I am both happy and sad at all times.  You are still so very much with us.

Love you, Unc.

Rhino.  Con.


You: Get me a texas donut! Me: WTF is a TEXAS donut?!
*goes to Dans bakery, finds HUGE donuts...called Texas donuts alright!*

I found a recent Christmas pic too, very well could have been the snowballs at the window Christmas! Bryon is sitting on you like Santa, ha!

Here's that little mountain by Grandma & Grandpas I climbed to the top of.  I called Claude when I got there & he took a bunch of pics.  This one is my favorite.  I'm posting it for you before I post it anywhere else.  It was a tiny mountain.  I don't know why, but it meant something to me and (my new bald head) to do it and it reminded me of you.  And I'm wearing a bandana like you!

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