Sunday, May 25, 2008

Already Six Months

Friday marked another milestone on our calendar as we noted that it has been six months since James passed away. To be completely honest the day past without much notice to the date. We are not "date people". Often I have no clue what the dates is, I funtion on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday ...etc and even then I sometimes forget what day of the week it is. It takes some thought for me to clue into the actual date ... don't worry, I can usually get the right month, just not always the right number! :) (And my kids make sure I have no chance of forgetting birthdays :) But when we do clue into the actual date then it usually means taking a few minutes (or more) to reflect on what that date means.

It's so hard to believe that we've already gone six months. As I mentioned in my last post, time flies. When I go through everyday life that's all fine, but when we start putting a time line to things then it makes me sad to think that we are slowly getting further and further away from our time with James. In many ways it seems like just yesterday and I am so thankful for this, that even though time keeps going, my memory of our time together is still very clear and real. And I try to remind myself that even though I get this feeling that he is being left behind ... he is actual ahead and we are the ones behind. We look forward to the day when we will "catch-up" to him.
My memory works more on time periods then actual numbers. Last weekend was a hard weekend for me. Instead of the number 23 I remember the Victoria long weekend. This is a weekend that is always well remembered in our house, but now for different reasons. Nine years ago we got married on the Victoria long weekend and so it's always a time to reflect that we have passed through another year of marriage. This year instead I remember how everything sort of "crashed" last year on this weekend.

We had been going through a period of time where we thought that we had James a bit more figured out and that we were making progress on getting him better. It wasn't until the Victoria Day when he ended up in ICU that we realized how wrong we were. In reality we didn't even realze it intially, but a week later our research had made us come to believe that we were dealing with more then what the doctors believed and that James had PAP. Last year we made a visit to Felkers Falls on the Saturday of the long weekend. We had hoped to go again this year, but a sick boy and miserable weather made us decide against it. I have quite a few pictures from our walk last year and whenever I see them I think of them as the last time James was considered "half-healthy". And my second thought always is "I wonder what his SATs were? Poor guy should have been on oxygen." And so began our extended hospital journey, from one holiday to the next ... as I will also always remember the July long weekend (Canada Day) as our first time at Sick Kids when we had just been faced with the reality of how sick James really was after the doctors had sat us down to tell us that we had a "very, very sick boy" and his illness was terminal without treatment, possibly not if the treatment worked.

So although there are certain dates in etched in my mind, I don't always clue into the actual date to remember what happened on that date, instead I remember events that surround the date. But all in all the past six months have been going okay. Sometimes I feel bogged down by the fact that things aren't getting any better. I guess I thought that there would be a steady and slow progression to this all, but in reality their was only a progression during the first month or so and now it's just a range of mountains that we climb and stumble back down over and over. I am not consumed by this, but there are still times were I am surprised by how much I am still affected by it all, especially because it usually appears out of nowhere, taking me by complete surprise when I thought I was doing fine. I have come to realize that this is how it will be, and it's likely going to take a very long time before I can actually say that I've made further progess, and so we just keep climbing through the ups and downs, always looking ahead.

Although unplanned I did have a chance to stop by the cemetary on Friday. We've only stopped once before and then it was snow covered. There wasn't much to see since we still haven't ordered a stone. I started on the process but wasn't happy with the place we went so now I have to look around yet before we make a decision ... sort of falls in the "time flies" thing, where I suddenly realize another week or two has gone by and I haven't gotten around to it again.
"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death" Psalm 68:19, 20


Kevin & Amy said...


HH said...

Hi Steph,
Time sure does fly. I can't believe it's been 6 months already as well. Don't be so hard on yourself about not seeming to make progress. You are progressing, little by little, sometimes you just may not see it. And it's also so nice to have the comfort that you make that progress with God holding your hand all the way. "God knows us most intimately; He holds and guides us by His hand". Ps 139:1-12
Thinking of you all as you pass this 6 month anniversary of a little boy who touched so many lives, even us, on the other side of the world. It still amazes me how much we felt we knew James, even without ever having met or seen him.

Anonymous said...

Dear Steph, Rob and family,

We agree, it is hard to believe that six months have passed already, but you have been very busy with your family and getting things straightened out with Matthew. You would probably be quite surprised to see how much progress you really have made - it just seems slight to you in the overall scheme of things.

Indeed there are mountains and valleys in your lives - in all of our lives - but the LORD has promised that He will always walk with us up those mountains and through the valleys. What a comfort that is for us all!

You remain in our thoughts and prayers.

Arend and Willa Dale