Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanks-grieving



 
The other week when my children found out that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was going to be a “Daddy Day,” they erupted in cheers, giggles and lots of dancing.

No school, no day camps – just Daddy time. 

Over the past few years during their Thanksgiving, Christmas or Summer Break from school, we’ve been lucky enough to share a few days like these together.

There’s nothing magical that I do during these “Daddy Days” but perhaps that’s part of the charm.  I find plans and schedules a bit tedious; rather, I prefer to just let the day “speak to us.”

Whatever strikes in the moment is usually the inspiration for the day.  Sometimes, it’s been a day-long adventure to new locations and other times it’s just a casual day at home, playing cards or various board games.

To be clear, I’m a parent of two young kiddos – so some planning is involved.  But I’d prefer to call it research.  I’ll read about a new town, museum or attraction and make mental notes about possible ideas or destinations.  I’ll consider the weather, my health, energy level and/or any other logistical considerations.

And then when the morning of “Daddy Day” arrives, I just go with what feels right.

My children’s moment of jubilation was what originally inspired me to write this story.  I wanted to talk about how blessed I am – yes, having MS sucks – but it has also opened doors to magical moments in my life that probably wouldn’t have existed otherwise.

It seemed easy enough to write.  I’ve had similar “Silver Linings of Having MS” themes in others stories I’ve written, too.

The only problem is, something just didn’t feel right.  And, much like my “Daddy Days,” I’m going to let the day – or in this case, my story – “speak to me.”

It’s hard for me to write about what I’m thankful for this holiday season when all I really want is to see my Mom again. 

The final few years of her life was filled with chemo treatments, surgeries and trips to the emergency room.  It was hard watching all that she endured so when she died last September – as heartbroken as I was – I was also relieved that she was no longer in pain.

But her passing also created an emptiness that’s impossible to fill.  I miss my Mom.

Last November, the world lost another angel, when my good friend Adam Wight died suddenly at the age of 38.

Like me, he married way up to his beautiful bride, Jill, and also like me was blessed to be raising two young kiddos.

It’s hard for me to write about what I’m thankful for this holiday season when I’m still struggling to understand how somebody like Adam could be taken so suddenly from us, his wife and his two young children.

This past year, it’s been difficult for me to write.  My struggles with MS just seem so miniscule compared to the emptiness created by my Mom’s passing and the heartbreak of Adam’s sudden death.

Something feels off writing about my struggles with blurred vision or vertigo when I won’t have my Mom to read or comment on my story.  Or explaining the daily pain associated with MS seems trite when I think about the kind of pain that Adam’s wife, children, family and friends have endured since last November.

This holiday season I’m thankful to have been the son of Frances Mary Basile Wentink and good friend of Adam James Wight.

I’m thankful for every moment I shared with them.  I just wish I had more.


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