It hasn’t been all frowns here at Momma’s house, I hope you know. From the wee hours of this past Sunday night and even into today, there have been moments that have made me happy-sigh.
Charley’s moment: Charley wasn’t quite sure how to let himself go. Hours after declaring, “I feel like it’s time to go,” he seemed at a loss as to how to actually bring that to pass. He once looked at my mom and said, “I don’t know what else to do.” But the instances that I hadn’t expected, the ones that puzzled me silly, were the times when Charley would place his right index and middle fingers on the inside of his left wrist. That’s right. Charley was checking his own pulse.
Now, I don’t know what it feels like to be that close to heaven or if I’d be inclined to do the same thing, but a part of me wanted to lean and and be like, “Uhhh, Charley… If you can still check your pulse, you’re still here.” Perhaps he was counting to see if it had slowed. I don’t know. The action just caught me off guard in the most adorable kind of way.
Momma’s moment: Upon declaring that I wanted to go to the store and pick up some groceries to make breakfast in the morning, Momma tried to insist on me taking her $15 WalMart gift card along to help out.
Uhhhhhh, seriously, Momma?
At a time when finances are one big question mark, there she was trying to make sure that she could help out with my purchases.
Momma, you can hang onto that gift card, ThankYouVeryMuch.
So there was that, but there are also the times when I’ve walked up behind her and caught her reading all of the Square Piece comments.
Mandy’s moment: Much like Brian being dubbed Brhino, my sister has acquired a new nickname of her own: Mannysaurus Rex. Of course, I’m operating under the assumption that dinosaurs were loud and clunky and woke up each other’s babies.
Bennett’s moment: Who are we kidding? Every second with him brings happy sigh upon happy sigh.
Donovan’s moment: Perhaps this might surprise you, but here goes: I’ve been hovering around Donovan, carefully checking in to see how his heart is and offer comfortable, natural moments to reflect on and process his dad’s passing. Bless his heart, Donovan finally opened up to both me and my mom saying something to the effect of, “It’s weird, but I just don’t feel that bad.” For a sixteen year old boy, he’s got the eternal hope of an 80 year old veteran of the faith. He KNOWS where Charley is and that Charley is well. That isn’t to say that Donovan hasn’t shed his own tears. He surely has, sitting at Charley’s bedside, comforting him, holding his hand. But Donovan’s doing well right now. And I’m so, so, SO glad that he could admit to the peace that he has rather than feel embarrassed or ashamed by it, living with a false sense of guilt that there is something wrong with him for not feigning hopeless sorrow. On the contrary, I believe that there is something unusually right about him.
Olivia’s moment: I can read that girl like a book… A picture book at that. Easy-breezy. Upon doing Olivia’s hair prior to Charley’s memorial, I asked her, “What do you think?” I had been a little creative and left some of her natural, exotic curls down. She replied, “I like it.” To which I probed, “Are you just saying you like it because you don’t like it?” Yep. Nailed it. So we continued to twist and to pin until she could say, “I like it,” and actually mean it.
Joey’s moment: My brother delivered a eulogy with half a mustache. Kinda. You see, in spite of the fact that Joey seems like a preacher, he’s presently masquerading as a Sheetz manager. Recently, Joey proposed a month of mustache-growing celebration if the store got a 100% on a secret shopper report. Well, he’s a couple of weeks into this commitment and you’ve never seen sadder facial hair than that of my brother’s. It’s barely growing in. And what IS growing in is not only thicker and darker on the left, but it’s literally thinner and blonde on the right. Integrity doesn’t always look pretty.
Oh, and my favorite:
Brian’s moment: My husband is from the Shenandoah Valley, where my family presently resides. He’s very familiar with the culture, the pace, the speak, etc. Yet when he was approached by a Ukrainian exchange student after Charley’s memorial, undaunted by her incredibly thick accent, I overheard Brian politely ask, “Sooo… are you from around here?”
Although you have happy-sigh moments, I’m sure this can’t be easy. Charlie seemed like a very wonderful man. I’m very sorry for your loss.
i love this you know. sharing moments others did not. it is very valuable and precious to hear and visualize. makes us feel closer and a more a part of a very intimate time for people we love. i know it must be a little difficult and yet it seems a way for you also to process all thats happened. you do a fine job and i thank you for sharing it. <3
Shed a few tears about Donovan and Olivia. I do so worry about and pray for those two. Thanks for sharing.
Observing first hand a family filled with faith. So nice to feel the warmth, trust, confidence in what is in store for Charley coming from everyone. Don’t know why, but even though I am clueless, I expect the future to find Momma and the crew doing very well. Too much demonstrated strength to be overcome with sadness or morbidity. You have me convinced all will work out according to a higher power and the greater good. ❤
Thank you so much for your words. It makes my not being able to be there tolerable–as I am there with your words. Great Grand Mother would be-scratch that–IS so proud of each of you.