For 7665 Days

Apr 19, 2020

And here we are again, the day after the day that changed our lives and ended Zac’s. One day at a time we often say and that is of course how you get through anything. We are counting days of isolation these days hoping as they mount up we will get closer to the end. Last night Paige called and much of her conversation was centered on the day she can be here with the grandparents she knows so well and loves so much. Requests for a camping trip , bonfires and an upgrade to the play equipment in our yard show she’s looking toward the future. It is a sign of resilience that we plan for the future. This morning as I wrote in my journal reflecting on another April 18th which always calculates the years I thought of the days. These were the days of funeral planning and gathering all the courage and strength we could muster to get through the difficult days ahead. Having now buried my parents I realize the magnitude of those funeral parlor days.As hard as it was to go through those days with Mom and Dad it was nothing compared to burying my son. I remember trying to guide myself , an eight year old, a thirteen year old, a seventeen year old, a devastated husband , heart broken grandparents,aunts and uncles, multitudes of cousins and friends, neighbors and acquaintances through those days. My daughter who now works in the funeral parlor industry is living this again professionally. Right now the managing of funerals is greatly impacted by the Covid 19 crisis and I can not even imagine how difficult it must be for families who are grieving during this time. My mind goes to those days because that is where my memory goes in the days after the anniversary. The love and support is unforgettable. Marlene, Kim, Louisa, my cousin Joy , my friends and colleagues, my family , the generosity of neighbors, bags of potatoes, crates of milk , daily drop offs of food that lasted for one full month.Long line ups for two funeral parlor days, newspaper interviews, a huge crowd meeting us we drive up the hill and see the church in our sights,colorful Grateful Dead shirts on the young men who carried Zac’s casket, an overflowing church. The Columbine tragedy in the background of our grief. Days of exhaustion and high alert.Days of waking up and having to face the truth of what had happened to our oldest son over and over again as our mind and hearts let the reality seep in. Days of putting our feet on the floor. Days of learning how to live with the loss. Day after day, days turning into months, months turning into years , but each day an accomplishment , some better than others. Some so difficult you just want the day to end. Sunny days, rainy days,one day following another.7665 days.So today we begin the next collection of another 365 days. I am in awe of the days. I am weary of the days. I am hopeful for the days.I am thankful for the days.And this day Sawyer Nelson Palmer turns eight. I am thankful for that sweet loving boy and I am thankful for a granddaughter who calls from across the country and makes her Monkey smile and her Grampie laugh. In the children I see all the hope and purpose of believing in the future and slogging through the good and bad one day at a time.


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