All the Pennies

Today has been more than one of “those days”. I can’t remember the last time I felt this way. You know the feeling where you’ll be sitting there and you feel that lump in your throat. Once you realize the lump is actually sitting there and not going away, you start to feel the tears brimming in your eyes. All this happened as I stared out my car window and all Mad Dog did was say “Hello” at the other end of the cell phone while I drove to another building for a meeting today at work.

The thing is I don’t think even the most pessimistic of people would ever think that the next time they speak to someone or see someone they love, it will be the last time you have a moment with that person. No one thinks that loving yet slight of a comment will be the last words between you or that the fact that you didn’t hold their hand at the movies will be the thing that sticks with you for the rest of your life. No one thinks that. No one thinks about death.

In the seven years I have been with Mad Dog, I think once I thought about not seeing him again. It was when I bled out after Loki was born. The thought flashed into my head for a moment, only a moment. The thing was I was so focused on staying conscious for Lex and Loki that I couldn’t think about anything else. Once I was in the ambulance I knew that I was going to be okay – the fear left me. I couldn’t tell you what Mad Dog felt at the other end of that phone call and I doubt he could tell you how we left things when he left for work that morning, but what I can tell  you is that he wouldn’t have forgotten a detail of it if I hadn’t listened to my instinct and called the ambulance.

Why am I talking about all this? Today a co-worker of mine lost her husband. They were on the verge of celebrating their 10 year wedding anniversary and they have two beautifully sweet twin 18 month old boys. I had only met her husband once, but he made an impression on me. His good sense of humor and lively spirit were apparent from the moment I was introduced. This wasn’t the only reason I liked him from the start, I had met him through her eyes.

Over the last few months and two trips to St. Louis, I had learned all about her, him and their boys through her stories. I remember her telling us all about how they met, how this crazy American traveled to Australia and she thought he was alright. How she wanted a ring for their anniversary and that they were planning something big to celebrate. She painted a picture of him as a husband, a parent and a man in each and every word she shared with us. Words which can’t help to get caught in my throat as I write this. For the last two weeks she has been the pillar of  strength. He had gone into Children’s Hospital in Boston for heart surgery. He would lead you to believe this was completely a normal thing and for someone who has had several similar surgeries I’m sure it is.

This past Monday I stopped by her desk to check in with her. I asked about him. I asked about the boys. I asked about her. Out of everything she said to me that morning what I remember most was “Please enjoy every moment with your husband.” At the time I held the tears back, of course for myself as much as her, but at this writing I let those same tears fall for her as well as me. I can’t imagine what it would mean not to have Mad Dog in my life anymore. Not at this moment in our lives or any moment for that matter.

My day ended with picking my children up at daycare. Lex and Loki ran to the car, arguing back and forth, getting on each others nerves as siblings do. I asked them both if we could please have a quiet ride home tonight, because I had a rough day at work. Lex being the heart of my two children asked me what I did today. I explained simply that I worked on the computer and had meetings today, but that wasn’t what made it tough. As I opened their Snackables, I asked him if he remembered my friend that went to St. Louis with me. The one with the two little boys I told him about. He said yes. I asked him if he remembered that their Daddy was sick. He said yes and that we were going to buy toys for them to cheer them up (something I had mentioned just Monday evening to him). I said to him, that their Daddy died today. Lex who is my heart looked at me and said with is wide eyes “He went away?” I said yes. He started to panic, and I calmed him down. Telling him our Daddy (Mad Dog – I even had to say Mad Dog), was okay and at work. He asked me what are they going to? I didn’t understand him. I asked what did he mean. He rephrased his question and asked, “How are they going to get stuff now?” Still needing clarification on how a five year old’s mind works I asked, “like what?” “What if one little boy wants to play baseball and then the other little boy wants to play baseball. That is a lot of stuff to get, how is she going to do that and play with them both?” My five year old heart understood what I had been breaking out in tears over all the way home, all through dinner and even now as I write this. How is this amazingly strong, smart woman going to carry on? How is she not going to look at her boys and think what they are missing out on? As I sat there in the driveway of my daycare provider’s, I looked at Lex and Loki in the review mirror and thought “That’s how.” Her children will be how she gets through, how she wakes up the next day and how she soldiers on. She will take a deep breath and exhale for them. To hopefully put a smile on your face through those tears some of you might have in your eyes right now, Lex piped up waking me from my revery and said “Can I get them a set?” I smiled and said, ” I think they’re too little for LEGO right now, but we’ll find something.” He nodded and took a bit of his cheese.

On a final note another co-worker of mine said today that he thought this was going to be one of those things that will sneak-up on us. That it will just hit us from time to time throughout our day. I can’t tell you how true this has been and will be at least for me. Let me please ask that if you read this make it a point to get up and find that person you love tell them you do just that. You love them. Even if it seems foolish or the wrong time or you’re in the middle of the worst fight of your life. Tell them nothing else matters at that moment – you love them and enjoy that moment with them.

***At work this week we had another tragedy on Tuesday, we said good-bye to a long time co-worker and friend who passed after a strong fought battle with cancer. She was a lovely lady and a kind heart. My heart goes out to her family as well and all the friends who are struggling with both these sad events. May both these souls find peace.***

Blog Title: References All the Pennies a song by Mindy Gledhill. Listen to the full song at Triple Scoop Music or check out the lyrics here.


~ by Cute Fan Girl on April 11, 2012.

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