Sunday, August 08, 2010

Love and loss

As an amendment to my previous blog post, it occurred to me that everything I posted about my mom's negativity was pretty negative. That's pretty funny. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. :) 

Last Sunday, one week ago today, we took a family trip to the lake with a friend of Dalton's who has a boat. It was a beautiful day for boating and we had a great time. On the way there, we were listening to Dalton's radio as we always do in the car. He's the assistant chief of our local fire department, so even if he can't make a call when it comes in, he likes to keep up with what's going on. A medical call came through for Tarkington First Responders, a 12 year-old having an asthma attack, not breathing, CPR in progress.

We didn't recognize the address, but it was a 12 year-old out here on the Prairie, so there was a good chance it might be someone Joe knew and went to school with. We talked about how unusual it was for an asthma attack to result in a CPR call and listened as two ambulances got there and performed CPR all the way to the hospital. They said the boy was breathing on his own, shallowly. Later on, Dalton called some of the guys and found out the boy didn't make it. Nobody had a name they could give us.

So, we had our day at the lake and it was a wonderful time. We took turns being dragged behind the boat on a tube/float and anchored the boat off a tiny island in the middle of the lake to eat lunch and swim for a while. We all laughed when a herd of tiny perch swarmed Dalton as he was sitting still in the water. They had a feast taking little nibbles off his back. He said it felt good, but he couldn't see that it looked like he was being attacked by a swarm of mini-piranhas. Joseph and Savannah swam with me and Joe kept grabbing handfuls of muddy sand to throw down our backs. By the end of the day our butts were dragging. We were exhausted and waterlogged, but it was a good kind of tired.

About an hour after we got home, Joe came out of his room holding his cell phone and crying. He handed me the phone and it was a woman who said she was a neighbor of the family of the boy who had died. She thought she was talking to me and had just blurted out that the boy who died was one of Joe's best friends. He had been at our house the previous week and Joe had stayed with him just a few days before. In fact, Joe had been trying to reach him on Saturday to see if he could come over. We were all in shock and heartbroken for Joe. He's been through so much for a 12 year-old.

It turns out the boy was staying at another friend's house and had a seizure out of nowhere. An autopsy was performed to find out the cause, but it will take a few weeks to get the results. It's suspected it might have been an aneurysm.  

It's been a rough week. Joe cried a lot the first couple of days. So did I. It brought back a lot of the emotions from when Nathan died three years ago. Joe knows it's okay to cry and get it out, but grief is not an overnight process. He's stayed busy with friends and things, and we've talked some about it and have even started laughing again.

We know where our loved ones are and that we'll get to see them again someday. But, like I always say, when a little bit of light leaves this world, it takes a while for your eyes to adjust.


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