empty spaces

I don’t know how I am going to get through tomorrow.  I didn’t even realize it until about two hours ago, when my daughter asked me if she could take a friend to get ice cream after school tomorrow.

Then it hit me- like a boulder. Like a semi.  A tidal wave of pain and sadness.  Our ritual of getting ice cream after the last day of school.  We have only done it a few years but the kids have it now ingrained in their memories.

Last year I think Lucas had an exam that day that the girls had their last day of school.  We went to pick them up and he saw all the elementary teachers standing in a row, waving to the busses as they drove circles around the circle drive, honking.  He immediately wanted to go say Hi to them.  My boy.  Always loving his teachers, wanting to see them again and reconnect with them.  He walked up and hugged them- Mrs. Schanski, Mrs. Beatty, Mrs. Deegan.  All amazing, inspiring, caring teachers who helped shape him.  They laughed as he towered over them.  After chatting for a minute we left to get ice cream.  We decided instead to get sandwiches at Schnitz’s and ice cream later, I think mostly because Lucas was hungry and convinced us all that was the best idea.  We sat outside in the sun and ate, reveling in another successful year.

I am so proud of all my kids.   So stinking proud.  Yet I remember that day so clearly, like crystal thinking how proud I was of my Lucas- so tall and handsome, so respectful and polite, graduating already from eighth grade.  Middle school had been tough.  He had lost a lot of confidence mid- eighth grade when suddenly his grades started to slip and he just seemed kind of lost.  He wasn’t himself.  We didn’t know what was wrong.  Yet he fought to bring them back up and was getting his footing again.  He was not a quitter, in fact that was the last thing Lucas was.  He was a fighter.  He was his own worst enemy- every time he got a grade that was not up to his standards he beat himself up.  He had ended the year on a really good note and he was so happy to be out of middle school.

It felt so good to sit there with my beautiful children.  All of them.  From towering to tiny.  It was gorgeous sunny day.  The flowers were blooming and the birds were singing.  Life could not have been better.

I realized two hours ago that he would be missing from our “schools out” party tomorrow.

Lately I have been fighting the memories so hard.  Working like crazy to distract myself because I don’t feel like I can go there.  It will break me.  They say it’s a spiral, you feel like your coming around and then you end up back at the beginning.  I feel anxious.  Thinking about him makes my stomach churn and my knees buckle.

I keep telling myself, one day at a time.  One day at a time.  Just don’t think.  Keep busy and keep moving and don’t think.  Then it will be the next day, and the next and someday it will be over.

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Tomorrow is a day I don’t want to live through.

I miss him.

So much.


12 Responses to empty spaces

  1. Leslie Drueke says:

    I pray tonight that you can somehow bring the wonderful memories of Lucas and your ice cream ritual with you to comfort you tomorrow. Always praying for your peace, Leslie

  2. Teresa says:

    Praying for you Melissa. God will give you strength. He has carried you this far, He wont leave you now!

  3. Beth says:

    Praying for strength for you especially tomorrow. Sending you hugs and lots of love.

  4. Maria says:

    Your Lucas has indeed graduated… into God’s realm. I pray that God gives your heart some real comfort tomorrow. Bless you Melissa. You and your family are in my prayers.

  5. Penny Beatty says:

    I remember Lucas on the last day of school last year! I loved him and am so thankful for the times he sought me out at school… just to say, “Hi.” Praying that God gives you peace today.
    -Penny Beatty

  6. Jennifer Bruining says:

    pratung Gid brings beauty into your day today.

  7. Arija Wilcox says:

    Sending you huge hugs and prayers for you and your family. I wish that I could take all the pain away and bring you peace.

  8. jane klingenberg says:

    Dear Melissa:

    I am praying today, all day, that God will part the Red Sea of your pain and give you dry ground to just have ice cream with your other children. He is holding your hand, as Jesus Calling reminded me this morning. I picture you like a puppet, and God’s hands are moving your arms and legs, getting you through today and to the ice cream and back home.

    With ongoing care and prayers,

  9. Brian says:

    Said an extra prayer for you for today, Melissa. Wish there was more I could do.

  10. Arlene says:

    Prayers will continue for you through-out the Summer. I would love to help your family with meals through the Summer. We have children in the Forest Hills Schools and also attend Ada Bible. I would like to start next week. Please let me know what day would work?
    In God’s Love, Arlene

  11. Joan says:

    Prayers & prayers—a source of strength & a way to communicate with our Lord!!! Keep talking to Him asking Him for help each day & any moment you need that strength to live & interact with your children!! I will continue to pray for you each day—God bless!!

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