It has now been two years since my son Darrel was taken from us. Though the Earth
continues to spin around, and life, with all its joys, trials, and tribulations continues to unfold
before me each day, September 9, 2007 will forever linger in every fibre of who I am. No matter what happens, or how long I may live, the day that Darrel died will remain in my memory with a sharp piercing resonance as though it was only yesterday.
As Kira and Lauren grow and mature, most of the sights and sounds of that have filled
our house are much different than two years ago. Whether it be the toys, TV programs,
movies, reading material, choice of music they listen to, or their interests in general, there
seems to be less connection to the world as Darrel left it when I glance around. With the
teenage years approaching (far too fast I might add), it's common for parents to look
back and long for the simpler times when their children were younger, and easier to protect
from the dangers that may lurk just around the corner. While I will eventually will have to
come to terms with the girls becoming young women, and everything that will come along
withit, this parental 'letting-go' of your child's youth can never come with my son.
Even though no new memories of Darrel can be created, I still find myself being
reminded of him new and different ways. The most common for me is music lyrics
in songs. I have always attached meaning, sometimes far too literally and/or
figuratively, to the words of the music I enjoy listening to. Songs written
well after he died, or in a style of music he may or may not have approved of,
it doesn't really matter. It is often said that music has the ability to
transcend almost anything, effecting a person's frame of mind and mood like no
other means of communication. I am often amazed how a simple verse, phrase. or
evena music pattern can come out of no where, and emotionally impact me on a
personal level. Regardless of what imagery or message the original songwriter
had intended, we each take something different and unique from the source
material, which of course is the power that music can have for us all.
There are also physical places that in my mind, for various reasons, have a significance
that links it to Darrel. For example, I can't help but think of Darrel when we go to the horse track over in Elora. The first time I took the girls over to it was only a couple of months before his passing, as kind of a stress release for them and myself. Darrel had not wanted
to come, and probably could not have physically handled it either at the time
(even if he had wanted to attend). Kira and Lauren were each given $10 to place bets on the horses of their choosing as the evening's entertainment. When we returned, both Kira
and Lauren proudly told him what earnings they had made from their selections, and he
became quite upset and angry. There are countless positive attributes I could say about
Darrel, but he could be a bit of a little miser when it came to monetary matters! Darrel said that if he knew "cash money" was involved, he most certainly would have joined us. I tried to explain that it was all by luck and chance, and that the girls could have just as easily come home with nothing to show for their efforts, but it was to no avail. He never stepped foot in the Grand River Raceway, but I can't help think of him when ever I'm there.
Of course, these sights and sounds pale beside the power of the wandering human mind. The endless combinations and possibilities of what happened then, is occuring now, and could
have taken place in the future had things been handled differently when Darrel first
mentioned pains in his back and stomach in May 2005. Although there was likely nothing we could have done to alter what transpired, the loss was and is so enormous you can not help to think about your actions as you relive the events over and over again.
While on days like today, Darrel's birthday in May, Christmas, and other times and/or events significant to my family, I can't help but dwell more on the sadness and sorrow of a young life drastically cut short, the majority of my thoughts deal with the good times. The fond
memories are much more plentiful, and can only make me thankful that I have so many
of them to remember. As many people may look at today as significant because it is
09/09/09, or that it is the day the remastered Beatles CDs and their new Rock Band video
game comes out, please remember instead our Darrel's smile and laugh. They were never taken from him , and our memories of Darrel will never be taken from us.
September, being the official Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and Spetmeber 12th
being the official Childhhod Cancer Awareness Day, our loss is also being shared with parents
around the world at almost the same time. It doesn't matter where you live or what your social status may be, when cancer touches your child, nothing else matters anymore.
Thank you again for reading these blogs. I realize that much of the content is probably
depressing and repetitive, but they do seem to help me on days such as today.
Miss you very much Little Man,