Nine years...How is that even possible of being how long Darrel has been gone??? Milestones are supposed to be reached for pleasant memories and events, yet September 9th is not a happy time for reflection, but most certainly worthy of remembering. I always try and post a Blog on May 26th and September 9th, but as the years go by, there is so little new to say about Darrel that hasn't been said countless times. I can proudly talk about what Kira and Lauren have currently been up to, which I will always do, but when it comes to Darrel, that just can't be done.
On my wall, there are graduation pictures hanging of both my daughters, but there will never be one for my son, not even one of the cheesy and almost pointless photos they now take for graduating kindergarten (though I ordered them and cherish them all the same). With each passing year, the photo of a young boy in between photos of two young women may seem out of place at first glance. When new visitors come over to the apartment, looking at these pictures is often their initial introduction to the fact our family is missing an important piece that can not be ever found. Every picture tells a story, but there are very few people that actually want to know the story that goes along with contents of my photo albums. When it comes to childhood cancer, or facing the reality that there are very sick children in a modern and prosperous country like Canada, most people would rather change the subject or the TV channel. That is a luxury and an option that I can never have again. To have no pictures of Darrel up would be a disservice to his memory, but to deny any of your children their rightful place in your life and in your heart, whether living or deceased is something that I will never do, or understand. There is nothing you can do or say that will ever fully and completely replace what has been lost, though some choices could make the void seem more manageable to some people.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and for many families, this week marked the beginning of the new school year. Darrel probably would have been entering Grade 12, with all the uncertainty and big decisions on what and where you would be headed after you received your diploma. For Darrel's sisters, they have their near future paths already mapped out for themselves. Kira is back in St. Catharines for her second year at Brock University. In addition to her studies, she has taken on a Residence Don position, which I'm sure she will excel at, and provide her with invaluable experiences for both her personal and career development. Lauren will be starting her apprenticeship at a company in Guelph next week, which will be equally rewarding for her as well.
Not much has changed in my situation since my last post. I am somewhat hopeful that all the remaining legal matters can be resolved sooner rather than later, but this optimism is tainted with the reality that it takes the willingness of both parties to move things to a successful conclusion. While I am open to re-entering the Dating Scene, so much has changed since that last time I was 'available', it is both an exciting and scary prospect at the same time. I may not be considered old, but I certainly won't be categorized as been that young either. Life has given me quite a few unexpected twists and turns thus far, and I'm sure many more lay ahead in my future. Approaching each day and each situation with no expectations is really about all any of us can do, but that is often easier said than done.
Thank you once again to everyone who continues to be there when I need a sounding wall, or even a shoulder to lean on. It is greatly appreciated.
Love and Miss You Little Man
September 9th Follow Up: Yesterday, I did receive a few messages from friends worried about my state of mind, as they felt some of my posts were too dark. While their concern was genuine and appreciated, it was lacking in understanding of what I, and many other parents who have lost a child (or even losing their children) must cope with on a daily basis.
My Blog yesterday talked about the pictures on my Wall and in my Photo Albums. Those photos I decide to Post on Social Media show usually show Darrel with a smile and that amazing twinkle in his eyes. I have others that I do not share, with his eyes deeply sunken in, his frail bones almost visible through his skin, and the look of pain on his face that would give you nightmares. The smiles may be easier for you to view, but I know what was going on with his health and treatments when they were taken, and know what Darrel was enduring behind that brave face...so those photos are as painful to me as the ones I do not show. Every picture does tell a story, but even after all I have shared in blogs and pictures over the years, there is so much of the story you will never know.
While I post about Childhood Cancer throughout the year, on September the 9th, I give myself permission to feel everything, and open up the flood gates of emotion that I try to contain the rest of the year. Posting about Bacon, Star Trek, or Music are all fine and good, but there is a sadness within me that will never disappear, though I do not willing put it on display most of the time.
I do not let what has happened to Darrel and my Family dictate everything I do, but it IS part of everything I do all the same. Your concern is appreciated, but a few comments crossed the line into judging me, which I will not tolerate from anyone who has not experienced exactly all that I have...and I am the only person that can say that.
If you can not grasp what I am attempting to convey here, please feel free to remove yourselves from this Page. I realize most of your intentions were good, but that is not how they came across on my end.