Laundry. Something that never goes away. Just when we think we are all caught up, in the blink of an eye it’s “five feet high and rising”. Whether it’s something we do once a week or once a day, we usually do not look forward to it.
During Christian’s last year his care took more time and so did the laundry. It was something I had the hardest time keeping up with. I had a system worked out but as caregiving demands grew, time to do laundry became scarce. When I folded the boys’ clothes, I always had 6 pairs of pants, 6 shirts, etc. The number of any item of the boys that I folded was always an even set number. When Christian passed away last October, one of the hardest things for me to do, along with setting the table and setting out pills, was laundry. The reasons, of course, were completely different. For one thing, it was easier and took less time because there was less clothes. What was once even and in sets of 6 became odd and in sets of 3. This made me feel guilty. For another, I missed folding his clothes: His Jeff Gordon t-shirt which he wore every race day, his Call of Duty shirt which I always liked the feel of and I thought looked great on him and all of his Star Wars shirts. Christian’s Star Wars shirts defined what he was most passionate about, which defined him.
Today when I folded the darks, I had 3 shirts and 3 pairs of pants. I began to feel sad but felt a little better when I looked up at Christian’s Samus (from Super Metroid) poster that I hung up above the folding table. I realized that I was thankful that I still had Drew’s and Dave’s clothes to launder and as long as I am washing them and folding them, it means they are still in my life. Maybe laundry wouldn’t be such a chore if we viewed it as an act of love.
I haven’t posted in a few weeks. Christian’s passing was just before the holiday season began and it was a lot to process. I was happy to have my mother and sister here for Thanksgiving and it did help things to not be as overwhelmingly painful. We shed more tears around Christmas but did find great comfort looking at the lights on the tree. It was a different kind of Christmas all right. It did help to go the the cemetery. A friend of ours beat us to it and left a couple of gifts for Christian.
And my mother had a company in her town make a Darth Vader decoration for the grave. Christian was very passionate about Star Wars and had a lot of empathy for Darth Vader (a post on that later).
Thanks to the comfort and strength of the Lord and the love and generosity of family and friends, we made it through our first holiday without our oldest son.
Around New Years, I picked up the paper and saw a headline called Montana heroes lost in 2014. The article link is http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/local/2014/12/30/montana-heroes-lost/21076535/ . I decided to read through the article and thought in my mind that Christian was our hero in so many ways. I was in disbelief when I saw Christian listed in the article! I was touched, I cried, posted it on social media and let my family know.
My husband did the best job ever in writing the obituary. Christian cared for others, he loved others, he was kind, courageous and intelligent. He also had a great sense of humor and had the best laugh. His smile. I could write about his smile alone. It’s impossible not to smile when you see the light radiating from his face.
There are so many people that changed the lives of those they were close to just by being themselves. Christian was one of them. He wasn’t able to fly a plane or publish a novel but he did many smaller things that meant just as much. He made us laugh, he received an art award in 2010, he helped out his grandparents with groceries and he always bought us the best gifts. He made an impact on so many people with his love, grace and humor. If there was any way he could help, he would do so to the fullest of his physical ability. Christian inspired everyone he came into contact with, even if it was just once a few years ago. I miss him and hurt in a way I cannot put into words, but I feel tremendously grateful to have had him in my life. He left me many of his traits and as I heal, I will honor him by continuing his love, kindness, humor, courage and grace.