Thursday, January 7, 2010

One Year --- No more firsts!!!

Can you believe it's already been one year today since Hope left her lifeless cancer riddled body and flew free of anymore pain (unless of course she reads my blogs still then the pain continues) in her life that contained way too much for any single person on this earth only 36 years? Well the day started very strangely for the Wise boys. It was right at midnight (i.e. the day Hope passed away) last night when I was getting ready for bed except two teacher friends working on essays for an award they had a chance of winning (now please explain to me why when you're up for a major award as both of them are you have to write a five-page essay just for a chance to win? I think I would say thank you for the nomination but I'll just assume I'm not winning and save a couple evenings of my life for my kids, friends, video games, whatever!) that kept us texting. If any of you have been at our house we have an alarm system that beeps every time you open a door or window across the house or in our detached garage. It tells you "kitchen door open" or "upstairs window open" (that is how I'll keep my boys from sneaking out, but I'm sure they'll learn some type of bypass so they can sneak out like I did so many times growing up. I think walking the streets at 3 AM is a right of passage every growing boy should experience and if you can sneak into a girl's window or backdoor bonus. FTR that never happened with Hope and I just in case any relatives still read this --- of course her mom knows better).

Anywho, right at midnight one year from Hope's passing all of a sudden my alarm says "garage door open." Now I have a detached garage referenced earlier so it freaks me out. I'm thinking some homeless person is looking for a warm place to sleep because we are having record low temperatures (believe me I'm on top of this because of my poor plants that my neighbors call my other children --- I love them almost as much as my brother and his strange kinky coy pond in his backyard) or it's just a coked out mass murderer that can't tell the main house from the garage so he'll be at the back door soon (now please ladies don't be upset I assumed the mass murderer was a man, I know all too well that you can kill just as easily it's just over the course of a marraige with nagging that it normally occurs --- sorry that sexist remark was courtesy of Dennis just to get my mom all riled up). So I freaked out a bit and turned all my external lights on hoping to scare anyone away. Then I hear the "garage door open" again and start to really freak. I decided then to set my house alarm so opening any doors or windows would set off the very loud siren alarm and in a few minutes it goes off telling me someone opened a door again. I turned it off right away not wanting to wake the kids.

Now I'm needing to go check the garage to make sure nothing is up or if something is confront him but I won't leave the kids alone in the house. So I decide to wake up my neighbors on the coldest day of the year and Rich my new superhero is kind enough to wake up and come over in the cold. We search and find nothing at all so he goes back home. Two more times after he leaves the same message goes off, "garage door open." I'm now thinking it's some kind of short or other problem and this will go off all night so I'll never sleep. I can turn it off but just in case it's something real I don't want to. So I then decide to set the alarm one more time and if it happens again the alarm goes off hopefully scaring anyone off. This time though I'll just let it sound off and just let the kids know if they wake that everything is ok. Knowing this would happen because it had been doing so now for almost 90 minutes straight I decide to watch Family Guy DVR'd. It was the episode when Peter gets amnesia (I think every long-standing comedy show has to have an amnesia episode per FCC regulations) and so Lois teaches him about sex again. He likes it so much he brings home another woman and asks her to leave so they can enjoy this newfound sex thing. So she moves the kids out and ends up with their giggity-giggity neighbor Quagmire before Brian (the talking dog) goes back to Peter to help him fight to save their marriage only to find out that a chicken that he fights with all the time knocked his amnesia away about 3 days ago and he was liking the bachelor life (if that's not your typical Happy Days/Cosby Show sitcom I don't know what is).

You just have to love that freaking show!!! Anywho again, I watched the entire episode and nothing happened with the alarm. If it was a short, the wind, the cold or anything except a person it definitely would have gone off again. It could not have been a person because we searched everywhere possible. So unless someone has a better explanation since Hope promised to haunt me and it was at midnight exactly one year from her passing I can't imagine what else it could have been. Damn I'm too wordy telling a story, but I think it had to be Hope just letting me know she was here.

So I had no idea what to do with today. It's obviously not a celebration day like her birthday or Mother's Day. I decided to let the kids got to school and I went to work this morning. For lunch I met Hope's three best friends in Florida (Jen is her best friend outside of Florida no doubt) Man-Marie (sorry that nickname will always crack me up), Roo, and Cheryl for lunch. We stayed for a couple of hours telling old stories including many that took place in hospice or at our house between hospice visits and they ended it sharing a piece of chocolate cake in her honor. Ann-Marie and I then went to Taylor Park in Rockledge next to Wuesthoff hospital that had hospice in it where we spent a few different days walking during the toughest of times in 2008/2009. We have a brick paver carved with Hope and my name in it with our wedding date so we visited our brick (it was a present from Mom and Dennis when we got engaged while living in Rockledge in a duplex). We sat there on one of the coldest days of the year with the sun beating down on us like it was the middle of summer as we each pealed layers off just to keep cool. We could just feel Hope's presence as we must have talked and cried for an hour or more.

We then went our different ways and I drove past our old duplex in Rockledge and our first house in Viera. I then joined another friend Jon at one of her favorite places in the world Wickham Park where we spent more weekends then probably anywhere else except home hiking, playing soccer, frisbee golf, playgrounds, birthday parties, Christmas lights, boy scout camp, etc. I then went home and spent the rest of the night with the boys before I took Nathan to his basketball practice where I coached. As I tucked the boys in to bed (now remember every night we hold mommy's picture and tell her our favorite part of the day) we talked about what we missed most about mommy. Reese said her hair, hands, hugs, eyes, and love. Nathan completely independently said her love and hugs.

It's now 12:20 AM and Alabama just won the national championship (congrats Jen! and sorry all you Tebow lovers) which is where Hope grew up in her early teens. Tonight is basically the exact same weather conditions and wiring for that matter so I'm waiting for the alarm to go off. However, it's not still one year since Hope left her lifeless cancer riddled body so I don't think I'll hear it at all. I really hope not because my neighbors aren't home. The whole day I felt strange, again not mad, not too sad except for a couple of emotional moments, but just kind of numb going through the motions. Now that we've survived and at times thrived through the first year, there will be no more firsts without Hope! That's right, no more firsts in 2010!!! We have made it through her first birthday, mother's day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, anniversary of her death, groundhog day, and Tiffani Amber Thiesen's birthday so it can only get easier from here. I personally made it through without any huge gaffs I'm aware of like getting remarried, becoming gay and forgoing women, selling the house, business, or kids, etc. I think I've got my wits about me most of the time now and the fog has lifted. That feels good, the boys and I are in a groove.

What does this mean for 2010, who knows? I'm ready for anything, I've survived what I hope is the worst that can be thrown at me, our boys are doing so well I absolutely glow every time I think about them, and there will be no more firsts! I have to work tomorrow, the kids will go to school, the weather will stay cold, Nathan has his first basketball game Saturday, and my friends Shondra and Cheryl will celebrate their birthdays on Saturday. Our life, your lives, and the world will go on tomorrow like it's just another day. It's not for us, it's the first day we will no longer have any firsts without Hope. We will always love and miss her, she will never be forgotten as my wife, first love, and my children's mother, but I think everyday will make it a little easier. I hopefully am slowly not being THAT guy anymore, people aren't thinking as much before they speak around us, and we are just another single parent family making their way through the world as we know it. I think Hope visited me again last night because she promised to haunt me, the alarm tonight is still silent, and now that it's been one year I can hopefully make good decisions again. I love you like water Hope, one year later and that has not diminished. I am trying and will eventually move on, but you will always be my children's mom and the first love of my life. Despite their young age, you will never be forgotten by our boys and I am making sure of that.


Anonymous said...

I have tears after reading your blog! That was so sweet, and you will always have Hope with you. Whether she haunts you or not, her presence will always be felt. You and the boys have done so well, and you will continue to have firsts, just different firsts...the kind that envolve you and the boys and growing up (all of you). ;) I hope that 2010 brings you all many blessings and wonderful memories. Hope would be so very proud of you and everything you have and are accomplishing. Carry on...

J said...

Awesome entry, man.

(However, I was not happy Alabama won the game---I was rooting for Texas. We Auburn people go for whoever is playing the cheating bammers.)

Jennifer P said...

I thought of you all on that day... sent a text to C, A, and R to tell them to raise a glass for me at lunch in Hope's honor. Love you guys!

rach said...

That is the best thing you can do...make sure they never forget her!

Anna Knowles said...

An old student of mine, Tyler, passed away a year and a half ago. I was really close to him and his family. A few days after he passed his neighbor called his mother and said, Tyler keeps ringing my doorbell! He would always do that, go around the neighborhood and ding-dong ditch, especially his neighbor. It's so funny how boys think that is hilarious. Then the telephone would ring repeatedly and then hang up when you answered it. They knew it was Tyler, he always said he would haunt his family and friends when he died. I know his mom liked that connection along with a lot of other special things that happened during that time.

Glad to hear things are better. :)