December, coincidentally it rhymes with ‘remember’. My heart is filled with so many remembers this time of the year. Our family is reminded simply by the chill in the air that our Grant won’t be with us again this holiday season. I think when losing deeply we search for every bit of our last season with our beloved. Unfortunately a lot of the time the memories that consume your mind are not the memories we want to keep or consume ourselves with. Some memories we keep for safe keeping. And other times, there comes a time to try and let go. Like Grant so often said to me, “Mom, Let It Be…” For me, writing it down, being honest with my feelings, is my way of letting go.
This fall season has a very familiar feeling of the year we lost Grant. That crisp air falling upon us reminding us snow is just around the corner. The saying “We don’t remember days we remember moments” would be the best way to describe the memory of that horrible day. I don’t remember the day as clearly as some of the moments within the day that are vivid memories, so clear as if they had happened yesterday. I remember being cold, but the coldest of words hit me like a brick… Those words that will run through my head forever are Steve’s scream Grant’s dead.
That chilly morning of December 3rd Sarah and I had a wedding; it must have been an earlier start time than usual. Most mornings I would have been the one to wake everyone in the house, Steve and Grant being the ‘all time, love to sleep in kind of guys.” Not me, work or no work, I’m up early and most times thought everyone else should have the same thinking. If the sun is up, so should we all. But that morning… maybe only heaven has the answer… I didn’t wake them. Maybe, if death really is like an out of body experience, Grant could see. Knowing that my going in his room and waking him couldn’t happen. I just walked out of the house that morning with intentions of being a part of one of the happiest days of someone else’s life.
I stopped by Karmin’s that morning to pick up a piece of equipment and chat for a few minutes before heading off. I may have left the house without waking my boy’s but that didn’t stop me from sending a text to Steve. I’m sure it went something like “rise and shine, don’t sleep all day…” I don’t even remember.
I remember standing by Dan and Karmin’s stairs, my phone rang, and Steve screams Grant’s dead. I remember throwing my phone across the room to Dan and falling to my knees. My Karmin didn’t even have to ask what was wrong… she just knew. I remember being in the car. I remember being cold and I remember Karmin scream on the phone to Lauren to go assist at the wedding. Our family’s worse nightmare of a day was still someone else’s happiest.
Arriving home to emergency vehicles up and down the street was the truth that my worst nightmare had come true. To this very day I still see the face in a squad car that had greeted me at the door walking into my house… “I am so very sorry mam.” I saw Steve’s face buried in his hands weeping and Kayleigh’s face of unbelief looking into my eyes. I remember questions being asked of me I didn’t know how to answer. I think all I could say was find the person who gave it to him…
The crisp days of fall and the beginning of winter are a reminder to me more than other seasons of the days that lead to this horrific day and the days to follow. I remember each and every moment we spent together the weeks leading up to his death. I remember the excitement of him getting a new phone. I remember his thoughts and conversations about returning to school. I remember all the moments that I may have forgotten any other season of my life. Until the very end of Grant’s life he taught me to be a better person. Grant’s wise words to me days before as I wasn’t the best version of myself, responded “Mom, don’t say that, Charlie is the way he is because of being picked on.” I still regret the comment I made that morning but I don’t regret the moment. Those very words of Grant run through my head often. A lot of Grant’s words run through my head. He was a reminder, and forever will be, that loving people for who they are, that caring for someone and looking past the big picture will allow you to feel compassion instead of judgment.
This cool, crisp season not everyone feels warm inside, not everyone has gifts around a tree, and not everyone has the ones they love near. I wanted to journal the memories of Dec 3rd so that in a way I could let them go. This season, I want to embrace the happy all around me. I want to keep my beautiful memories of Grant wrapped up between the hugs of everyone I love. This season I want to replace the thoughts of our last holiday season and think more about the twenty-three years of this season I spent with my boy. I want to hear good memories. I want to laugh with my girls. I want to reminisce with the happy years I have spent with Steve. I want to be thankful and I want to enjoy the blessings before me every day. This is a journey and I believe Grant’s words of wisdom would ring… Let It Be.
I Love you Grantie,