With each day that unfolds I learn more about myself and others than previously imagined. In the most counterintuitive of ways, I am personally coming to view the grieving around this incredibly tragic and unwanted event as a gift.
Last night after tending to the multiple unanticipated issues and ever mounting to-dos that ship with the freight in these kind of events I finally pulled into the driveway around 9:00. Both my kids were out in the yard chasing fire flys. Theresa could not get them to bed and was also out of energy. Had this terrible event not happened my typical response would have been something like this “Aidan and Liam. You know the rules. We stay in our rooms after 8:30. Now GET UP TO BED.” That did not happen last night.
My 6 year old’s transformer had broken into three parts and my 3 year old wanted me to sing “Don’t Worry” (Bob Marley Song I sing to him every night to keep monsters away). Normally I would have said no because they BROKE THE RULES.
Instead, as if in an out of body experience, I observed myself peacefully walk in to the bathroom where there was good light and work together with the boys to fix the Transformer. We all worked on it together. No fights just fun. Then my 6 year old went to bed happy and I sang don’t worry to the 3 year old and he smiled and said he was going to dream about fire flys tonight.” I kissed him on the forehead…he was already asleep. I then went back into the 6 year old’s room and he too was just dropping off. He told me how much fun it was having me around and asked whether I could take him skating tomorrow. I told him I had to go to work but that we’d go skating together on the weekend. Instead of throwing a fit, he too just smiled and said good night dad. It was as if I had become a child whisperer.
As I was processing this with a person who has become a friend who is also a therapist with a wonderful gift for words, he assured me that this often happens in times of trauma. It is at times when you are most stressed that things like this can happen: Huge reservoirs of patience and self reflection open up just when you least expect them. Then he said something else, “in your case it might be useful for you to think of this as the gift that Nancy gave you.
I did not know Nancy as well as many in our community. But I do know that she was a child whisperer. She radiated love for her kids and for all kids. She had patience beyond belief and kids loved to be around her. Last night I got to experience a little bit how awesome it is to be a child whisperer and I truly hope that it continues.
Thank you Nancy for this gift, even if it was just once last night, I will treasure it always.