Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Labradors and Hard Drives

I cried myself to sleep again last night. Quietly. I didn't want to wake TJ, who's sharing a room with me, with all the family down here with us now. (That's something I'm hoping TJ doesn't get too used to by the time we go home this weekend.) (I'm hoping it's not someting I'm too used to, for that matter.)

What did it this time was a flood of beautiful "healthy" memories. Things we did when she was stronger, and were never the same after she got sick. Playing cards before bed. Just lying there talking. Good-night kisses. Walking around the block or on this beach that is just outside my window. Just being quiet with her. (It took her forever to teach me to just be quiet with her.) I'm never going to hold her hand again... play with the diamond ring on her finger... See her smile... Hold her in my arms and dance with her (we'd tear it up at weddings, but our best dancing happened in the kitchen when I'd come home from work, before dinner-- no music, just an even younger TJ watching us and smiling)...

I'm realizing that the last months truly took their toll on some of those memories. My "hard drive" capacity in my mind has too much memory dedicated to keeping all that "data" from those last months-- image files associated with sickness, suffering, hospitals, and what-not. I guess it makes it easier in the present, in some ways-- the "she's not suffering anymore," thoughts are always in the front of my mind. I'm constantly at peace with her eternal comfort. Glad for her... But everything I do every day is touched by her, if not consumed by her-- with these most recent images of her in the front of my mind. What should TJ have for lunch? How do I "steer" him into the right behavior, out of the improper behavior? Even, what do I eat? How do I talk to people? How do I pray? How do I live my life minute-by-minute?

As I mentioned before, we're living now pretty much like we did the past several months before her battle ended. So as usual, when I stop to think, "what would Leslie want me to do about _________?", I tend to think of her upstairs in our room, hooked to an oxygen tank, listening, thinking, just unable to yell downstairs. Having her there always helped me make the right decision around the house. (I guess you could say she had me sufficiently trained.) (She used to say that if I was an animal I'd be a Labrador Retriever-- loyal and trainable, with the illusion of being intelligent.) (She was only half-joking.) And when I was really stumped, I'd just run up the stairs and ask her a quick question. Only difference is now, she's a little further "upstairs", and I just kind of "pray" the question instead of running up stairs in those instances-- not that we can pray to loved ones past, necessarily... but I'm sure there's some sort of eternal "hook-up" or "switch-board", via the Holy Spirit, or the Archangels, or something.

So these are the images and memories of her (the not-so-good days... the last days) that fill my mind as I go about doing the day. It's what is familiar-- how I've already started to adjust to living without her being around. I don't often cry, anymore, when I think of her those last few days-- moments-- breaths. Her victory is WON! And I am truly still rejoicing. But now, with some adequate time to begin "processing" -- (I hate that word, but I guess it fits the "memory" and "hard-drive" analogy)-- the sweeter memories of the life we had are beginning to churn and bubble to the top. And God, it was such a good life. The dancing, the laughter, the kisses, the silence, the walks, and so-on. All I can keep praying is, "Thank you". And when it really gets ugly-- as it did last night-- just keep whispering between helpless whimpers, "I miss you, Baby..."

19 comments:

Marci said...

Tyson, As I read this, my heart aches for you although I do not know you. I am originally from Bluffton, so I know Leslie and her family. What can I say other than I am so sorry for you and TJ, but so happy for Leslie. You and TJ are in our prayers here in Milford everyday and we will not stop. God has a big plan for you and we appreciate your willingness to listen to Him. Our love, The Reinhard's

Anne said...

You are grieving unto Life Tyson. Grief is desperately painful...but it is the gift of God to bring healing. Keep walking through it. Your army surrounds you. One minute at a time...
Anne

Brittany Gerber said...

As my fingers lay here on the keyboard, my "concerned" eyebrows, biting my lip to fight the tears, I don't know what to type. God has allowed your life to be turned up side down and change is so hard to find comfort in(I think)! So much good has come out of this already, but we are constantly thinking and praying for you, these changes are NEVER easy to take on! As if that changes anything!We love you!
Brittany G.

Anonymous said...

Tyson,

Our hearts are aching with you, even though we did not know Leslie personally. We have been touched by your faith and love shown through your writting. Praying our Heavenly Father would wrap his loving arms around all of you and comfort you during these difficult days ahead.
Our Love, The Rumbolds

Anonymous said...

As I sit here, pondering what to type, feeling I have to type something, I cant imagine your greif. All I can think to say is...This too shall pass, I am sure, and you will only have fabulous memories of her that will make you smile and laugh aloud rather than cry in silence. Grief comes in stages, and you will learn from all of them. In the end, after a long and tearful journey through many highs and lows you will only realize even more that you are blessed to have known her, love her, kiss her, dance with her in the kitchen, and make a gorgeous new life with her (TJ). He will keep you strong.
Close your eyes, and take a deep breath! It WILL get easier. We are continuing our prayers for you and your family.

Jilli said...

Tyson you just break my heart!!! I am so sorry!!!!!! I know you miss her... :(

Anonymous said...

I am sorry you miss leslie. I pray that God will continue to be your stronghold as you meet the pain face to face one wave at a time. I love you and my family is praying for you.

Rachel Weaver said...

Tyson,
i've been out of town for the past month with very limited internet access, so i just found out about Leslie now. i'm so so sorry. She was such a beautiful person, inside and out. i loved how genuine and friendly and gracious and sweet-natured she was. she was the first friend i made when i came to the upland campus (at the orientation for transfer students) and i was always so thankful that she continued to be my friend throughout the following years. she was truly a godly woman with a gentle and quiet spirit (traits i'll forever be praying for). i'll never understand why God chooses to take some of the most amazing people so soon. the only thing that makes any sense is that he wants to be with them too. i'm thanking Him for extending his mercy to her and ending her suffering, and am praying for his mercy and grace to be poured out on you and tj. May you be keenly aware of his presence as you travel through the valley. you are not alone.

peace to you,
Rachel (Denison) Weaver

Anonymous said...

I pray that the peace of God be with you Tyson! You are definitely connected to Leslie via the Holy Spirit, WOW, I don't know if you know the power in that, nor I. But as I read that I really saw it in the spirit. Keep on keeping on! He will not leave you here! Kellie Felmey

Becky said...

Tyson, I am so sorry that you are hurting so much. You and T.J. have been and will continue to be in my prayers every day.

Anonymous said...

Praying right now that God will be so near to you as you face another night!

Anonymous said...

We're praying that you will feel God's arms as you go through this difficult time.

Stephanie said...

Tyson,
Over the past few months, your family's story has touched me deeply. I shared it with my husband this past weekend and we went out to dinner in honor of Leslie as your post suggested.

You are in the place where you are learning your own song. It may come as a soft ballad only heard through middle-of-the-night whispers for now, but your voice will become stronger over time. Persevere, my friend. You are not alone.
Stephanie

Kassie Jahr said...

Hey Tyson,
I want you to know your Taylor family loves you and is grieving with you. Sometimes when we grieve, we just want to know that someone's listening. (I know I've felt that way before.) I just want you to know as long as you want to share, I'm "listening".

Kassie (Stahl) Jahr

Brittany said...

Tyson - We continue to lift you up in prayer. I can't imagine the ache in your throat and heart as you grieve being alone. It seems like it would be unbearable. But we will pray tonight and until we read more, that God would allow the morning to be sweeter each day, and that you sense his faithfulness each day in the life of TJ and in your own work and family. Our hearts are breaking with you and for you.

Sara Hylton said...

Hey Tyson,

Once again, God bless you for your honesty and earnestness. Thank you for letting us into this personal part of you. You are very strong-much stronger than you realize and give yourself credit for. There is nothing wrong with tears and whispered words to her in the middle of the night, or any time for that matter. It's a necessary step towards grieving and healing. But I promise you, the memories of oxygen tanks and IV's will fade, but the dances in the kitchen and the memory of the kisses and cards will not. Have faith and peace my friend.

Sara

Anonymous said...

Tyson, I have been following your blog since Nicole shared it with me and my heart has been aching too. Your family is such an encouragement to others as well as to myself. My prayers will never cease. Keep going! We're all cheering you on. Thank goodness we will all see each other again once God calls us home. On a side note, your sister, Nicole is a wonderful neighbor and I feel blessed to call her my friend. Michelle

Anonymous said...

Tyson (and TJ) as I read your blog and am touched by your sharing, these verses came to mind:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my God, in whom I trust.' . . . He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. ~Psalm 91:1-4

It is my prayer that you will find comfort, peace and love as you rest in His refuge. He will carry you through each moment, each hour, each day when you don't think you have the strength to do it and be walking right beside you on the days you do.

Auntie Gayle said...

Dear Ty, I read this from The Message this morning and it gave me great comfort:
2 Cor. 4
"We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do but we know that God knows what to do, we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side...on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside not a day goes by without his unfolding grace." The suffering and grief you are enduring can be spiritually terrorizing but we hold on---knowing that even death cannot separate us from the love of God!
Much love and prayers, Auntie Gayle