Summer Update

Hannah starts school in one week. 5th grade. Nicky will be going to pre-K (4 yr old preschool) this year. Max has been gone for almost a whole year.
I’m not sure when the feeling of loss is supposed to get easier, but lately it’s been so intense. The numbness that had hold of me for so long is completely gone. What’s really sad is that Max not being here is not so blaringly obvious. So when it hits it hurts all the more. Almost guilt-like for not being more aware. Hard to explain.

Nicky’s been doing lot of little things that remind me of Max. Actions, movements, sayings. It feels good to see a little bit of Max come out of him, but it makes me cry just the same. As Nicky grows up he’ll surpass Max’s ‘forever seven’ and then there’ll be nothing to imitate. Every night at bedtime he still has the same routine: read a story in Max’s bed, sing a song, then talk about Max. Nicky is so lonely for a boy to play with. He came to me this morning when he woke up and sadly said, “Mommy, I don’t have any friends.” I almost cried, because it’s true and it’s my fault. How could I have let the entire summer go by without setting up one single playdate for my son? He needs a boy companion so badly and I’ve done nothing but fail him.

Hannah is still “skip-to-maloo.” We check in with her all the time, but she seems just fine. She never brings Max up in a conversation, but always partakes when he’s talked about. I wonder if her ability to cope has something to do with sleeping in their room every night, with all the planes, Max’s bed, his cloths in the closet and dresser… she doesn’t want any of it moved or tampered with. Two weeks ago she had run out of underwear, so she reached in his underwear drawer, pulled out a pair of spiderman tighty-whitey’s and was all set. Hannah is an amazing child.

For vacation this summer we finally made it back to Legoland. Max’s last trip was with Andy and his best friend Luke. Andy couldn’t bear to go there for along time. We all had fun and remembered all of Max’s favorite rides and exhibits. It was a good day for all of us. Then we flew to the destination for all southern Californian’s trying to escape the beaches, waves and sand: South Dakota. ;-) My mom’s family reunion. We stayed in a beautiful cabin on a lake for a week. Hannah & Nicky fished from the shore and docks (not even a nibble, but that didn’t seem to deter them). We bought fireworks, made smore’s, drove through swarms of huge mosquitoes, played in my cousin Mark’s bait barn (whole essay required to explain this to anyone not from the Midwest)… and Andy and I missed our second child.

The bridge that was Max is still sorely missed in our house. Hannah and Nicky just don’t have a connection without him it seems. Hannah is so pre-teen and Nicky is just a little boy who doesn’t understand why his sister doesn’t want to play with him all the time. (Again, this makes me hit myself in the head because I sucked 100% at getting Nicky a friend.)

There is a lot of pain in our house. Andy and I are stinging from the loss of Max.


Bree said...

My heart stings for you and Andy and Hannah and Nicky! We all think you are super mom. Please don't be so hard on yourself. You are doing your best with the very crappy hand you were dealt. Frankly I think you are doing way better than that.
Praying for comfort.

Kipp said...

You have plenty of time to make it up to Nicky. He will meet so many little boys in school you'll be trying to fit in play dates! I hope you can give yourself a bit of slack. You have continued to do much more than the average person for your family. Thanks for the update on the kids. I constantly think about NB siblings and how hard it must be for them.

Anonymous said...

That's a great picture of Hannah and Nicky (and of course Max's stand in). They've lost their closest sibling, what could be harder for a child?? My heart goes out to them, the whole family. How I wish for some peace and comfort....

Tia said...

My 3 yr old and I still pray for you and your family every single night.

God bless the sunshine, God bless Daddy, God bless Grandpa, God Bless bubbles, God bless sherbert (her lovey), God bless flip flops, God bless Max, amen.

Max is always the last. Always. He is not forgotten.

Love from Cleveland.

Shannon B. said...

Melis, PLEASE don't blame yourself for anything! You are busy trying to cope and get Maxapalooza off the ground. Nicky is happy and will be even more happy when pre-K starts and will have lots of friends and time to play. You are all figuring everything out right now, so please don't put blame on your shoulders. You rock and you are full of love! xo, Shan

donna ludwinski said...

thinking of all of you...always
with love and constant prayers

donna ludwinski said...

Dearest Melissa and Andy--very heavy heart here, thinking about you all constantly, and loving you all sincerely....missing your beautiful boy.

shiho said...

Sorry to hear Maxapalooza had to be cancelled. It's just a bad time all around, I guess.

I wish I could Fedex Sam over to you (and you can keep him for a week or so. I will promise to include a return packet, though sometimes temted not to....) I feel equally guilty whenever I read Nick doesn't have a friend. But he will make friends at pre-K, and more friends at Kinder, and more and more friends at first grade and so on. Don't you worry.

Nick will remember Max as his loving brother, his role model and his pal. What you will miss is Max behaving like a pre-school kid, fighting with Nick over Nick's toy, complaining that you are more harsh on him then on Nick (judging from our boys' behaviour, that is....)I strongly believe that strong adoration for Max that remains in Nick will keep burning and help him overcome what ever obstacles he may encounter in the future, replenishing him courage and will power. That will be the legacy that his brother left for the baby brother. And the grown up Nick will understand your loss, will live life to the max and will give you as much love as Max would have, telling him, "don't worry Max, I will take care of mom."

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