Hello again.

I don’t know that I was clear enough on the last post about my intentions with this blog.  And frankly, I really don’t know what to do with it.

The kids and I are doing well.  We are managing most days, flourishing some days and holding on to each other for all of them.

We’ve sold and moved from the house that all 5 of us used to live in.   That was a big deal for us.  Both Jacoba and Zion played soccer this summer and had a blast.  Zekijah is an absolute joy.  We built a house this summer.  324 feet from my parents (but who’s counting)…  It will be great for Zion, Jacoba and Zekijah to grow up beside them.

It seems strange for me to just jump back on here and ask you for a request but I’m going to do that.

If you have a story or something that I could share with the kids later in life about either your journey with Marisa, or even what her plight has meant to you, would you please let me know?  I’d love to be able to compile that for the kids to read later.  I think that will be meaningful for them.  I know it will be for me.

I wish you peace.

Mendelt

I have been in the process of writing this post for what seems a lifetime.  Most likely sometime this evening there will have been 1 million views on this blog.  That is SO hard to believe.  Maybe it is time to take a break.  I’m not sure.  Either way, for me, here is what it really is about:

Dear Zion, Jacoba and Zekijah.

I wish things were different.

I wish that you didn’t have to grow up so fast.  Zion, you get understandably angry when you hear about people either separating or divorcing.  You tell me that it doesn’t make sense.  You tell me this, not because you are a regular 6 year old that doesn’t understand the concept, but because you are an irregular 6 year old that DOES understand the concept.  You teach me.  You have a vision and perspective that even many adults don’t have.  You come home from school with art pieces after art pieces about the things that you and I do together.  That is SO important to me.  I love you.  Please keep eating your vegetables.

Jacoba, your beauty and ability to light up a room (and my each and every day) is just like the way your Mom used to do it.  You are 5 now, and the fact is, you adore me.  And the fact is also that I adore you.  If  that adoration must change, I hope it will evolve in public expression only and not in spirit.  I love you.  Please keep that spunk.

Zekijah, soon you will be 3.  Your Mom died when you were 1.5.  You have lived nearly half your life without a Mom.  Your athletic prowess and ability to communicate exactly what you want is a gift from your Mom.  You are a rainbow to me. Already at such a young age you have her ability to bring forth a joke that makes the listener think.  I love you. Please keep spicing up our lives.

Children, when your Mom got cancer, our goal was to beat it.  And that goal was because we wanted Her to live to see you grow up.  You need Her, we thought.  And we were right.

When your Mom knew She was dying, I told Her that She would raise you through me.  I believe that this is proving to be true. 

And children, at the end of the day, your Mom and I were faced with a question that one day we ALL will face:

Are you strong enough to do this on your own?

And children, our answer was a resounding, clear, no.

We need Peace.  We need our family.  We need a community.  We need each other.  I need you.  And thankfully, you need me.

You have a loving, caring community.  You have an unshakable family.  You have me.  I have you.  You have Jesus.  The only way I can explain why all three of you are contributing well to your surrounding regardless of what happened to you is that you are full of grace.  Grace.

Our days are busy now but children, today I am with you.  I go through my days now understanding that tomorrow will be easier for us.  We will be more mature, can handle things better/different and will still have.  Without taking anything from the spirit and presence of today, I look forward to tomorrow.  And Children, one day there won’t be another tomorrow.  The last one will have come.  And I plan on being with you on that day as well.

Thank you for being with me.

MdH

I spent last month in conversations and meetings with the genetics program at MacMaster Hospital.  I was sent there from my supportive family doctor.  We met to discuss the type of cancer that Marisa had and what that means long and short term for our daughters as breast cancer can be genetic.  My mom came with me.  It was good to have her even though the irony of that is thick.  My mom coming to a meeting about my girls who don’t have a mom.

When I got a letter back from the genetics program, it was a glorious, warm day.  After school we were all playing in our backyard.  Jacoba and Zekijah were running in the field chasing each other.  I went in to check on supper.

I grabbed the letter from the geneticists.  I read it.

I looked up from my letter.  I saw Jacoba’s long blong hair bounce up and down as she chased Zekijah while their face gave the sun a soft and purposeful place to land.

And I was reading the letter about her dead mom.

It was yet another reminder that what happened to Marisa and us has no finite end.  And the truth is sometimes I yearn for that.  Sometimes I wish I could have a day, week, moment off from this. 

But alas, that is not the case.

We went to the cemetery to bring the eggs that we painted.

The kids were excited to bring them to Marisa’s grave. 

Zekijah asked dozens of questions.  Her questions not only prove that she doesn’t understand what has and is happening to her but they also prove my/our importance in her life.  She is approaching 3 years old and that math tells me that she is at the point where she will have lived longer without a mom than with a mom.

At three years old.

april-2009-3421

 

Jacoba made hers with precision and purpose. 

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Zion was proud of his. 

 

 

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After Jacoba and Zion brought theirs to the side of the grave, Zekijah refused to.  It didn’t seem right to her.  (It didn’t seem right to me either).  Then Zion counselled her and said that if she left the egg there, “Mommy would be happy”.  Zekijah then oblidged.

It is a pensive moment when you stand next to a believer’s grave between Good Friday and Easter.  It is a meaningful, broken, holy and thin place. 

A blessed Easter to you all.  And to Marisa, who is celebrating Easter every day in full.

MdH

Today was my first encounter at an agency wide event.  I saw many colleagues that I hadn’t seen since Marisa died.  I was publicly welcomed back to work and that announcement even set off an applause. 

Breathe Mendelt.  They are all looking at you.

The fact is that I am used to people looking at me.  Being a musician and performer, I have been watched by thousands of people at a time.  But this time it was different.

They were looking at me as the new Mendelt.  I could see their faces.  It was a different look.

I spoke to many afterwards.  Most of them asked about the kids.  It is less emotional that way.  Sometimes I answer the question in detail/truth.  Sometimes I don’t spend the emotional energy to get into it.

The truth is the kids are getting older and thus their questions of Marisa are deeper than they once were.  They miss Marisa.  It is hard for me to watch the kids grow older.  Zion is a great reader now.  Marisa didn’t know Zion as a reader.  The day in and day out of single parenting is both exhausting and rewarding.  I experience some regret everyday when I drop off Zekijah before I go to work.

But the real answer of “how are the kids” is….I don’t know.

I don’t know that Jacoba feels protected.  I don’t know that Zion feels happy.  I don’t know that Zekijah doesn’t feel abandoned when she goes to 4 different houses in 5 days.  The kids seem like they are doing well.  But I don’t really know yet. 

Zion and Zekijah played rock/paper/scissors today and they both put out a rock and then Zion quickly switched his to scissors so Zekijah would win.  Maybe that is a sign. 

Peace to you,

Mendelt

It has been a while since I have published a post here.

I thought I would give you an update on how we are doing.

We are doing okay. The kids LOVE their school, Jacoba tells me everyday something new about what she learned or hear from one of her classmates. It is beautiful to hear her speak. Zion tells me everyday about either recess, soccer or the special thing that I put in his lunch. Cool.

Zekijah is ‘used’ to being ‘shipped’ to different places while I go to work. She is still as sweet and saucy as ever.

I have recently joined a grief group run by two women who have had a significant loss in their lives. There are 5 participants, all of us have lost a spouse. We have been getting together once per week and are going to do so for the next 5 weeks. It has been good. And it has been hard. Many days in the past few weeks, the loss of Marisa has hit me like the ‘early’ days. And that has been both good and hard.

This weekend my friends Paul and Del took the kids for a fun time with their three kids. It was glorious for me. I had a chance to privately and deeply grieve with the ability to sleep in, take naps, be with good friends and only have to make lunch for one. That was really nice. Thanks Paul and Del.

Most suppers we take turns telling or retelling a story about Marisa.  The kids love that.  And so do I. 

We shall continue to continue.

Peace to you all,

MdH

At the top of the left column, there is a link that will allow you to donate to receive a DVD. This link will bring you to a secure site called Paypal. You are able to enter your donation without logging in. The link to continue without logging in is near the bottom left of the page that will pop up.

You will be asked to fill in your address and that address will be the one that the DVD is sent to.

Thank you and ‘enjoy’ the DVD.

Peace to you,

MdH

I have finally realized what my life has become at this point.

I am a professional wiper.

I wipe.

Wipe for a dirty diaper.  Wipe for the 3rd spilled cup of milk of that supper.  Wipe the counter.  Wipe away a tear.  Wipe the floor from Zekijah who snuck into the the cracker cupboard. 

Wipe the counter again. 

Wipe a bum.  Wipe the shampoo bubble out of the eyes.  Wipe a runny nose. 

Wipe away another tear.

Wipe away the sleep from the eye in the morning.  Wipe out when the kids are chasing me for tag.

Wipe.

Sometimes it makes me wiped.

Shortly after Marisa died I read and heard that though my grief was very raw then, it would somehow lessen.

I didn’t believe them then.  I couldn’t then.

I have had a while to think about that notion.  I still don’t believe it, or at least how it was explained to me then.  I don’t believe that it lessens, I just believe that I am more experienced and know how and what to take from a pocket of grief.

Yesterday I was leading a Music Therapy session and one of the individuals in the session asked for the song “Amazing Grace”.  I started playing the introduction to the song.  A different individual started weeping. 

I counselled her and found out that “Amazing Grace” was one of her father’s favourite songs.  “And he is dead now”, she said.   I grieved for her.  I grieved for me.  I grieved for Zion, Jacoba and Zekijah.  But I didn’t weep or cry.  I probably would have cried had that have happened a year ago.  But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t deeply sad because I was.  I was deeply sad.  Deeply, deeply sad.

We sang the song.  With all our hearts.  It was a perfect example of Music Therapy.

But I was still sad.  It wasn’t less sad than before, just different sad.  Because I have learned over the past couple years how to take what I need from that moment of grief. 

I just don’t know yet what to do with it everytime.

The DVD’s of the benefit concert for Marisa are now available.  The DVD is of my extended family singing and playing in October 2008 to raise money for a scholarship in Marisa’s name.  The highlight of the DVD is Zion, 6 and Jacoba, 4 at the time, signing “The Hiccup Song”.  In my humble opinion, that song itself is worth the donation.

I am not going to suggest an amount of donation because I think you can choose that on your own.

This is how I would like to do this. 

This week I will set up a place on this site where you can donate money and I will send you a DVD.  The proceeds will go to the Juravinski Cancer Centre, the place that Marisa had her chemotherapy.  More about the Juravinski Cancer Centre later.

Peace,

Mendelt

When Jacoba was asked how old she is, she said, “a full hand”.

A full hand.  Or a hand full.  Either one.

We had a relatively great day.  I managed to pop into Jacoba’s class with my guitar and serenade the newest ‘hand full’.  I think she liked it.  She was proud of me.  I am clear that one day that may be altered, but for now she adores me.  It feels good.

Today is Jacoba’s 5th birthday.  Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  Monday is our provinces holiday “Family Day”.

And we are planning and executing parties.

Make no mistake about it.  It is great  (Jacoba thanked me for coming and singing in her class).  And it is terrible (we were seated at the restaurant tonight beside a young couple with children the same genders and ages and ZJZ).  We are living testimony that not only can joy and pain co-exist, it is neccesary for growth that they do

MdH

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(Zekijah’s 2 year old party)

 

Today is Jacoba’s last day to be 4.  Ever.

This will be her second birthday without Marisa.  That is 40% of her birthdays.  Sadly, that percentage will only increase.

So we will make party celebrations.  There will be cake.  There will be friends.  There will be hot dogs (Jacoba’s choice).  There will be presents.  There will be hugs and kisses.  There will be cake with cream (Jacoba’s choice).  There will be friends.  There will be siblings (Jacoba’s choice…phew).  There will be games.  And there will be moms.  Not my favourite mom, but moms nonetheless.

And there will be a dad.  Who will be proud of his new 5 year old. 

And that dad will think of Jacoba’s bellybutton; the living connection to Marisa.

When people talk to me about Marisa, many of them speak of heaven.

I have consciously not said much about my views on heaven for various reasons but I listen curiously about what others have to say about it.

I had thought I had heard all the versions out there  until today.

I work for an organization, Bethesda, that supports adults with special needs.

Today I encountered an old friend who has lived at Bethesda for a long time.  We have known each other for more than 1.5 decades. 

He came up to me today.

He said, “Mendelt, is your wife dead?”

I said, “Yes, Marisa is dead”.

He asked if She was in heaven.

I said, “Yes, I believe She is in heaven”.

He said, “You know who else is in heaven with your wife?”

—-I thought, here comes a sad moment for me.  Here comes a story of a loved one, maybe his mom or dad, aunt, uncle or maybe even a brother or sister.  Here comes one of those holy moments where two bereaved people look to each other for a piece of healing.  I braced myself, looked him in the eye and was ready to console him.

I said, “tell me, who is in heaven with Marisa”.

He looked at me, smiled and said, “Elvis”.

My oldest sister Frances, a wonderful mother of 5,  had an old beat up van that had a beautiful sticker on the back.

The sticker was a picture of the earth with beautiful writing, “PEACE ON EARTH”.

Frances told me that every time she drove that van she would say, “Peace on earth…” and then she would add “…and in this van”.

“Peace on earth and in this van”.  I love it.

Today for the first time Jacoba put on her own seatbelt. 

We are getting closer to peace…

MdH

For sad reasons I had to explain to the children this week that a married couple close to them and loved by them have decided to separate.

We spoke during supper.

I explained to the kids that sometimes when people get married, they don’t get along so they don’t stay together.

Zion said “that doesn’t make sense”.

I tried another angle.  I said that sometimes when people are together and they fight then they go away from eachother and need to live in different houses.

“Heit”, Zion said, “that doesn’t make sense”.

I thought to myself try another example so that he will understand.

I explained another angle. 

Sometimes when a mom and a dad can’t get along and can’t live together without fighting and arguing they decide that it is better for them to separate and not see each other anymore.

Zion was getting annoyed.  He clearly explained to me that whatever my explaination of separation was, it wouldn’t make sense to him.  So he repeated.

“It doesn’t make sense”.

I was quiet for a moment.  He looked at me.  I thought to myself,

No wonder he thinks this doesn’t make sense.  He thinks that when people are living, married and they haven’t died from cancer then of course they should stay together.  That makes sense to him. 

I knew I wasn’t going to convince him to understand that it makes sense.  Because to me, it doesn’t make sense either.

But he was looking at me.  He was waiting for an answer. I said,

“You are right Zion, it doesn’t make sense”.

He went to reach for his milk.  Just before he took a sip, he looked over his cup at me and said, “I told you that already”.

…back to reality.

I’ve been back to work for two weeks now.  It’s quite a scene.

The mornings at work usually consist of me limping into work with one shoe untied, a soother still in my pocket, a hair tie still around my wrist and hoping that my hair doesn’t look noticeably disheveled.

And the kids on my mind.

It is going relatively well.  I sat down with the kids before I went back and told them what was happening.  I explained that things will be a bit more busy now so we will just have to have more patience with each other.  I stated that if I forget to put something in your knapsack for school, then you will forgive me.  And if you forget to change your underwear and wear the same one two days in a row, I will forgive you.

Zekijah (2) said “Come on, I don’t wear underwear”…

(she’s right).

So we just soldier on.  I’m not worried that we will make it.  It is just more complicated now.

MdH

Here is my take on Zion’s reaction.

I believe that if the village raises and loves the child well, it is only evident when that child then takes that knowledge and love and blankets others with it. 

I don’t think that Zion can give me the same amount of love that I give him.  I don’t think that same amount of love can neccesarily flow ‘up’ as it does ‘down’.

In the same way that those who follow Jesus can not give Him the love that He gives us.  It is just impossible.

So, when Zion sits in the van, he sits there as a 6 year old.  A 6 year old that is in many ways too experienced for his age.  A 6 year old that has seen the ugly side of life.  A 6 year old that can also, through grace, see the beauty of life too.  But has seen a lot of ugly.

And he listens to his flawed dad who tries to make a joke.

And when he hears the joke, he most likely first decides if he believes me, decides that he doesn’t and then takes that knowledge and blankets his sister with comfort/love.

That means the world to me.

I thought two things.  I thought ‘thank you Jesus’ for giving this kid what he needs.

And I also thought the same thing that I think of when I make a near perfect french braid in Jacoba’s hair; ‘take that cancer‘.

I appreciated the comments that I read and heard from the post ‘vegetables’. 

Thank you for those.

I would like to now tell you Zion’s reaction to my explaination.  For those that might be able to put yourself somewhat in my shoes, you might be able to understand what his reaction meant to me.  It may seem little to some but to me it is huge.

After I said that the man was being pinned by the police because he didn’t eat his vegetables Zion looked at me for a few seconds, thought to himself and turned to Jacoba and said,

“don’t worry Jacoba, he is just joking around again”.

I’ll never forget it.

MdH

We drove by a very interesting scene yesterday.

We live in a small town.  Most people know each other.  Not too much ‘big city stuff’ happens here.  Until yesterday.  We were driving and the traffic started to slow down.  I thought it was either a school bus or a tractor.  It was neither.

It was three police officers pinning a man down on the hood of his car.  The police were struggling to hold this man down.  It looked like the officers were succeeding but not without great effort.  A fourth police car was just coming to the scene.

Zion’s eyes were huge.  He watched with great interest.  We kept driving as to not be voyeurs but nevertheless the kids were affected.   Especially Zion.  He is 6.

We drove away.  Zion was still affected.  He asked many questions, one of them being,

“what do you think that man did to get in trouble with the police?”

Now I could go a number of ways with this.  Should I tell him that some people make wrong choices and that even though that happens, people are still loved?

Should I tell him that this guy probably stole something or did something that was against the law?

I wasn’t quite sure.

But I was pleased that he was so affected by it.  It was clear that he still sees injust moments as not normal.  Even after he has suffered a seemingly injust thing by losing his Mom.  I liked it that he didn’t think that this was right.

But I still didn’t know what to say to him.

So when he asked what the man did to get in trouble, I did what a good, loving, caring dad would say.

“Zion”, I said, “the man is being pinned down on his hood by the police because he didn’t eat his vegetables”.

MdH

We went to the Toronto Zoo last week. 

My friend Chris, his daughter and son, myself and Zion and Jacoba.

It was a great time.  It was a nice crisp day and the kids had a blast learning about different animals and seeing them in action.  I like watching kids smile.

I also liked it because it was two dads with kids.  Two dads with four kids.  Some people would look at us, with kids in tow, snacks, knapsacks, gloves, hats, big eyes, laughs and give that look of ‘pretty impressive, two dads’

And frankly, I thought it was pretty impressive.  The kids had a great time.

Then we started the hour drive home.  That too went well.  Chris’ wife Kelly was going to meet us for supper afterwards so Chris made a phone call to touch base with Kelly.

When Chris was about to say goodbye to Kelly, Ella, their daughter asked if she could “talk to mommy”.

I was sitting in the front seat.  Ella and Jacoba were sitting beside eachother in the seat behind me.  The phone was handed to Ella.  I turned around to watch Ella talk to Kelly.

Jacoba was looking at Ella.

Ella was talking to her mom.

Jacoba can’t.  If you have seen Jacoba’s beautiful face this may seem hard to believe but her face looked empty.

Jacoba just looked at Ella.

And Ella just talked to her mom.  Like it should be.

MdH

It is hard to think that we made it through a calendar year without Marisa.

I would say that our children are doing relatively well.  They play and love and fight and listen and sing like regular kids.  If you are in their inner circle, you can quickly see signs of grief but overall I am pleased with where they are.  If you asked me last year how I would have wanted them to be, how they are now would be the answer.

Zion is a beautiful, good, strong, athletic boy.  I am proud of him.  He has a responsibility that few 6 years old have.  And he is doing an exceptional job.  He adores his sisters.  No one else gets to tease them.  He will stick up for them without a second thought.  I like that. 

Jacoba is a beautiful, good, strong, artistic girl.  She speaks her mind.  I like that.  I have often said that I would much rather have spice than vanilla.  2008 is the year that I believe Jacoba went from not understanding that Marisa died to understanding that Marisa died.  That is a crazy realization.  Crazy.

Zekijah is a beautiful, wonderful, hilarious, busy girl.  She speaks her mind.  I like that.  She often reminds me of Marisa.  Especially the way she can walk into a room and raise the spirit of the room just with her presence.  Sometimes I look at her and wonder how she will come to know what happened.

The beginning of 2009 will see my return back to full time work.

I should clarify that…

The beginning of 2009 will se my return back to full time work outside the home.

Peace to you all in 2009.

MdH

This is an blog edited version of the column – My Window Seat – that I write for a

biweekly publication called the Christian Courier ( www.christiancourier.ca ) This comes

from the December 8 issue of this year.  I hope you like it.  MdH

 

 

“A shoot will come up from the stump…” Isaiah 11 vs.1a

 

I’ve always found Christmas to be a polarized time.  Reuniting with loved ones is rightfully treasured and emphasized while those without family are hopefully brought in and comforted.

With my work at Bethesda, an organization that supports adults with developmental disabilities, many individuals there had a difficult time at Christmas.  These individuals had a difficult time because they don’t have nuclear or extended families who will take them in, and so they have to wade through the Christmas season by themselves while others often speak about and cherish family gatherings.

Christmas is a time when local Food Banks are used more often than in other parts of the year, when Canada Post is the busiest with mailings, cards and gifts and when people plan to give to others so that the love of Christ is tangibly felt.

It is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  It is a time when the shoot that was proclaimed in Isaiah comes to fruition. 

It is also a time that some of us will heavily miss our loved ones.  It will be a time when some of us will remember those who left us long ago.  It will be a time for some to look forward and plan on a blessed new year.  It will be time to look back and spend time thankful for the blessings received. 

And for some it will be a wonderful time.  And for some it will be a difficult time.

For us, Christmas will be all of that and more.  We will have wonderful days and we will have difficult days.  And we will have wonderfully difficult days.  I can’t explain the difference between a wonderful and difficult day except that I know for certain that they exist.

Entering the first anniversary of Marisa’s death from cancer at age 33, our three children and I will again be wading in emotionally difficult territory.  I often wonder how we are to effectively take the past, wrap it up, hold and honour it and continue on.  The past is like a stump for us – painfully cut down but in need of harvest.  We need to continue to seek the wisdom and understanding to see the shoots that either have or will come to us.

Christmas is like that.  The actual event of Jesus’ birth is nothing unless we know the past and the future meaning of it.  What would Christmas mean if it wasn’t foretold or it wasn’t planned for a sovereign purpose?

I and our three children ages 2, 4 and 6 are not different from many other families.  We are experiencing what I call our ‘stumptime’.  We are like many others, people who are living with suffering and joy.  Many people will offer advice and try and provide comfort.  Some of it will work.  Some of it will not work.  Some people will tell you that your faith will bring you through it and will quote a piece of scripture to prove that.  Sometimes that helps and can make one feel better.  And the truth is sometimes it doesn’t work.

For some this Christmas will be a time when despair and hurt need to be acknowledged but reminded that during their ‘stumptime’ a shoot will come forth. 

That is the promise from the manger.  I wish you a blessed and peaceful Christmas.

Today while we were driving Jacoba asked Zion,

“Zion, what is a widow again?”

Zion said, “it’s when a mom’s husband dies”.

Jacoba said “oh yeah”. 

I listened.

Zion then said to me, “Do you know what you are?”

I asked him to tell me.

He said ” You are a windo..err a widnn…err widoor…err…a widower.  A widower”.

He then quickly added, “that’s hard to say”.

Yes it is my son, yes it is.

MdH

It was two years ago today that Marisa walked into our door with those surprising and dreaded words…

“I have cancer”.

I don’t remember much about that day.  I remember calling my parents and asking them to take the kids.  My dad dropped what he was doing and drove here.  It is a 10 minute ride.  He was here in 7 minutes.  And I remember being with Marisa.  Being loud.  And being quiet.

As I write this, I am looking at the spot where she stood.

Strange to be looking at that spot and remembering where she stood, what she said and what she looked like then.

And as I look at that spot, there is nothing there.  It is gone.  Like Marisa.

Two years.  Seems like a long time.  Seems like yesterday.

I am a different person now then 2 years ago.  There is a new Mendelt. 

It isn’t a shiny, polished, cherry flavoured, new-and-improved Mendelt.

It is a weathered, experienced, stretched, torn, reshaped, somehow more content, peace seeking, suffered and deeper Mendelt.

And in many ways it feels like the old Mendelt knew much more than this new version.

MdH

Loss isn’t a single event.

It is a series of rememberings, reminders and marked milestones.

Marisa’s death is surely like that.  Marisa’s death isn’t only December 6, 2007.

It is…

02 – July two, the day Marisa said yes to me beside Beaver Lake in Stanley Park, Vancouver.

20 – December twenty, the day of diagnosis.

The entire season of late fall.  I wonder if late fall will always be Marisa to me.

30 – August thirty, the news that Marisa wouldn’t live till Christmas.

70 – The amount of money for a seasons pass to all the Conservation Area’s in Niagara.  Hiking with four.

12 – June twelve, our wedding anniversary.  We will have always been married nine-and-a-half years.

11, 13, 29 – The days of Zekijah, Jacoba and Zion’s birthday.

1 – The first of anything without Marisa.

20 and 08 – The days of our birthdays.  While I may continue to grow in years, Marisa will stay 33 to me.

It is a lot of math.

MdH