- Chris Anderson
- Watkinsville, Georgia, United States
- We lost my beautiful wife of 20 years on 9/12/07. Lisa was my world she was my everything and now she is gone. We are learning to live without Lisa now. I say we because I am not alone. My children are stuck in this mess with me. These are my notes, my vent, my way of letting you all know that we are doing well (some days). This is for myself, my friends and my family that want to know how we are doing and what we are up to. Along the way I hope this might also help someone else who has been dealt a similar hand.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
We have had so many things change over the last 21 months. Most might think that it started with the accident. I view it as starting with our move to the farm. We moved to the farm July 4th weekend two years ago. We left behind our beloved Mallard house. We call it that because the name of the subdivision was Mallard Lakes. The kids basically grew up in that house and we absolutely loved the place. We made a great deal of wonderful memories in that house. So, it was hard to leave the Mallard house. The reason we moved to the farm was for our future. Actually for my future. We moved to the farm so that I could in a few years leave corporate life and pursue my love of wood. The plan was for me to purse designing and building custom high end furniture. Well things have changed and that plan is on hold for now. Anyhow, the changes started with the move. Then of course was the accident that took Lisa from us. These two events within two months were enough to last me a life time but the changes continue to come. Abby graduated last year and Matt started high school. Then Matt got his learners license and Abby started college. Now Abby is moving out to her very first apartment in August and this weekend Matt will get his license to drive on his own. I can only imagine the change that will bring to his life and mine. All this within the past 21 months.
I came across yet another change this weekend. The change I found this weekend kind of puts it in perspective for me. It kind of tells me that yes, my little boy is no longer a little boy but a maturing young man. It tells me that things are still changing for me very quickly whether I want them to or not.
This weekend while I was cleaning Matt’s room I found Tiger. I found Tiger on the top shelf off Matt’s closet. He was just sitting there all alone face down on an old sleeping bag. Tiger is a stuffed animal that Matt has kept in the bed with him for as long as I can remember. I still have very clear memories of Matt running around the house in diapers with Tiger stuffed under one arm or being drug around the house by his tail. In fact, most toddler pictures we have of Matt show him with Tiger. I am pretty sure that he was a gift from my brother. That, in and of itself, could have been the reason for Matt taking an immediate liking to the stuffed animal.
My brother has been very close to my children for most of their lives. Shoot, we lived in the same town as my brother until we move up here 14 years ago. He was our primary baby sitter for Abby until she was about 4 years old. Since he was single, until just a few years ago, the kids spent at least a week with him every summer. They have shared a great deal of adventures together, from deep sea fishing to Disney World. I think the three of them have been to every theme park in Florida together. While Abby no longer has time for these visits, Matt still looks forward to his summer visits with his uncle. My brother has always been, and still is, an actively great uncle to the kids.
I always thought that Tiger was kind of goofy looking creature with his yellow fur, black splotches and overly long tail. However, Matt loved him. Until he started going to school, where Matt went Tiger went. Whenever Matt went to camp Tiger went with him. If Matt was spending a night with a friend Tiger would happily go along with him. I think in recent years Tiger was left at home but never banished to the night stand or the closet. I am sure that Matt did not dare take Tiger on an overnight with a bunch of other teenage boys. When Lisa died, almost two years ago, Matt held Tiger pretty close. I can remember Matt waking me up one night last year. I awoke to Matt silently standing over me. It scared the cap out of me. Once I regained my composer, Matt told me he could not find Tiger and asked if I could help find him. We found him hanging in mid-air between the head board and the wall. Yes, Matt was 14, and I was starting to worry about if it was normal for a 14 year old boy to have a Tiger. However, the loss of his mother was still too recent and painful for me to rush in and swoop Tiger away from him. All things seem to have a way of working out however. I suppose Matt finally found the courage to let Tiger go. I suppose he finally decided that it was just time to let Tiger retire to a quiet place in his closet. When Matt got home from camp Sunday I asked him about Tiger. I told him that I had found Tiger in the closet. He simply said “yea I know, I put him there” and then turned and walked away. What he was telling me is, yea I put him there because I was ready but I know where he is if I ever need him again.
I suppose as we move forward, we find our needs change as much as everything else. Matt’s needs have changed. He no longer needs Tiger to keep him company at night.
I returned Tiger to the top shelf of the closet just in case Matt ever needs him. Heck who knows, when Matt moves on to college in a few years, I might need to retrieve Tiger from the closet and have him keep me company.