After school drop-offs in the morning, I always take a few minutes to exhale after a busy morning and turn my focus to work.
On Wednesday, after a full week of Carson being knocked down with the flu, I took more deep breaths than usual.
Most times the long walk to the car from the classroom is enough to clear my head and transition to my day job. On Wednesday, I found myself sitting in my vehicle in silence for a few minutes, wondering and hoping Carson would be okay. I even ignored a ringing work phone call because I wasn’t ready yet.
Getting Carson to school was no easy chore. After a week of resting and dealing with the flu symptoms, he had not regained all of his strength. He was not himself. However, he had been fever free for days and was no longer contagious. We felt we needed to push him to get back to school.
On Monday, we tried to get him up for school and his lethargy was too much. He wasn’t ready. By Tuesday morning, I found myself picking him up trying to get his clothes on before I realized he was still too weak and not ready.
When Wednesday morning rolled around, he was doing a little bit better. He wasn’t great but he was fine enough to get through the day. We needed to regain some normalcy and get back in the swing of it.
I was ready to get back to work as well. I hadn’t work a full day at the office since he got sick. I even was under the weather a little during his week home. That was probably inevitable after living with flu boy for the last week.
While I was anxious to get to work, I have to confess there were a couple thoughts during that five minutes I spent in the car regrouping about how great it would be to head home for a nap.
It was 8:35 in the morning. Clearly, Carson was not the only one not 100 percent that day.
One morning last weekend Beckett paid me a compliment.
“Wow, I love your hair today, you look like a gangster because you just don’t care,” he said.
I told him thanks and was off to shower.
When I came back into the room, he commented, “I liked it better as a gangster. Now you look like Trump.”
I appreciated the chat and moved on.
One of the most avid readers of this column passed away last week.
My mother-in-law, Connie, died Sunday. She started each Friday by going to our website and reading this column to see what two of her grandkids have been doing of late.
One Friday several years ago I remember her sending me a message through Facebook that my column hadn’t loaded properly on to the website. A mugshot from the police beat column had mistakenly taken the place of my photo, which accompanies the column online as well as here.
Until then I didn’t realize part of her Friday morning routine was reading what her grandsons were up to over the last week.
Since I believe her spirit remains alive and well outside her body, I would remiss in not documenting her passing here. Losing a parent is never easy and Pam has been blessed to not have to go through this until this week. It brings on waves of memories that are overwhelming. Death is always a sudden thing, no matter how prepared you think you may be for it. The finality of it all is gut wrenching.
Throughout all she has been through this week with helping to plan her mom’s services this weekend, Pam showed the most strength when she told the kids about her mom’s death last Sunday morning. She was composed, sincere and direct. Being kids, I don’t think they grasped the severity of it at first, questioning how that could be when she was fine the day before.
Beckett is going through a phase in his life right now when he questions how God could allow bad things to happen. He wonders whenever there’s a major tragedy, like the recent school shooting in Florida, for example, why God didn’t stop it from happening. He evoked a similar thought when told of his grandmother’s passing. It’s the first grandparent he and Carson have lost. It hit them both hard at the time of being told, and I expect the funeral services this weekend will be difficult for them.
In response to Beckett’s comments about God, it’s a tough topic to address with a child. It’s natural for people to question God when they don’t understand how this or that could happen. There were several different ways to answer it.
Rather than being overly spiritual and philosophical, we chose to answer it in a way we hoped would make sense to him and Carson. God wanted her in heaven. It was her time to stop enduring physical pain and to end her suffering. God wanted her in Heaven to be with her family and friends who have passed away as well.