I thought I'd write a note about what we have been up to. It's easier to tell you what we've been up to, than it is to tell you how we've been. Words just don't do it. I've heard it said that there's a word when you lose your spouse (widow), your parents (orphan), but when you lose a child there are just no words. I have to say I don't even really like the question How are You? It's just not fair. There's no way to even begin to tap into an answer there.
The reality is, that somehow, we are able to get up and do everything we need to do. I have allowed for a lot of time and space in my schedule to feel what I need to feel and I am grateful for that. We have lost a special boy who does not get to be physically here with us and that is so mind bogglingly unfair and difficult to grasp. Of course I've cried buckets of tears and I will continue to cry and mourn for him for the rest of my life. But at the same time, he is right here with us every moment of every day. I can physically feel his presence. I have been spiritually altered by his loss. When we lost Hans, we witnessed before our very eyes the completeness of his fight and his life. I cannot describe or know how, but I am without any doubt that he is flourishing somewhere on the other side. When I lost him I experienced what I can only describe as Amazing Grace.
We talk about Hans all the time, we tell funny stories, jot down memories, look at pictures of his beautiful silly self. We are able to do things now that we haven't been able to do for some time. But as we go out on each adventure, he is right there with us, calling all the shots as usual. I've heard it said that life after cancer is easy. There are so many things that are easy now. We can literally do anything that we want. But missing him is not easy. I've also heard it said from Sam's mom there's Before Hans and Because of Hans.
All we can do now is "live it big time" because we can, because of Hans, because he cannot. What we wouldn't give to have him sitting in a third grade classroom somewhere right now... I cannot even imagine that beautiful scene.
As far as what we are doing... I started with the basics, trying to just get some exercise - jogging and yoga - and Kevin has his cycling and Elle her soccer and running. We are all trying to just eat simple healthy meals. Kevin and Elle are doing well in work and school. I'm tackling a few organizational problems that have been on the back burner, and I'm making some of the appointments that have been on the back burner (eye doc, vet, dentist, etc.) I've been seeing a nice counselor. I had a grievance about a hospital incident that needed to be filed. I filed it. I'm reading more. I actually am giving War and Peace another shot via audiobook, and I joined a book group. We are trying to honor our boy by doing small charitable acts that strike us as the right thing to do. Hans leads the way there, believe me. Kevin and I were invited to join a special Advisory Council for the local Hospital ER, which is aiming to build Bakersfield's first pediatric ER within a couple of years. We had our first meeting last night and I think it is going to be an interesting and valuable experience. I know that Hans had something of a list of demands out of any hospital or ER setting. Those are now deeply ingrained and we would very much like to help make positive changes. We are also daydreaming about different fundraising events we could eventually do to honor his special memory. We are able to take a few trips here and there - got a special one coming up that I will soon post about! I would like to thank the Frazzini and Barto families for making this trip possible! I surprised myself and just accepted a part time job. I'm in training to be a sales rep for a solar energy company. I love it that there is a Hansie connection. We were in the process of converting to a solar energy system when we lost Hans. He was super excited about it. Hans had an eagle eye and could spot a solar system a mile a way. He would point them out and shout out "Solar Panels! Solar Panels!" I'm excited that I will be putting more panels up for him to spot.
I haven't been writing here as much, but I figure for the time being I'll keep the blog open and write as it strikes me, and especially to share announcements of upcoming events. I thank you for following our story. I guess if we've been touched by Hans' story the best thing we can do with his legacy is to live our own lives authentically like he did, to love as loyally as he did.