Some pretty strong storms passed through last night, and I am so glad that the damage around us was minimal. I am sad too, though. The trampoline that Todd bought and put together for Caley is destroyed. I am not sad for the "thing" that the trampoline is, but for what it represents to me/us. It was Todd's idea to get it for her when she had to have an out-patient procedure done when she was almost 3 years old. He bought it and put it together in the back yard the evening before we went to Memphis to have the procedure done. He wanted to be able to tell her there was a big surprise waiting for her when she got home…he wanted it ready to go so she could start jumping right away. The safety net was a BEAR to get on…but he did it…and it was the best net in the neighborhood ;-)
My children have enjoyed that trampoline more than I could have imagined. It could share many stories if it could talk…like when Gran got on the trampoline for the first time (at 75 years old), and jumping with the aunts and uncles and cousins or when a few too many children were jumping and playing a game and laughing…until someone got hurt…or the time one little girl came flying out of the net entrance as I was talking to her mom on the phone and asking "are you okay with your children jumping on the trampoline with all the neighborhood children?" But the favorite stories would be how Todd would almost always jump with them when they asked him to…even after a long day at work. They would say "please daddy, please come jump with us." They had such fun, and it was my joy to watch them (although I confess to being a bit nervous from time to time seeing him bounce them to the top of the net). They would jump and play games…he would bounce them like a piece of popcorn…and they would take turns doing tricks. So you see…it is not the trampoline, but the memories that I am mourning right now. This is also his birthday week, and my son's too. So emotions are high, and tears have seemed to flow very easily this month. I pretty much had a complete meltdown this evening…seeing the trampoline in a crumpled heap (the wind had wrapped it around a telephone pole in a neighbor's yard) and remembering all those special times that will never be again…I just felt like the wind had been knocked out of me.
I am better than I was a few hours ago, but the ache inside is still very real. A friend came by who knew both Todd and I well, and we cried together, and she is the one who reminded me, "it was the best net in the neighborhood"-- and we both laughed a little. I know that the only important memory Todd would care about would be that his children remember how much he loved them…but I think *I* need him to be remembered…I don't want people to forget what an awesome husband and father and friend he was—not perfect (for that thought would make him gag) but damn awesome. I want to yell at the people around me "don't let petty crap and BUSYness get in the way of your relationships with your spouse and your children!" WAKE-UP NOW! Don't wake up one day in the future to see that you valued all the wrong things…evident by how you lived your life and how you treated those who are supposed to be most special/precious to you. My heart aches for Todd, but it also aches for this world in which marriages are disposable and children are lost in the shuffle of so many activities. It is my prayer that everyone reading this would let those most precious to them *know* they are precious through their actions...by slowing down enough to enjoy their company. Please go jump on your trampoline…and don't hesitate to remind me to do the same.