Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Today it has been three years exactly since I last saw and spoke to Thomas. He had asked Anna and me to come out to Washington because he knew he was going to be deploying sometime in October. We had planned to come in the previous February, but I got very sick in January and ended up in the hospital instead. Looking back now, I am glad. We might have just decided to settle for the long visit we had with him in July and let him go off to Iraq without seeing him again. Since the original plan was just for Anna and me, it seemed natural that it would be just us again. We met him at Sea-Tac where one of his friends dropped him off as we landed and drove north with my sister and her husband to visit for a few days. The weather was incredible, clear blue skies as only the northern piece of my home state can produce them. I have pictures but the are buried in my old computer files somewhere and they are really hard to access. Maybe I'll try though tomorrow and add one of Thomas, the way I last saw him: lanky and shaved, khaki pants, blue sweater, baseball cap, wolfing down a Taco Bell meal outside the walls of Ft. Lewis.
OK, this is the next day, and I discover that he was wearing jeans! Maybe all of that Army khaki was more than he could take. It took quite a while to pry this image off of the old computer but I think I've rescued it for now.

That July visit is worth a few words, but maybe not today.

We are buying a new table and chairs for our dining room. You faithful readers may remember that I was a bit obsessed by our lack of chairs. We are buying six new dining room chairs to go with the new table. I'm a little conflicted about the new table: the old one was where we all sat as a family for most of our time in this house. I bought it at Salvation Army in Hyattsville Maryland mostly so I could have the chairs that came with it. The chairs have been steadily disintegrating, despite my reupholstering efforts four years ago (I own an electric staple gun in the wake of that experience). However, the table is terrific. While Thomas was living at home, and whenever he returned, he ate dinner sitting at that table, always to my left on the side facing north. When he died, it was as if someone had bombed our home and left a crater at his place at the table. But, we have learned to not notice it so much any more, and maybe a new table will help us let that go a little more . . .

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At October 4, 2007 at 2:27:00 PM PDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across your blog a week or so ago. I've been debating to contact you or not. Not that I don't want to talk to you, I already have and I'm sure you remember, my name is David. It's just that communicating with Tommy's family is hard for me, or I guess the thought is. I've been out to see him many times and I always feel bad for not coming by, but I don't know if I could do it. I mean, of course I could, but it would be hard for me. Truth is, everything has gotten harder over time instead of easier it seems.
I liked seeing the picture of Tommy. I miss him teribbly and think about him everyday. I went out to visit him about a month ago and left something I'd written underneath the flower vase. You're welcome to read it.
The drive isn't to bad, about 7-8 hours and I enjoy the time alone. I loved your son and in the two years I knew him he gave more to me and the enjoyment of my life than anyone else I've ever met, save for my wife who I think more often than not has kept me breathing and moving over the past few years. I don't know much about the love of a mother and the sadness and emotions you've felt. But I wanted to let you know you're not alone in your grief. I still carry it around with me everyday. I still cry sometimes in bed at night as I think about everything and I still look forward to my dreams, which is where I still find Tommy many nights. We'll give eachother a big hug then talk and laugh like we use to.

At October 4, 2007 at 8:34:00 PM PDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you need help accessing files off your hard drive then I will be more than glad to help.


At October 5, 2007 at 10:10:00 AM PDT , Blogger Lee Ann said...

Dear David, I think of you daily, and pray. Your picture is in our living room, you and Thomas with your arms slung over each other's shoulders, the picture your parents brought to the funeral for us. I'll probably go to the cemetery this weekend and I will look for your paper. I hope that you will be able to contact us soon, but we understand a little how hard this all can be.

I envy you your dreams--I very rarely dream of Thomas but he's always OK when I do, which is some comfort.

Just call when you can, or write.

Lee Ann, Thomas's mom

At October 5, 2007 at 10:12:00 AM PDT , Blogger Lee Ann said...

Vince, I may need your help. I think there are some pictures on there (or there should be) that I didn't see yesterday. I want to save it all. I'll be in touch.

Lee Ann

At October 13, 2007 at 1:47:00 PM PDT , Anonymous Brandy said...

I'm a stranger that stumbled along. I just wanted to say that I'm sorry for what you've gone through. I wish things had been different.


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