Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas! We did have a less difficult Christmas than it had been for the last several years. Anna's fiance Mike spent the day with us and sort of filled the role of young adult male. I think it is entirely possible that Thomas would have enjoyed knowing Mike and certainly Mike has filled an empty niche for Matthew. This question of families reconfiguring after a death: it had never occurred to me before Thomas died, but I guess the deaths I had experienced before had all been of older people whose children had left home and created their own lives and families. Without Thomas there is a gap in our family, but now Anna is moving on and thinking about starting her own family, beginning with her wedding in August, so things are changing anyway . . .

In March of 2005, we also moved Richard's mother, Thomas's grandmother, to a senior apartment near us. It was a distraction but it was also necessary for her to be near us (my sister-in-law had a disabling stroke in March of 2004 which made it necessary for us to take responsibility for Grandma). We spent several weeks shopping for furniture and necessities for a new apartment, something she really enjoyed and which I was glad to do. Thomas had loved shopping--as I said earlier, he loved buying new clothes--when he was a younger kid, we could always make him feel better by buying a flashlight. We have the world's best collection of flashlights. Shopping for Grandma just seemed like something he would understand.

And then April happened. I think I want to be wide awake when I talk about April of 2005 in detail (it's almost midnight here!)


At December 29, 2007 at 4:23:00 PM PST , Blogger FoozJen said...

Your comment about Mike filling an empty niche made me think of a different situation in which my great aunt filled the empty left by the death of my grandfather.

We had always been close to my great Aunt Jessie so that did not change, but what did change was the role she filled after my grandfather's death. She became the beloved grandfather, if that makes any sense.

Whatever kind of relationship I had with her became more close more intense. She already was an easy person to love and be around as my grandfather was and became more so after his death.

It was a great comfort to be able to visit her for almost 15 years that she lived after my grandfather's death. It isn't to say that she completely replaced him, no one could ever fill those shoes. Yet she provided a continuing comforting presence of our last remaining relative in that generation.

I was truly sorry when her time came and yet how can I complain? She was wonderful to the end, and at age 94 ready to move on to another dimension.

While it isn't quite the same I can relate to that "filling the niche". It does bring comfort.


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