Thursday, September 16, 2010

Perfect timing

On Tuesday I was feeling particularly cheated. I kept thinking of the opening lines from Robert Browning's poem "Rabbi Ben Ezra." Steve and I would sometimes recite the words with each other:

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be ...

I teared up often throughout the day, feeling sorry for myself and missing Steve to grow old with.

What helped turn my sadness around? Sweet words from Cooper.

On Tuesday night he told me and Katie: "My heart almost died when Daddy did. Now it's healing."

And this morning, on our walk to school, he looked me in the eyes and said: "I have a good childhood."

His timing was perfect.

From the moment we learned that something was wrong with Steve, I worried about Cooper and Katie's childhood being ruined. I wasn't sure how we all would weather the challenges of Steve's cancer and all the changes that would come. I couldn't even begin to imagine our lives without Steve on earth.

When Cooper told me that his heart was healing, I immediately felt less burdened. Then he lifted even more burdens when describing his childhood.

I am grateful for the solid foundation that Steve and I created together and the strong legacy that Steve left behind. I am thankful for two children who are as silly and wise and articulate and funny and bright as their Daddy.

Now I need to make sure that I keep their "good childhood" on track. The best is yet to be -- just not in the way I expected.

Katie and Cooper resting on the University of Michigan campus on Sept. 4, 2010.

1 comment:

Diane said...

Tyra -- of the many beautiful essays you've written, this may be the one that has touched me deepest. I believe that Cooper's simple, honest, and wise-beyond-his-years statement about having a happy childhood was a gift from God, who knew one of your deepest concerns. I believe that God was sending you a message that your children are and will be happy. In fact, they may even experience a deeper happiness because their profound loss and grief have helped them appreciate the many good and beautiful things about this life. And as you ended your post, I believe that God was telling you that you, too, will have a good and beautiful life. Thank you for sharing your life and thoughts with us -- you enrich all who read your journal and who ache and question and rejoice with you, even from afar. Love, Diane