Never the Same Again – (Repost)

A little more than a week ago, I was back in Michigan for some college football camps with my son Alex.

On Saturday morning, after dropping him off at the U-M camp, I went to Our Lady of Good Hope Cemetery (I think it is in Wyandotte?), where my grandparents and Scott Mattern are buried. I stopped first to pick up flowers to place at their gravsesites (and this took me a good bit longer than anticipated, because the florist that used to be right near the cemetery is no longer there). I know the general location for the headstones, but after searching fruitlessly for awhile, I had to go back to the office to ask for the exact location. They gave me a map and out I went again. After more searching, I finally found my grandparents graves, spent some time trying to clean up the overgrown grass around their headstones, and then placed the flowers.

I was not so lucky in finding Scott’s gravesite. I had the general coordinates from the office, but no matter how much I searched the area, I couldn’t find the stone. I just went around and around in circles – frustrated knowing that it was right there and somehow I was too blind to see it.

After 15 minutes or so, I looked down at my phone and realized that my time was up. I went back to the office, explained my predicament, and asked the very nice lady there if she would be able to have someone bring the flowers out to Scott’s gravesite. She said she would be happy to take them out there personally and offered to go back out with me if I want to take them myself.

Unfortunately, I had already wasted too much time searching on my own and didn’t have another minute to spare. I thanked her for taking care of it and, as I turned to leave, I literally started sobbing – as I’ve explained before, it doesn’t really take much to generate that kind of reaction.

I felt that not finishing the job myself, I was letting Scott down. And all the pain and sadness of that cold January day 34 years ago dropped down on me like it was yesterday. I quickly walked to my car, hoping the nice lady hadn’t noticed my convulsions as I walked out the door. And then I dried my eyes as best I could and went on my way.

That is the thing about this kind of loss – it NEVER goes away. The hole in your heart will NEVER be filled. You learn to live with it, and you go on – because that’s what we do. But your life is never, EVER, the same again.

I’m reposting this today, in memory of my wife’s sister Dana Blair Allen, who passed away 27 years ago today. She will never be forgotten. May she Rest in Peace.

Never The Same Again (Originally posted January 28, 2014)

I woke up today, not really any differently than any day I can remember in the recent past.  Thankful for all that I have been blessed with and thankful for another opportunity to cherish those blessings. Continue reading