Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Memories . . .

I never cry, but here I am;
Sitting . . .
Surprised . . .
tears filling my eyes,
threatening to spill down my cheeks.


A small crop-duster plane just flew by outside my window. 

That's weird, you say!
Why would an airplane cause someone to cry?

In grief and loss, we never know when something -
     a sound
     a smell
     a picture
     or anything - will trigger a memory. 

It just suddenly overwhelms and engulfs us with deep sadness,
with no warning. 

And  - I was immediately overwhelmed with a deep sadness,
. . . . then all these memories started to flow over me. 
LOTS of bittersweet memories.

Bitter, because he died.
Sweet, because he lived. 

It was a brilliant yellow crop duster with a bright  blue tail. 

It was beautiful. 
It was flying lower than the house, just across the road,
spraying those pesky destructive head worms/bugs on the milo. 

When I heard it, my first thought was "TERRY!  Terry needs to see this!" 

Immediately I remembered a time,  before Tammy was born,  when a crop duster was going to be spraying a field just down the road from our house.  Marvin said I could take Terry out to watch. 

It was the first time Terry had ever seen a crop duster. 
He would have been a preschooler at that time. 

In his excitement he clapped his hands and laughed and laughed. 

. . . .  and fell in love with airplanes. 

All kinds of planes
and jets and
rockets and
the B1 & B2
especially the Space Shuttle
anything that would or could fly. 

Or anything that would put air & space between his feet and the ground. 

Which would later include tying a bath towel to his shoulders
standing on the arm of the couch. 
and flying off into space.
and onto the cushions he had piled on the floor. 
Over and over and over.

His next flying endeavor would be leaping from the upper hay loft in his grandparents’ barn to the lower loft. 
while screaming “Out of the way!!!”

Tammy, in terror, moved 'out of the way' –
just to be knocked flat, with the wind knocked out of her. 

Later flying would include his dirt bike that he would fly off mounds of dirt
so he could be airborne for a bit. 
Without his mother’s knowledge, I might add.

About the same time flying included jumping out his 2nd floor bedroom window.
To impress his younger cousins.
Telling them this was a fire drill,
just in case there should be a fire.

He could tell you everything you NEVER wanted to know – about airplanes. 

Even before he was old enough to go to kindergarten he was drawing airplanes . . 
Lots of airplanes
And, of course, tractors and combines. 

Friday, this week September 2nd is his birthday.
He should be 42 years old. 

I think that's why the memories & tears overwhelmed me just now. 

How I miss his laughter
his ability to make me laugh. 
His instant wit and ability to come up with the funniest ‘off the wall’ comments in any situation.
his ability to make lots of people to laugh.

How thankful I am for memories. 
Lots of funny & happy memories. 

Thanks, Terry
Thanks for all the memories.
Thanks for your inquisitive mind and always asking "why" and meaning it.
Thanks for all the trips to the library to find the answers to your “whys and whats”.
 You know - for example; "what do starfish eat?"
I mean - who really cared?  Huh!  You did!
 Pretty interesting question for a preschooler who would not give up until he found out.
 Where was Google back then in the 70's?

Thanks for all the life lessons you have taught me. 
You have made my life so much better.

. . . .  later, Alligator ! ! !

I love you


  1. I still remember the day you had the family pictures taken in Abilene, I think in some motel. Terry had already had his picture taken and we were waiting out in the corridor while you two had yours taken. I missed Terry and then I saw him, walking down the corridor walls,About three feet off of the floor, his hands on one wall and his feet on the one across. Did you say he liked to be up in the air ?

  2. Lovely post Janet. Thanks for sharing those wonderful memories with us! :)


  3. Wonderful, healthy, encouraging memories.

    Thanks, Jan...

    Pastor Rob
    Clay Center Wesleyan Church

  4. Our sweet Hudson loved planes, too. I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious boy, Janet. This post is beautiful, and your description of what bittersweet is really like is so apt. Thank you for visiting my blog. Will be thinking of you.

  5. I can identify with your feelings and memories so elegantly expressed in this post. My son would have been 34 this August 19. I seldom cry anymore, but tender memories still touch me. What a wonderful comfort to know that someday we will be with our sons again in heaven because of our faith in Jesus Christ. That's the sweet part. The bitter part will continue to pop up from time to time until that day.