Monday, October 3, 2011

Home vs House.

Home vs. House

Every morning sitting in the living room with the sun slowly filtering through the curtains having my much needed coffee, I glance over to the corner of the living room. I can still see the outline of the hospital bed and our son lying in the bed. My heart breaks again, so much pain and sorrow.
We bought this house over 32 years ago with so much excitement and dreams, both of us working full time and we could still barley afford the mortgage. The wonderful dreams that we created for our new home, yes home, this was our new home not just a house anymore. It was small only one bedroom; I guess you could call it a bungalow. Two blocks away from the beach and a nice size yard, just imagine the swing set and puppies running around with our children. Three years later a little boy was born, Joseph Anthony.
We needed more room to grow, so we added on and recreated our home. Brian James was born three years later. As our children grew and flourished it was amazing at the joy the 2 boys brought to our lives. Grammar school, Soccer, Baseball, Ice Hockey, High School we were always on the move. Sports, homework and of course the squabbles between brothers, the discipline (no cookies before dinner) life was good.
The phone call came late one April afternoon, mom my daughter in law said so upset. They found a something on Joey’s pelvis, it looks like a tumor. My oldest son was in the Navy stationed in Japan, he was having some pain down his right leg and thought that he pulled a muscle or even possible had a hernia. They flew him and his wife, Miki from Japan to San Diego. The diagnosis Osteosarcoma, bone cancer! Between getting Joey and Miki a place to stay in San Diego, (not too far from the hospital) and flying back and forth from New Jersey it was trying. Having my youngest son Brian helping out and staying in San Diego so this way someone was always with Joey, was a godsend.
We finally had to bring Joey back home; he needed constant care and pain management. His wife needed to go back to Japan to be with their two children for a while (another blog at another time). We drove back and forth from Johns Hopkins hospital and home. Needless to say 10 very short months later at the very young age of 26 our oldest son lost his battle with cancer.
Our youngest son Brian moved out just over a year ago to Nebraska, so incredibly proud of the young man he has become. He has been able to grow in mind, body, soul and spirit. Of course we miss him terribly, but just imagining how much he has gone through and his determined spirit is uplifting for us.
So, now I’m back to what to do in regards to this house that we are now living in together. Notice I didn’t say home, it just doesn’t feel like my home any more. Yes, I can still picture all the Christmas presents under the tree and who is going to open the first gift that Santa gave them. I still have those memories and many, many more. When the sadder memories are more prominent in your mind do you stay in the house and hope with all your heart that it will once again become your home?
I’m on the edge here, not sure what my next move is and what it should be. We have lost a part of our hearts and are trying to heal and keep each other together. Family and friends have helped us so much; that we can’t even began to express our heartfelt thanks.
Lately our sorrow is engulfing our memories more and more or maybe it just seems that way to me. Either way we are still trying to figure out the next thing to do, the right thing to do. I’m hoping that over time we will be able to figure out what will be best for us.


Catootes said...

YOu know what lives inside your house? Love. The love that raised two boys into wonderful young men. The love that held the hands of a sick scared son, and the commitment to be there, with him, in the the house he loved and was comforted in by the love you two gave him. The love that supported another son as he lost his way for a time and the support that helped him find it again, all the while protected by the walls of that house and what he found inside it. There is laughter and love and wonder in the memories of birthday parties, quiet moments and the act of just LIVING that life.
The painful memories can overshadow those other moments for a time, but the heart of it, the depth of it, will always remain full of love.

Anonymous said...

We experienced a serious illness in our son and the death of 3 o our parents, all in the space of two years. During all this we just continued on, as if nothing had happened. We did not come to a resolution until we decided to take what had happened seriously, to honor our grief, and to not continue as if nothing had happened. I think in former times society supported, even mandated, a lengthy period of grief during which you were not expected to act and behave as if nothing had happened. For us, we had the opportunity to quit our jobs and move out to the family farm, where we are now. For six months we just sat on the front porch and watched the rain, and let the healing spirits of this place work on us. Now we are much more functional, but I credit our decision to take time out to grieve. Good luck to you! I cannot counsel you, I think, to stay in your home with all of its wonderful memories, or to leave it. Only you can figure out if being there will heal you more than leaving. Love, w