Wednesday, December 3, 2008
A Bittersweet Homecoming - Leif When He Lived Here
I couldn't face Thanksgiving here, with just me, Peter W., and my mother, without Leif, so I talked Peter W. into a trip to the DC area to visit our nephew, Rick, and his family, my sister Lannay and her family, and Peter A., Darlene and Marcus. It was a good trip, and I really enjoyed seeing everyone. The kids (Rick and Mac's daughters Kimmy and Christina, and our grandson Marcus) were great to be with, along with all the adults, and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast prepared by Doug at Lannay and Doug's house.
Even with all the happy times, I still had some tears and missed Leif, but it was easier there to be distracted from that because I wasn't used to expecting to see him there.
Coming home today was harder. As we traveled south on I-75 past Tampa, when we passed the exit we would have taken to go to see Leif, I choked up, realizing I'd never do that again. It got worse when we got home, and I saw his mountain bike hanging up in the garage, his motorcycle helmet on the dining room table, his uniform in my closet, and all the other reminders, his portrait on my desk. I remembered how he lived here, in this house, slept in what's now our guest room, had his computer and stereo in what is now my office, for a year. How the guest bathroom was his, how he used to park his car and cycle in the garage, and then how, when he moved out, I could look forward to him driving up to visit, seeing him at my kitchen or dining room table, sitting in the living room.
I will never see him in those places again, and it hurts. It makes me deeply sad and brings tears to my eyes. I see photos of his life cycling through my iGoogle slide show and I hope, oh, how I hope, that in the last days of his life he was able to remember that once he had good times with us, with his friends, that he was loved.
This photo was taken March 13, 2005, right after we moved Leif and Peter W. to Florida. He set up his computer desk in the room he used for a year and spent so much time in playing online computer games, searching for companionship on eHarmony and March.com, and looking for jobs. Leif was a true technophile and loved computers. The one you can see on the right side of the desk is the one he built himself.
He was only here with his dad for 11 months, but I will always see him in this room of our house in my mind.
I'm home, Leif, but you are not, and my heart is heavy.