Wednesday, April 1, 2009

All I Really Wanted in This World - Peter W., Peter A. & Leif - Hong Kong - April 1983 - Age 8

I was brought up to be a career woman, an unusual thing in the 1950s and early 1960s. I had planned to have a PhD before I considered marriage. It was a big surprise to me when I fell in love and married at 18 and an even bigger surprise when I found myself desperately wanting to have children. Peter W. was and is my romantic sweetheart. He's my best friend, and he has been a wonderful father. Leif used to say that we (Peter and I) "won the marriage lottery" and he was right.

Peter Anthony is my Christmas baby, born December 25, 1968. He was a bright, fascinating, creatively gifted child, questioning and questing all of his life. He was outgoing, gregarious, like his father, and not intimidated by people at all.

Leif was brilliant, analytical, athletic, tall from the beginning, and inherited my shyness and reticence. Once he knew you, he was a blast, but until then, he would hang back and quietly assess the situation.

I loved being their mother. I loved being Peter's wife, and I still do. They were all I really wanted out of life. As I've written, all the rest was gravy. I had a lot of "gravy," travel, living in interesting places around the world, the chance for meaningful work, the chance to write, friends. I had a close, supportive and loving family.

This blog is about Leif, about his life and our love for him and what his loss means to us. Although it is a good picture of those things, in order to stay focused it leaves out the rest of our lives, and this picture is meant to restore just a little perspective.

Although Leif is gone and I will probably never get over that; although the sadness and grief is there, we also have memories we treasure, of him, of his brother, of our family's past. We are glad he was part of our lives for 33 years. I would never give that up.

And I will also remember and be thankful that I still have Peter W. and Peter Anthony. I still have the future with them. I have three beautiful, intelligent, healthy grandchildren. I still have my loving, supportive family. I am thankful I still have much of what I really wanted in this world. That doesn't take away the hurt of losing Leif, but it does make life worth living. It does make life good. I don't ever want to lose sight of what I have in my sadness over Leif's death.

That is one of the paradoxes of life. We can be happy and sad at virtually the same time.

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