Thursday, April 8, 2010
Approaching Two Years Since Leif's Death
What more can I tell you about my son, Leif Ashley Garretson, his life, his death, and our love for him and mourning his loss? I began this blog the day we found him, April 10, 2008, not knowing where I was going with this other than wanting a way to remember him. Sometime in the past six months I came to the realization that near the two year mark I would have said nearly all I want to say, although some new memories may come to me, and will have posted nearly all of the good photos of Leif I have. I resolved to close the blog, or at least the frequent posting, on the second anniversary. I had hoped to reach a visitor count or 10,000 by that time. As of today, there have been 9,854 visits since May 15, 2008, which is when I first placed the ClustrMap counting visitors, so it's likely that 10,000 has been reached, though not by the counter.
I find that I still have a few photos and a few more things to say before I close the book this has become, so I will continue for a few more days. After that, I will only post once in awhile. As with any blog, frequent or daily postings bring more visitors, so I expect visits to trail off after that, and that's all right. It's been two years of intense feelings, remembrance, introspection. I don't think I will ever be free of grief and mourning, nor will I ever be ready to let Leif go, but at least the wrenching pain has lessened and I no longer feel the need to post every single day. Probably that has been helped by the impossibility of it while we were traveling to South America and Texas this spring, when I didn't always have internet access or even time to do it. Maybe it's best that I had that break in routine.
Coming home always brings home the loss of our son. Driving through Tampa on the way home from the airport we can't help but remember how he used to pick us up at the airport, where the freeway exit for his apartment was, how we met him in town for dinner at places like Thai Tani and Mr. Dunderback's and went to movies together. Even having our sprinkler system brought memories of Leif trying to find the buried sprinkler heads after we bought the house, using one of his swords to jab through the hard-packed sandy earth to find them. So much reminds us of him every day.
I loved every day of his life, from babyhood to his death, though of course any truthful mother has to admit there were trying times, times when I was mad at him, times he disappointed me . . . and he probably felt the same way about me. But that's the thing about a strong family tie; those times are forgiven. Love goes on.
These photos of Leif in one of our apple trees in Sachsen bei Ansbach in Bavaria, Germany, were taken in June 1979 when he was about four-and-a-half years old. They seemed to go with spring.