Friday, December 31, 2010

Another New Years Eve Without Leif

Leif loved parties and New Years Eve celebrations. This is our third New Years Eve since he died, and the holidays have brought so many memories of him. I miss him terribly.

To compound the feeling, I received a junk email from "him" at two of my email addresses. No message, just a junk link to a website that would undoubtedly have infected my account. And odder still, the message came from an email address of his that I had closed (or at least went through the process to close) over two years ago. I could see that the message also went to others in his contact list, and they probably found it startling to see an email from him.

I found that both his Hotmail accounts were still open. despite the fact that Microsoft says they will disable the account if a person doesn't log in for 270 days, and despite the fact that I had gone through a process to close them. I tried again and had difficulties. I hope I succeeded in getting the two accounts closed this time. I don't want them sending out junk that will be passed on by others when they click a link to see what it is, nor do I want people getting a shock when they see email from "Leif Garretson."

Yet even now, closing an account of his still feels like I am doing something I shouldn't, taking away something that was his, taking away yet another little piece of the identity he crafted, as though there is less of him left in this world. I know that's silly, and I know I have to do it, but the feeling is still there.

The "brave new world" we live in creates situations that would never have happened years ago, before the internet, before email, before social media. I doubt that Leif ever considered what would happen to all his accounts when he died, or whether anyone would have to deal with them.

Mail still comes for him, too, from mailing lists he was on, from Mazda, for instance, and Geico. I wonder how many years past his death we will still find envelopes in the mail addressed to him at our address, since he once lived here.

Other things linger on. I received two phone calls concerning an old account of his in the past two days. When are things really settled? When will I finally have taken care of all his belongings?

I go to the garage and see his bicycle hanging up. I go to my office and remember that once it was his. I enter the guest room and remember that once he slept there.

I think of New Years and know I won't see him or get a "Happy New Year, Mom" text from him on my phone. Now there are no new years for him.

Music still makes me think of him and cry.

Most days I'm all right. Most days I am finding more ambition and motivation than I've had since he died. Most days I am happy, or at least not unhappy. Sometimes I find joy, with my grandchildren, with Peter W.

And some days, some times, I am sad and miss Leif so.


This is a photo I found on an old cell phone Leif had. I don't know where it was taken but it looks like a restaurant. It was taken on September 16, 2006.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve 1976

I posted photos of Christmas photos of Leif for nearly every year of his life the past two Christmases. It's so hard to believe this our third Christmas without him. There is still a hole in my heart. I am enjoying our time with Peter Anthony and our grandchildren, but Leif is still missing, and the memories and the longing do not fade. I don't want to let it show, don't want to spoil everyone's good time with my sadness. How is it possible to be happy, joyful, and sad at the same time?

These photos were taken on Christmas Eve in 1976 when we were living in Charlottesville, Virginia. Leif would be two years old a month later. He was a darling child, and at this age knew all his shapes (including octagons, pentagons, trapezoids, etc.), his numbers and letters and could recite the entire "Lorax" by Dr. Seuss word for word, exactly. He was curious and active.

That Christmas we were fortunate to have a big family gathering, with my mother there, and my brother Donovan and his family and my sister, Lannay.

I wish I remembered what was in the shoebox Leif has. He loved boxes almost as much as what was in them.

I am so thankful for all the photos we have, the memories they bring back, the good times we had. These photos from 34 years ago are the treasures of my heart.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tron: Legacy

Yesterday we went to see Tron: Legacy with Peter Anthony's family. I remember so well how much Leif loved the original Tron movie. It was made in 1982. Peter A. loved it, too, and said he couldn't believe they made him wait over 25 years for a sequel. I thought we had seen while we were living in Hawaii, and that might be so, but since we didn't move there until the summer of 1982 and I have a vague memory of the boysnplaying with their red and yellow light cycles in Japan. Although the movie was ahead of it's time and not popular then, it really sparked our imaginations and we never forgot it. How I wished we could have had Leif with us to experience this new movie. He would have so enjoyed it!

See the trailer for Tron: Legacy by clicking the title at left.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

Tonight is yet another night I think Leif would have loved, would have found exciting. He would have wanted to see this total eclipse of the moon on the winter solstice, even if it meant standing out in the cold night air. He so loved outer space. I am watching it tonight and wishing he were here to share it with me.

Winter Solstice Eclipse from NASA.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Visit to the Zoo - Nurnberg, Germany - October 1979 - Age 4 and a half

We were fortunate to be able to travel and see so many place and interesting things with our sons. We have visited zoos in many cities and still enjoy going to zoos, now with our grandchildren. This photo was taken at the zoo in Nurnberg, Germany in October 1979. Leif would be 5 years old three months after it was taken. He as an active, strapping boy, but even he got tired out running around all over the place at the zoo and wearing himself out on the playground equipment, so he got a break riding on his dad's shoulders.

It was a fall day with the leaves turning pretty colors, though it was chilly and cloudy. We were there with our friends the Summerlins, whose daugher, Erin, was one of Leif's best friends and playmates in the little village of Sachsen bei Ansbach where we lived.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Finding Photos

There are still surprises, still people from Leif's past who look for him online and find the blog or his Facebook page, memories others have I've never known, photos of him someone took I've never seen.

Last week I got out a couple of cell phones that Leif had in his apartment to see whether they worked and whether there were any photos or videos on them. When we found them, all I did at the time was put whatever accessories and manuals I found together in the appropriate box and put them in a bigger box to deal with later. I knew that a couple of them were phones we could use if we wanted to and just sort of kept them as backups. Then I thought i'd offer one to my granddaughter, who was going to get her own phone line, and figured I'd better put them back into the out-of-the-box settings. So, I took a look, not just at the memory in the phones but at some mini and micro SD cards that were used with them. And found photos of Leif I'd never seen before.

Some were painful to see, photos that Donna took of him in the ER after his motorcycle accident. Others made me wonder where they were taken, though I could see when by the filename the cell phone had given them. Long ago on this blog I wrote about wondering how many photos of Leif are "out there" somewhere, photos I'll never know exist and will never see, so it seems a bit ironic that i'd find some of them on two phones in my own closet.

This one is of Leif in his cycle jacket and cap, taken March 5, 2006, just a couple of weeks after he moved out of our house and into an apartment in Tampa. I remember that at that time, he had hope, was looking forward to being in the city, glad to have found a companion. In this photo he still has that speculative, sardonic little smile, that piercing gaze. I'd expect him to come out with some witty remark about now. I wish he were here and he could.