The Little Things People Say..Yesterday I was tired, both mentally and physically and everything sad was coming to mind. I thought of Tobi. I guess what really brought him to mind and it took me all night (barely sleeping) until this morning to figure out what was wrong. Someone called before seven yesterday morning and mentioned something about one of his family members. I felt weird and a little angry all day. People are always telling the grieving to (in so many words) get over it when what they should say is…you will feel like this for a while. You will remember all of the special times; you will see something a toy, a car, someone that will remind you of the one missing in your life and yes, you should cry, but only for a while. I believe people should be given the right to be angry, miserable, and lost because then they can break through and find their way back with a comforting tool to see them through. That old saying of time healing everything is definitely true. You may never forget, but the pain goes away. Sometimes my mom still talks of her mother who died when she was sixteen, my mom will be seventy-six this year. She receives comfort by telling her mother of the accomplishments of grand, great, and double great-grandchildren. The hardest thing is remembering a loved one by the holidays. I had a child that died a couple of days after his birth twenty-six years ago. He was born and died within the week before Mother’s day. For a while I remembered the routine early morning inner belly kicks and for years always felt funny when that certain day would come around. I receive my comfort from seeing my very grown daughters thriving day by day. My father died nearly fifteen years ago and I can still remember the day, New Years Eve. If I see a car that looks like the pale blue and black Cadillac he drove I wonder if it is him. And when I have a problem or want to tell someone news about my daughters I tend to want to reach for the telephone and call him, and then I remember he is not there, but the pain has gone. Thoughts remain. I believe that is the greatest comfort. I get comfort remembering how my dad would let me drive his stingray when I was twelve and how he would show me how to draw, anything. We no longer remember the bad about a person when they are gone we focus on the happy. I remember Tobi.
Tobi, my girls and I called him this because it meant, God is with you was brought to us right after Easter three years ago. He was a three month old baby put in our care straight from the hospital from illness due to neglect. The arrangement was to help the grandmother out until she was able to care for him and then they would take him back. I made sure my daughters knew this would be temporary. It turned into nine months. Tobi grew from a scraggily sour little ‘old man’ into a round happy cuddly baby that smiled every time he saw us. He was even with us through the scare of Hurricane Rita. After his family said we could adopt him and paper work was being arranged, the grandmother suddenly came back for him a week before Christmas. Legally, if the situation had stayed between the maternal side of the family Tobi would still be with us, but the grandmother gave him to the father. A known drug user who had never been in the child’s life, but the law is the law.
It felt like a sudden death, but how could we grieve? He wasn’t really ours and yet I had to fold up his clothes and give away his things. It wasn’t the same as if we’d had a funereal or loved ones could walk up and console us. All we heard was…. Where is the little boy you used to keep? Have you heard anything about him? Do you know where he is? How hard it is to answer questions on hearsay. My biggest comfort is hearing the father gave the baby to his mother. I hear she is deep into the church and a good woman. I hear the same thing about the maternal-grandmother. So, what does that do? Me, I pray for him and his family and hope to never see them again in life. I just don't want to remember.