Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chapter 20

Gary had a thing for dogs and by May of 2002 we were on our 7th!  We already had a husky named Sophie but Gary wanted another husky.  We ended up with a male puppy which we named Tucker.  Well!  Sophie was having none of that!  After she brutally attacked Tucker and we had to take him to the vet for an injury to his eye I convinced Gary that he needed to go.  I called the breeder and told him what had happened, he agreed to take him back.  However before we could do that something happened that would change our lives forever.

We received a phone call early the next morning that Gary's dad had suffered a major heart attack and had been rushed to the QE11 Health Scientist Center in Halifax.  The kids were to leave for a youth retreat at a Bible Camp that weekend so it was decided that before they left they should see Grampie.  He was not expected to live, but I didn't tell the kids this.

I took Josiah in first.  Although he couldn't speak because of the ventilator, his eyes lit up when he saw his grandson and he reached out for him.  Josiah told him that he loved him and then broke down crying.  I took him back into the hall where he crumbled sobbing in my arms while Gary took Elizabeth in.  Josiah and Elizabeth are so different.  Elizabeth hides her feelings, she feels things just as deeply as Josiah but she puts on this tough exterior and pulls away.  Josiah's tender heart on the other hand is worn on his sleeve, you know how he feels right off.  They both hurt the same but I could comfort Josiah, Elizabeth I couldn't.

The next day, May 30th, I dropped them both off at the church and was just pulling out of the driveway when my cellphone rang.  My dear sweet father-in-law had just passed away.  I decided not to go back for the kids, but to let them go to the retreat.  There was nothing they could do if they stayed at home.

The next couple of days were a blur.  I had loved this man dearly and would sorely miss his gentle ways and sweet smile.  He was the only one in the family whom I felt accepted me for who I was and I had loved him dearly for that.

I still had the problem with Tucker however, and the breeder was waiting for him back.  The trip would take a few hours and I was still babysitting.  Emma's parents didn't want me to take her that far from home.  Gary was in no shape to go by himself.  So I decided to call Gary's brother-in-law and ask if he would take Gary and Tucker.  Gary's sister and husband had come home earlier in the week and I thought that maybe he would even welcome the chance to get away for a few hours.  So I called.  The way he blew up at me left me shocked, shaking and sobbing.  He accused me of being selfish and said he couldn't believe I would ask him to take the time to do something so trivial at a time like this.  I finally interrupted, apologized and hung up.  I sobbed uncontrollably for the next hour.  I finally was able to calm myself down somewhat.  Later I was talking to Gary's sister and started to cry again, I told her what had happened and apologized to her as well.  She was shocked, she hadn't heard anything about it.  We hung up.

We were sitting eating lunch when I looked out the window and saw him pull into the yard.  I panicked.  Terrified at what else he was going to say to me I ran into Elizabeth's bedroom and closed the door.  He came into the kitchen and I could hear him talking to Gary.  He called for me to come out a couple of times but I never answered him.  After a few minutes Gary came in and said that he had agreed to take him and the dog and they were leaving right away.  I stayed in the bedroom until they drove off.

Later that night the phone rang and it was him wanting to talk to me.  He apologized for the way he had acted and what he had said.  He told me that I had been right, getting away for a few hours had been a welcomed breather that he had needed.  I could tell that he felt bad and I know that the way he had acted wasn't the way he usually was, he had never been anything but extremely kind to me.  I chalked it up to just the stress of the week.  I appreciated his apology but I didn't say much.  I felt that I had made a huge mistake asking someone for help for something that had been my problem.  It cemented in my mind that I had to take care of things by myself.  It had always been hard for me to ask for help, now the thought terrified me, there would always be the potential of it blowing up in my face again!  For some reason this event had shaken me to my very core! It caused me to start withdrawing even more.  To this day I'm very uncomfortable asking anyone for help with anything.

The morning of the funeral one of the ladies from church drove me to the camp to get the kids.  I had called the director the night before to tell him what had happened.  I asked him not to say anything to the kids except that I was coming in the morning to pick them up.  Josiah called right back asking me point blank if Grampie had died.  I had wanted to be there when they found out, but I couldn't lie to him, so I told him over the phone.  I'm glad that the director was there for my children that night.

It was a very hard day.  There was a viewing right before the funeral at the church and that was the one I took Josiah and Elizabeth to.  Josiah took a place beside the casket right next to his Grampie with his father, grandmother, uncles and aunt, greeting the people as they came to pay their respects.  Gary's mother wanted only her daughter and sons sitting in the pew with her, so the spouses had to sit in the pew behind them, each one sitting behind their respective spouse!  I was the only one with children present, we were were all spaced out on this one pew.  Before she, Gary and his siblings came back into the sanctuary everyone took their seats and the casket was closed and rolled into place for the service.  Here again showed the differences in my children.  Josiah cried into my shoulder, his sobs being the only sound heard in the church, while my sweet Elizabeth sat an arms length away from me not wanting to be even touched.  It was a very difficult service.  She eventually moved closer as the service progressed and I was able to hold her hand, but Josiah kept his head buried in my shoulder crying.

Gary's father was a sweet, humble Christian man, and I am blessed to have had him for my father-in-law.  I miss him.

No comments:

Post a Comment