Saturday, July 17, 2021

You Get Used To It

Another year has passed without our loved and loving son in it. It's been over twenty years. A lot has gone on in those years and it's tempting to wonder what his life would have been like if he had lived, but instead I try to focus on what a wonderful life he had and how much fun it was to be part of that life. You never get over losing a child, but you do get used to least I have. Some years I don't post much about Max in July, waiting until his birthday in August to celebrate his life, but this year I've been depressed (mostly by the ongoing pandemic and the unfortunate choices that are heating it up again) so I'm telling stories to remind myself to grab ahold of life and enjoy it as he did.

My family started doing a once a month Zoom gathering when the pandemic hit and we are still doing so. Many thanks to Natasha for making it happen! We met last Sunday and I asked those who gathered to bring a story about Max if they could. It was really nice to hear the stories. I was especially taken with the one where we were visiting my Mom and mashed potatoes were planned for dinner. Apparently Max and his sister asked if the potatoes would be peeled or not and then explained...simultaneously... that we don't peel ours, "because we're from California". I can just see them doing that. Makes me smile to think of it. I also feel really lucky to have our daughter as a friend, too, and as someone I can count on and who always makes me smile. In the photo above she is reading to her brother. She gave him more of herself than she remembers.

I got an email yesterday from a sister who missed the gathering. She described Max as a treasure, combining seriousness and mischief. She saw him as having a life full of enthusiasm, and that he provided both joy and challenge to his parents as we tried to keep up with his embrace of life. Those are her words and they fit. Remembering when he was young and soooo curious, so that I really had to keep an eagle eye on him all the time, I know of the challenge. The joy was frequent and intense. 

She also said that he crammed a lot of living into the short space of time that he was shared with us. I love that part! He did share so much with us and, to quote Calvin, the days were just packed! I remember that he assured me that the way to get so much life out of life was balance...he felt it was important to have a balance of work and fun. Some of it was both at the same time. Imagine knowing about that balance where you are nine years old. The following year, or maybe the year after that, he assured me that he was careful who he hung out with in middle school. He said that the people who were worried about being popular had to make decisions that he didn't want to have to make. He never specified what decisions, but he was pretty young to have even figured that out.

He left us via an auto accident on the same day the John F. Kennedy, Jr. and his wife lost their lives in a plane crash. A lot has happened in the world since then. He would have really enjoyed so much of the changes in tech since that was an area he excelled in. I'm glad that he missed things like 9/11, the pandemic, and 1/6/21. I still have hope that one of his friends or one of their kids will figure out how to 'Beam Me Up Scotty' before I die, not that I would do that but it's something I hope happens one day for moving people around. Sweetie says that we'll use that kind of technology to move garbage first since who cares it it comes back together the same way?

Have gotten way off track! Here's to Maximum Max! Let his passing remind us to enjoy life, keep a balance between work and play, to be sure to tell those we love that we do love them...and frequently. None of us knows how much time we have left in this world. Find your joy where you can.

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