I swear just when I think I have crawled out of the hole of grief, someone dumps a bucket loader of dirt and rocks back on me. Today was one of those days, in spades. It started out as a normal day, just like any other. I got ready for work, headed out the door and glanced at the calendar, and that’s when the first pile of rocks started to fall. It is that week, the week that contains the 17th of the month. The day that Connor formally left this world 21 months ago on Friday of this week. Although in 3 months he will be gone 2 years, 24 whole months, it still seems surreal to me. As if he could walk through the door at any moment.
That I could hear the distinctive sound that his semi-tied Chips made as he came through the front door. Of course after I heard the thumping of the bass that his stereo made as his beloved car came up the road. Those are sounds that I still hear in the recesses of my brain, almost as if I continue to hear them, he will somehow magically reappear.
Unfortunately my day went from bad to worse. I went to go get our company T-Shirts, with the new Connor Strong Logo on the sleeve. There it was in full color. The reminder that my guys will carry with them all year long, the full color reminder that he isn’t coming back.
No matter how hard I tried to turn off my brain, it just wouldn’t stop today. My father in laws house has been sold, Kyle is still trying to sell his powder blue mini van. In my yard sits 2 rally cars that are reminders of PBR-Powers Brothers Racing, and all the times they spent together. Racing and working on those cars together. Competing against each other to see who had the best times, they were always so close.
Then there is the constant reminder that I don’t want, the headstone that sits in Calvary Cemetery, the black granite stone with his name and his beloved baseballs on it. The stone with the short dash that marks the 17 years that he was on this earth. But that dash doesn’t represent how much he lived, loved and was loved. How much fun he had, how strong he was, how smart and ambitious he was. And most of all, how much he is missed.
I crossed one off my Bucket List last weekend!! I went to see Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefers in concert. The concert was amazing from “License to Chill” to “Tin cup Chalice” and everything in between, I was a parrot head, and loving every moment of it. Tailgating in The parking lot before hand was almost as good as the concert, just relaxing in my chair, drinks good food and everyone is your friend. I learned things I didn’t know:
- Following Jimmy is like the Zydeco version of the Dead.
- Some people never go into the venue to watch the concert
- They didn’t buy a ticket, they just came to tailgate in the parking lot.😱
- Xfinity needs way more Porta-Potty’s in their parking lot.
- I can hula hoop for a pudding shot
- Looking super relaxed will net you Jell-O Shots from complete strangers
- There are still good people in this world
- The guy who tripped n spilled his beer all over us. Then bought us: beer, wine and popcorn. Is one of them❤️
- U have to hand wash a Vera Bradley wristlet when they smell like stale beer.
Most importantly I learned that Connor would have been in his glory. He would have been dancing in the parking lot, with one of those crazy fin hats on. Legal drinking age or not he wud have been trashed while tailgating and Jordan would have had her hands full trying to keep up with him.
She would have constantly been making him eat, and the two of them would have been laughing hysterically 🤣🤣🤣. He would have been dancing, and singing, and me relaxing would have not happened!! I thought of him a lot Saturday night, when the beer ran down the blanket directly towards me, anytime he spilled something as s kid, it always rolled towards me. There were butterflies in the air, they always remind me of him. There were beach balls being tossed everywhere , if it was a ball he could hit!! He was all about it. In my mind, he was there with me, with a License to Chill.🏄♀️🍹⛱🏖
Yesterday was a tough one. August 1st. It seems now that my life is ruled by dates. Connor’s accident date- the 5th of every month, the day he died, the 17th of every month. His birthday is March 15th, and for the last 2 years we have spent that day away!! I don’t see that changing any time soon, it is just too hard for me to be home, and not have my baby here to celebrate with. Going to see this on his birthday just doesn’t cut it!! Although I always go before we leave and wish him Happy Birthday!!!
But yesterday’s date was August 1st, the date that Sharon Smithwick Koneazny should have turned 52. The date that I should have sent her a smart ass text wishing her Happy Birthday, and then posted something just as crazy on her FacebookWall. The second one I was able to accomplish as well as to leave a meme that was tagged as a #sharonism. A silly, puny or sarcastic, maybe roll your eyes kind of funny thing.
She would post them every day on her wall and I miss seeing them, she made my world a happier place, often on days that all I could see was grey. So now when I’m having those grey days I go back through her wall and find the #sharonism that will make me smile and lift the clouds.
I remember when Sharon and Nancy and I went for drinks one night she hugged me and said. “It just isn’t fair that you didn’t get that second chance with Connor, that it just wasn’t something they could fix Tammie”. I feel the same way, now it isn’t fair that she didn’t get the second chance, that they couldn’t fix it. What I do know is that I will miss you forever. Your laugh, your love, your friendship. Those are things that can never be duplicated. I will hold on to the memories, because they are the life raft that keep me sane in this ocean of insanity of grief.