Shock and disbelief. What? Wait. What?? Tears.
I can tell you that almost a month later, I still can't really believe it.
He was a truly great guy. He and his wife came from Lithuania. They were already living here when my husband (boyfriend at the time) bought this lot and started building the house. They had their second boy not long after our house was finished and my husband moved in. When we were married and had our first and then our second (boys too) my husband took them over at only a couple days old to show them off and then have a celebratory beer. And so it was planned again this time, only this time it never happened.
They are old world. We loved how they never ate out or ordered in because they remained true to their roots and didn't "get" this American food thing. Their boys, now teenagers, are full of old school behaviors and respect. They've done such a great job with them. It just breaks my heart that they have to finish growing up without him.
Every time I look out the front or the back, I'm reminded that he's gone and it just doesn't make sense. Still. He was only 42. He was full of life. Had no debt, had his house paid off...we looked up to him, my husband especially, even though he was only a few years older than us. He was a great example of how to live....and that really hit us since his passing.
We're just different....in good ways. Our perspective, particularly on priorities, has definitely changed. Those things we used to think were important, wow, they just AREN'T. I have so many interests, so many things I want to do. And I was always looking for how to squeeze them in to my days. I still have all the same interests but I don't have a need to squeeze them in. My husband and my boys are all that I feel the need and desire to focus on. It has made my days much happier, let me tell you. I spent the greater part of the last three years feeling pretty conflicted a lot of the time. Trying and trying and trying to find the balance. I will get to all those interests again some day but I don't feel any pressure or rush like I did before. When I'm not nursing #3 seemingly all day, I will decide which interest will be my mental outlet....because I'm no dummy three boys...yes I will make sure to get a break.
Speaking of the boys, our neighbor's passing timed with our son's birth seems to have made for some double whammy in terms of a real change in perspective and priorities. His death kind of opened the door for us to live again, or live more...and then a new tiny life in the house on top of it. Lots of newness in here. Plus even if I didn't have the "revelation" per se to want to put everything else aside, it kind of seems like I would have no choice anyway. I mean he will be a month old tomorrow. I still have some phone calls to return. And who knows what else seemingly super simple tasks to do. I think I even have texts to reply to. It doesn't get much more simple of a task than that and yet I haven't had a chance.
I hate how things like this tend to fade. Remember the whole tone of the nation after 9/11? So united. We looked at life differently. We slowed down. Who's still living every day with those lenses? Some people I'm sure. Who knows if this will fade. Life tends to do that but it definitely feels like there's been a fundamental change that isn't going anywhere.
I invite you to slow down and live every day like someone left the gate open! Hee! LOVE this pic!