As we sat down to dinner last night, Ian said, "I miss Daddy. I feel like I didn't do enough for him and his cancer. I feel like I should have done more to help him and I didn't do anything to help him!" He started crying.
I reminded him that he was seven when his father died. He was two years old when his father was diagnosed. We didn't expect him to change ostomy bags. I told him that Daddy was not very good at asking for help from anyone, certainly not a little boy. What Daddy wanted more than anything was to pretend that cancer didn't exist. Every moment he spent with Ian, watching TV, playing, or cuddling, allowed him to pretend cancer wasn't there and he had his old life back. So Ian did everything he was supposed to do.
You know how you talk about some product and then it's showing up on your Facebook ads? Just the other day, I was talking to a friend about how some people say I didn't do enough for Rich. It broke my heart to hear my sweet boy cry that he didn't do enough for his father.
Things looked great for Team Stryker until 2016. That last year was a doozie. Not all of us made it out alive and there were many wounded. I can't make that clear enough that it was touch-and-go there for several of us. Calling me human garbage also doesn't bring Rich back, but you do you. One of the good things to come from the crucible of caregiving and widowhood is I don't care what most people think anymore.
Yesterday morning I noticed Ian had texted Rich's number a few times. The messages failed at first but in the middle of December one went through. "I'm sad that you died daddy." That had to be one of the worst wrong numbers a person could get. I'm grateful they don't have read receipts turned on. It just said "delivered." I think they changed numbers since then since my message today went as a text versus iMessage. Maybe they didn’t want a dead man’s phone.
I tend to talk to Rich in the car versus texting him. Days before the check engine light came up on the Suburban and I bought a brand new car, I was talking to him about our vehicle options. I don’t even mind that he doesn’t respond much.
You should be able to memorialize a phone number, so texts don't fail but don't go anywhere. Just let the messages keep saying "delivered."