Saturday, August 13, 2005

A walk down the memory path

It's been over twenty-two years since my step-son died, however from time to time I think of him. Those of you who have read my book will know this next passage, those that haven't? A bit more insight into me and my past.

My stepson, Robbie is buried at Forest Cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in the City of Toledo. He died at age five from a grand-mal seizure in his sleep. I went to wake him up the next morning and discovered he was dead. I could write volumes about Robbie, while he was only in my life for a little over two years; he gave me my first experiences with motherhood. When my first four were young I would take them with me to visit Robbie’s grave, I would clean up any grass, etc, clean off his stone and of course talk to him. One day as we got in the car to go to the cemetery I heard my daughter, say to her siblings “she’s going to go talk to the Robbie stone again”. That’s obviously when my children first started thinking their mother was not normal. We went back into the house and I showed them photographs of Robbie, and had our first in depth discussion about souls, etc. I assumed since they knew about death in general terms they understood the rest. After than when we would go to the cemeteries they would not only help me but took it upon themselves to clean up some of the graves of people that obviously had not been visited in some time.

I’ll never forget the one time the four of them, ages 9, 7, 5 and 3 decided that a large stone ball that had been broken off of one of the monuments had to be put back on. Of course they couldn’t lift it, I couldn’t even lift it, at first they were upset but I told them that the person who the monument was for could see what they had tried to do and that was good enough. In one of those poetic moments, the clouds then parted and rays of sun shone down on the cemetery.


historymike said...

What a beautiful and moving tribute to Robbie you have penned, Lisa.

Moments like those you have described in the cemetery give my weakened faith a boost, and make it possible to find hope that there is, indeed, meaning to this life.

I can't imagine a more devastating trauma than the loss of a child, since such an event seems to be an obscene disruption of the normal order of events.

And five years old? This is the kind of thing that makes me want to shake my fists at the heavens in rage.

My religion seems unable to provide answers at times like these; only those spiritual experiences such as you have described can lift me from the depths of despair and keep me trudging on.

Tracy Akins said...

Yes, Lis, I've read it and was moved. On the one hand I had to snicker thinking of all of you trying to lift that big stone ball. On the other hand it melted my heart.
The vast majority of people wouldn't expend the effort to pull a single weed, let alone try to lift a huge stone., you are not normal. And Robbie's early death was very sad. However, if he knew your love and tenderness during his short time on this earth then he was a very lucky little boy.

Lisa Renee said...

At the time I didn't think I could get thru it, but I did. I questioned God alot during that time period too. There was alot of that fist shaking at God. I still can't claim to understand why but had I not gone thru that I wouldn't be who I am today. I developed the belief of whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger.

Thanks for the compliment Mike, it's one of my favorite parts of my book.

And Tracy, you probably know better than anyone how not "normal" I am - lol


Anonymous said...

Well written, as always, and I didn't know that about you.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your loss. I know there's no way to ever get over that. I'm a step dad to a 14 year old, and he is just like my own (had him since he was 5).

Cyberseaer said...

I really liked the part that after all of you had tried to moved the ball and then the clouds parted with the sun shined on all of you. And there are people who don't believe that things happen for a reason.

Thank you for sharing this with us Lisa. This just enforces my being in God and the Afterlife. It is just one of the many experiences I have heard people have had. More than just coincidence in my opinion.

I am truly sorry for your loss. Though I do not know the feeling from a loss of a child (and I pray to God that I never do), I am glad that you can share these things with us and you are a stronger person for it.

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Kendal said...

Hi. I found your blog through a Google search. My name is Kendal, and I lost my step-daughter died last year of a grand mal seizure in her mother's bathtub. I've been sort of wandering aimlessly this past year, trying to figure out my new life, and I decided that part of what I am going to create out of this tragedy is a guide for other step-parents. When it first happened, and months after, as a step-parent, I felt very alone. I've come to realize that this is usual. But anyway, I decided to put together a compilation of stories from various step-parents who have lost a step-child, and try to get it published. I want to have something out there to help others. So what I'm getting at is... would you be interested in contributing? Please let me know. You can email me at spiritfild(at)hotmail(dot)com.
thank you. And a giant hug from me to you. :-)