Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy late Birthday, Emma

I was out hanging clothes on the line a little while ago and I could hear the wind-chimes that hang in Eddie's tree. There is a sweetness about those chimes in the field. It doesn't make me sad, it causes me to pause and remember my blessings. As I was reminiscing about that boy and the happiness he brought to our home for the brief time he was with us, it occurred to me that I had overlooked Emma's birthday.

Emma turned a year old on June 8th. I can't believe she didn't remind me. Probably because she knew I was going to put that silly hat on her head and take her picture.

When I made the hat for Eddie, I planned on taking his picture in it yearly. Then, when he died, I had no idea what to do with it. I just knew it would be impossible for me to throw it in the trash. So, it's been sitting in the same drawer that the other birthday stuff resides. The banners and streamers, the glitter and glue, the crepe paper and raffia.

Once in a while when I have to pull something out of that crazy-disordered drawer, I touch the hat and let my heart hurt for a minute and then smile and remember how silly he was and how he was so patient with me while I put stuff on his head and laughed at him, then took his picture and posted it on facebook. Oh the shame of it all.

It doesn't seem so long ago.

Emma on the other hand...

She is not quite as tolerant of my shenanigans.

As a matter of fact, I think she may be plotting some sort of revenge. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking the massacre of some poor stuffed animal and probably a good digging in the flower pots.

She reminds us of Eddie once in a while because she is a boxer through to her core...but she is 100% Emma, and that's a good thing.

Happy Birthday Emma...2 weeks late.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Scariest thing ever

Let me preface this particular blog by saying I fully support the 2nd amendment. My husband is a very responsible gun owner and has taught our son and daughter gun-safety and done it well. We are hunters. We are law-abiding citizens. We have many firearms in our home both rifles and hand guns. It is our right to have them and to use them. Until today, I had no idea of the incredible responsibility that comes with owning a gun.

I will also tell you before I begin this story by saying... nobody died today.

When Kyle was 5 years old, he was playing down at the pond at my parents house. He called me over to watch him walk out onto the old rickety bridge that spans from shore to the "island" on the pond. "look what I can do" he exclaimed. I told him sternly to NEVER do that unless an adult was with him. I'd almost lost him a couple times to drowning because the boy sinks like a rock when he is in water. Anyway, I went back in Mom's house where we were preparing dinner and working on plans for the new church building. About an hour went by and my dad asked, "has anybody seen Kyle?" Then it dawned on my that I hadn't seen him come through the house or heard him outside for a while, so I went to find him. I called, and called, and called and nothing. Mom came out and started to call. Kyle! Kyle! Nothing. Dad came out and began to look.

We started panicking.

I felt my stomach turn over as I thought about him standing on the bridge. My knees became so weak I could barely move. I began walking towards the pond absolutely sure that he would be face down in the water. Rodney pulled up and saw us running around calling for Kyle. He shouted at Dad to go check the house one more time. I was still jelly-leggedly making my way towards the pond, praying to Jesus with all my might.

Please God, please God PLEASE GOD.

Before I made it all the way to the water's edge, Dad yelled from the house, "I found him!"

He had crawled into the dog house in the garage and was sleeping with Dexter, Mom and Dad's old Weimaraner. It took me hours to quit shaking.

Until today, that was absolutely the most frightened I've ever been in my life.

I was sitting at my desk and was on the phone when it happened.

A gunshot was fired in the house.

Kyle was the only person in the house with me and I immediately jumped up screaming.


It was the only words that were coming from my mouth. There was no immediate response and I knew I was about to witness the most horrible thing a mother can experience. My heart is aching and tears are welling up just writing this.

When he emerged from our bedroom, white as a sheet and frantically asking if I was ok, I embraced him so tightly and wept like a baby thanking Jesus over and over.

After about 5 minutes of clutching each other in panic and thanksgiving, I started to ask what in heavens name he was doing.

He said the gun "just went off". Why in the world he was messing with it in the first place is beyond me but he learned a valuable lesson without the cost of life. He was shaken to the point of physical sickness. My tummy ain't too happy either.

Here are the forensics.

The gun that was fired is the revolver which is always located in Rodney's closet in our bedroom.

When the gun went off it was facing the closet wall. Here is the first bullet hole.

Rodney's only "good" hat.

Bullet hole number 2 went right through the hat rack.

...and then through the wall behind the hat rack.

It came out of the closet wall in the bedroom.

Then it went across the bedroom, through the wall on the opposite side.

it then came out the living room wall and ricocheted off the ceiling.

and finally came to rest right above the front door. It is lodged in the header above the door.

This is the scary part.

I don't know a whole lot about trajectory and angles but this was a crazy close call. It is still not real to me yet.

Rodney came home not long after it happened and went over the events with Kyle. The story ended up being that he pulled the hammer back, it slipped and the gun fired. A long gun-safety lecture commenced while Kyle sat with tears streaming down his face, hands shaking and still pale-faced.

I don't know why this happened. You would think that a 17-year-old wouldn't have to be monitored like a toddler. My emotions are ranging from confusion, to heartache, to anger, to thankfulness. The name Jesus keeps coming from my lips. Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus! I'm sure I'll be processing this one for a while.