Sunday, August 05, 2007

Some things that have worked...

After the crying and sobbing of my oldest, Luke, I have learned some things that work...at least for now....even if I cry through it with him.

I promised him we'd get him a CD player for his room. For $19.95 at Walmart, Chad and I picked one up for him today. Since it was his birthday, we let him open that one, but he has to wait for his party on Tuesday to open the rest. He was thrilled. The CD player allows him to fall asleep to my dad's music cd's. He and his brothers sang for many years (all of my life and in to my 20's). They travelled all over the midwest and made it farther a few times. We'd load up the bus sometimes at 3AM to get to a church. I can remember some really good times there. In the process of all those years, the group (The Singing Nicholsons) actually made six or seven (I think) albums. They supplemented with 8 tracks early on in their career, but I remember the sweet day that they branched in to the world of cassette tapes!! :) HA! Anyway, after my uncles and dad stopped singing, my dad formed a group (of which my brother was a part for several years before moving away) called Joyful Noise. The Noise, as we like to call them - affectionately, of course - have recorded 4 (I think ) CDs. We're very fortunate. Most people don't have the luxury of hearing their loved ones after they have passed. Tonight, Luke and the other boys listened to one of the first Nicholson albums since Dad had gotten them all converted to CD a few Christmases ago for the family. It was such a great idea. I'm so glad that he did it!!! Tonight, instead of all the crying, we had smiles and peace. Thank GOD!!

Today, since my mom is still in town, she took the boys while I went birthday gift shopping for Luke, Drew, and Evan. Mom, her husband, and my grandparents decided to brave it and took them to town. She went ahead and bought them all stuffed dinosaurs (THEY LOVE DINOS!!) and then let Luke pick out a few things. He decided on a skateboard (ER visit in my future, I sense) and a new backpack for first grade. With the rest of his money, he told Mom that he wanted to get his "mommy something because she was sad," and he thought that I needed cheering up!!!! Mom replied that this was a good idea, but he needed to understand that using his money for me would mean he didn't get as much. He said it was okay. He picked out two shirts. (One of them I actually tried on when buying clothes for the funeral and viewing!!) How touching is that??!?!! I have some good kids....Chad and I must be doing something right.

In order for me to express my memory of my father, I decided when we heard the news that he only had a few days to live to get another tattoo. Chad and I went in to pick it out tonight before doing all the birthday shopping. The artist is drawing it up for me, and I should have a draft in a few days. I'll try to explain it as I envision it. There is a vine-like navy cross. In front of the cross, I will have an orange tiger lily because this was one of the flowers we chose for his casket spray of flowers. In the largest leaf of the flower, I will have the Japanese symbol for "father" and then somewhere near the vine-cross, I want Dad's favorite Bible verse: Isaiah 41:10. I may add a gerber daisy somewhere because he had those as well on his casket. He always said, according to Jenny, that they were "such a happy flower" - I think it was a line from a movie....but I can't remember. Anyway, I am really excited to see what they come up with. I will be putting the tattoo on top of my left foot. Left because Dad was a lefty, and Chad said it had to be on the left because of that. I chose my foot because my dad left some huge footprints for many to follow, and I wanted to also sybolize that he has gone before me.

So, tomorrow begins another week....just a week ago today, Dad was drinking chocolate milkshakes and joking with his brothers...it seems impossible that he is gone forever from my life. I can't imagine this. I swear I see him sometimes out of the corner of my eye, only to be disappointed. Yesterday at his funeral dinner, I sat down with my kids and thought to myself, "I wonder where Dad is sitting..." But then the cruel reality hit. How long will I think these thoughts and see glimpses of him and hear his laughter behind me? I don't know. I can't decide whether these hallucinations are a curse tormenting me in my grief or a blessing to remind me of what a loving and gracious father he was.

I love him so much....

2 comments:

a u d r e y said...

what a great picture!! its that "what are you doing with that camera in my face?" smiley look :) i loved getting that look when i said anything remotely dumb...which was often. hehe..

Todd Nicholson said...

me too!! Dad was and always will be my hero!