Yesterday we were in the car when one of us remarked: Have you noticed how the days are growing longer? Longer? On the 19th of December? Impossible! But it was almost five and a golden light was indeed still shining on the fields on each side of the road. It had to be an illusion. Then a thought struck: Noah! And we laughed and admonished: Noah, stop playing with the axis of the Earth!
I don't think we are going bonkers as a family. I think we are grasping at straws, at anything that will help keep us afloat. Some of us do believe that Noah's spirit is playfully letting us know of his presence and who is to say they are wrong? Plus it is a fun game to play and it always brings smiles all around.
But the reality is that Noah is indeed messing with the axis of our planet. The days have become extraordinarily long and the nights painfully short. Sleep is elusive, we have to remind ourselves and each other to eat. Still we are slowly emerging from the abyss. Everyone is helping: community support is extraordinary and makes an enormous difference. We are never alone (I don't mean physically of course): we are surrounded by love, held together by caring hands. We have met entire contingents of angels since Noah passed. I never knew our world contained so many...
Even our government is showing love. FBI agents have worked with the airlines to fly in the remainder of the family: the Midwest gang arrived yesterday, the Pacific Northwest crew will be here tomorrow. We will spend an entire week all together: there will be tears and laughter. There'll be a collective intake of breath among the grown-ups everytime we sit the kids down to eat and count eight plates instead of nine. Ethan, our almost 6-year old grandson from Seattle, will be stuck playing with girls if he wants to remain in his age group. Some kids will act out, some will fight, some will run wild. We are prepared for anything. As for Noah's spirit, he may not be so playful: he would have so loved a week-long sleepover. He's got to know he's missing out big time...
The grown-ups are learning to cope. There are moments of sudden, intense and almost unbearable grief: yesterday afternoon the sight of three thirteen- or fourteen-year old boys crossing in front of us at a crosswalk brought in such stark relief the life that had been robbed from Noah (and from us) that it was all we could do to keep ourselves together. And there are moments when darkness seems to be lifting.
The hardest part is dealing with each other's pain. We have all turned into each other's keepers. Even the little kids. I see Arielle and Sophia playing happily, drawing, running, eating tons of cookies at shiva, and generally acting happy but they steal frequent glances in their mother's direction. They give unexpected hugs.
Today I am on photography duty: Veronique wants me to tour Sandy Hook and document the memorials to the little kids. If the pictures turn out, I'll post some tomorrow.
Meanwhile if you want to have a bit of fun with Noah, go make a taco at Tacos for Noah. I have no clue who put up that website but I love it. I can't wait to let the girls loose on it.