Sunday, March 31, 2013

Daren's Letter - March 31, 2013

Happy Easter my darling boy.

Do you have any idea how much I am going to miss you today.  If you get a chance, keep watch.  I am making the lemon Jello you liked so much with ham.  Remember.  You made it for Thanksgiving.  Although I walked you through the recipe, step by step via telephone from Utah, you said you managed it into tasting like lemon rubber bands.  Well keep watch today honey.  I'm certain you will notice the two or three steps you forgot last November.

How I miss your way with words.  I'm certain if you could tell us about the day you died, you would say you were "Hi Fiving the hand of God." 

I will think today about the last time you shared in the Egg-mazing race with me here in Alaska.  After finding one of the clues, it told you to head back to Haley's house.  When you all got there, you had to participate in a relay race where you would run from point "A" to point "B" while jumping through a hula hoop.  Watching you manipulate your 6'3" frame through that hula hoop was truly amazing (and pretty darn funny).  And I can still picture you in the game where you had to put a pair of panty hose on your head which had a ball in the end of one toe.  By sheer talent of swinging your head, you had to knock over some plastic bowling pins.  I close my eyes and I can see you (and hear you).  The memory makes me laugh...and then cry. 

I love you my darling boy and I miss you more than any of my words could say. 

Your boys are coming over the Shannon's today.  We will be having the race again and they will be filled with good food and good fun.  We will take care of them, this first Easter without you.

You must know already how very much you are loved by all of us and missed so dearly.  You were such an important cog of our family wheel.  Now you are gone, the wheel doesn't roll quite right anymore.  Our family rolls on through life, but the journey is harder, not so smooth without you. 

Come and be with us today.  Let your boys feel your presence in the truck as they head out looking for the hidden clues.  Let them hear you cheering for them as they make their ways through the obstacle courses.  Sit next to them as they share the family dinner of ham, potato salad, lemon Jello and the rest of the trimmings.  Help them to be happy honey.  Help them to be safe.  Help inspire them from where you are to do those things that are good and right and will help make for them, happy and successful lives. 

And if you get a chance, let me here you whisper "I love you Mom." 

For I love you, Daren.


A Letter to Danny - March 31, 2013

Happy Easter Honey:

Your potato salad is done; just the way you like it, just the way I've made it for 49 years.  A ham you would be proud of is in the oven and yes we will be doing the Egg-mazing Race this year.  Your bunch of loons will be playing their parts.

You know my love, how much I miss you.

Remember when we started our Egg-mazing Race.  Our kids were teenagers and too old for the Easter Bunny so we came up with a "scavenger hunt".  We hid eggs all around Provo.  With clues in hand, the kids jumped in their cars and as teams and set off to find the eggs.  The first ones back won the grand Easter basket filled with treats and theater tickets.  Susan was twenty-one then.  She was forty-four at the last one we held in Utah.  She was driving "her team" as they headed out to the Mona Reservoir to collect that clue.  Everyone was passing her as she went as fast as her "ill" car would take her.  The others all pulled down the road that led to the clue and as Susan pulled up behind them, she parked straddle the road so they couldn't get out.  What she didn't have in cars, she had in brains. 

When they finished the auto part of the race, they made it back to the house where each team needed a member to dress in the Easter Bunny costume.  They donned their white long handle underwear with the net bath sponge pinned on as a tail, and their bunny ears affixed.  They had to hop down under the little hill into the pasture where their team mates would throw them eggs.  They had to catch three eggs, put the eggs in their baskets and hop back to the house.  What they didn't know was the eggs were raw. 

All of our kids were always such good sports.  It didn't matter how silly we made things, they always joined in.  I don't think they realized then, what these memoires would mean to me years down the road. 

And now, our grandchildren are all grown too except for one.  We will no longer be hiding 600 eggs in your hay fields for them to find like we did at our Payson house; riding around on your four wheeler covering the five eight acres.  Because they are now young adults and teenagers they will continue the tradition with choosing up teams, jumping in their cars and searching Fairbanks for clues.  There will be a void created by not having our Utah and Idaho kids here, but most of all by my not having you and Daren here. 

But you will be here in my heart honey.  You are here in my memories.  How thankful I am to have them.

Throughout the day, I will think of you; think of you both.  I will feel the pain of my loss, but I will be thankful that through the spirit of this holiday, I know that sometime, someplace, somewhere, I will be with you again.

Be with me today honey.  Be with me and watch your loons.

I love you.

Far Beyond the 12th of Never.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Daren's Letter - March 29, 2013

Hi Babe:

"You've just gotta empty your mind, Mom.  Just let it happen."

These were words you told me when your dad passed away and I couldn't dream of him or feel him near me.  You kept assuring me he was around, and I kept telling you I couldn't feel him. 

"Look for him in a dream."  You told me.

Well my dear boy, I dreamed of you.  I dreamed I was on the telephone talking to someone.  I was telling them I had lost you and I was sobbing.  I was so hurt.  Then I heard you say "Hi Mom."

"Daren just talked to me!  I heard him on the phone!  It was him!" I said to someone in my dream as I clutched the phone to my heart.

"Mom.  I'm right here." You said and I looked up to see you standing in front of me.  You were thinner and younger and as I approached you, I was afraid if I touched you, you would fade.  But I reached out and touched your face and then put my arms around you.  You hugged me back.

"I miss you honey," I said.  "I love you so much."

"I love you too, Mom." You replied holding me.

"Come with me," I said and we walked into another room where your dad waited.  He looked up like he was looking into a bright light, shielding his eyes with his hand over his eyes.  "Look honey.  It's Daren," I said as he walked over to you and placed his hand on your head.

We walked out into the other room, and there were two people waiting for you.  I only recall the man having a small moustache.  The lady however was beautiful.  She had on green pants and a lighter green shirt.  Her hair was dark and had a beautiful sheen to it.  It was turned under like hairstyles of the 1940's.  Her complexion was beautiful and her lips were red.  "We need to go," she said.

"You know he's a very good man," I said to them.  And she said "We know.  We only take the good ones."

Immediately, I woke up and looked at the clock.  It was 4:58 in the morning. 

I seldom dream honey, and when I do, I usually don't remember them.  You know that.  The fact that I recall so much detail of this one makes me believe that perhaps, it wasn't just a dream. 

I love you so much honey.  I can't begin to tell you how much I miss you.  Thank you for the hug and the words.

Forever Honey.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Daren's Letter - March 24, 2013

Good Morning Honey: 

So I said my prayers and asked my God to protect my family.  All of you.  I can't exclude you and your dad just because I can't see you, so you are still in my prayers.  As always, I pray that you all will be protected; held safe, and well in the hollow of His hand.  Then I pray that our actions will be those that are pleasing to Him, that we all will do things that are of good report, things that would be pleasing before Him. 

This has been my prayer everyday for as long as I can remember and I have known God has heard me and for the most part, granted my request.  Losing your dad and then you caused my faith to stumble for a while.  "Why me?"  I asked the darkness of my mind. But then I realized that if I had to ask why when times were dark, I would also need to ask why when times were bright and beautiful that had been most of my life.  Why had I been so blessed to be born of good parents into a home of loving siblings.  Why had I been blessed to fall in love with the love of my life, and have him love me for fifty years.  Why had I been blessed to give birth to seven children that I would adore and cherish.  Why would I be blessed with good friends who would love and support me throughout my life.  The "whys" of life cannot only be asked when the storm clouds gather.  They need to be asked when the sun is shining and the rainbow dips towards the earth, when a lazy breeze kisses your cheek on a hot summers day.  When you hear a child's laughter, the bubbling of a stream, or the soft sound of quietness.  So I will try to understand the "dark" whys while I embrace the good ones.

But even with my accepting, my darling boy, it doesn't mean my heart will not ache, that I will not be lonely, and missing.  That is something I cannot seem to prevent.  I look out my window here in Alaska and watch the steam rise from the exhausts.  I see the snow piled on the buildings and the frost painted on the windowsills.  For an instant I smell your cologne or the scent of your cigarettes. How I long to hear your steps come to the door, have it open and have you ask me if I have an extra cup of coffee.  How I miss having you step in at dinner time and say "God, that smells good."

I've pretty much accomplished what I came back to Alaska to do.  I've helped Vince and Christian get your death benefits set up for Christian.  We changed phone service so it will be less expensive for them.  We got Vince's income taxes filed and your retirement and insurances applied for.  They have fuel enough to get them to spring.  We filed for your Permanent Fund and for their's too.  When you died, I could hear you say to me "Mom, would you help my boys get things straightened out?"  and I told you, yes I would.  And while I was helping them, it was like I was helping you still.  Like so many times I did before, but like I will not be doing again.  Your needing me is no more. 

I look at the snow, at the exhaust floating in the air, at the frost painting the windows and I think "I can't do Alaska anymore.  Not right now anyway.  Losing you and your dad here makes me feel like my chest is in a vise.  Like I can't breathe.  I am so lonely even with everyone around.  I know it will change.  I know I will.  I know it will take time.

I asked Vince if he would be okay and he told me he would.  I told him if he needed anything to remember his Aunt Haley and Aunt Shannon were here for him and he said "I know that,Grandma.  But Christian and I need to learn to take care of ourselves.  We need to be self sufficient."

"Just promise me one thing, honey," I told him.  "If you open your fridge and find no food, or if you turn on your heat and find none there, please remember you have people who will help you."

And he said "I know Grandma.  I'll always have family."

So I'm going to freight your dad's welder and the boring tool back down to Utah.  Mark needs them both. 

Then I will say goodbye to Alaska for a while.  Just until the memories can fade a little.  I'm not needed here anymore in any great sense.  Instead, I will go back to Utah where Mark can use my help with his books, where I can help Lola with Jeri, and where I can help Sheree get back on her feet again. 

I will go back to the old memories.  Memories where the pain has been muted by time.  Where they bring more smiles than tears.  And I will pretend.  I will pretend that you are just three thousand miles away in Alaska.

Do you know how much this woman loves you?  Do you have any idea how much you mean to me?  I hope so honey.  When you look back on your life...when you judge yourself...don't be too harsh.  You have given so much joy.

I love you, babe.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Daren's Song "Dance with the Devil"

For all of my readers, you have probably already read the story of my son; Daren's Story.  Below is a link to Daren's Song "Dance with the Devil".  I wrote the lyrics to this song once when Daren had told me he danced with the devil everyday.  This was said regarding his struggle with his addiction to opiates. 

Tyler York, family friend and brother-in-law to my daughter Haley, wrote the music and recorded it.  My daughter Haley paid for the recording costs, so it is a family project that has our heart and soul wrapped up in it. 

Please take a minute to listen and to share.  We will have it available to download in the very near future.  Thank you for your support.

I love you Daren.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Letter to Danny - March 19, 2013

Hello Honey:

I think a long time ago in the pre-existence, you made the decision to leave this earth before our son did.  I don't know for certain if it was to be there to meet him, or if it was because you knew I would find comfort in knowing you and he are together. 

Did you know honey that over the past month and a half, I have found such comfort in you.  I know that I can't see you or hear you, but I know as certainly as I breathe that you are still such a part of me.  Perhaps its because there is still a silver thread, a fine transluscent filament that is unseen by human eyes, that connects my heart with yours. 

I can hear you whisper words of love at one moment and then hear you tell me to get up and get busy, that it will make me feel better the next. 

Did you know honey?  Could you have imagined that when you were here giving out usually unwelcomed bits of wisdom to us; me and your children, that when you would leave this rhelm, that wisdom would see us through some pretty difficult times. 

"Awareness to life is the secret to life," you would tell us.  I would smile knowing that if that were true, you should be able to know where you had laid your glasses or your Copenhagen.  But with those words of yours ringing in my head, I find myself looking closer at this thing called life.  I try to notice the geese on wing, or the color of the sky.  I look closer at the faces I meet and the places I go all because of you. 

At night when I miss you and Daren so much, I hear you tell me to get some sleep that things will look better in the morning.  Last night as I turned off my light, I hope you heard me whisper "I'm so glad Danny loved me."

Every day, I pray to my God and I talk to you, confident that my prayers and talks are heard by you both.  With this knowledge, I find the strength I need.

No one knows me like you do honey.  No one except you truly knows my strengths, my weaknesses, my insecurities, and my flaws.  And because you know me so well, you know that writing is my escape.  So when life feels like its closing in on me, I write.  So I write to you, because in my writing I can tell you how I feel and then I can let what I feel escape and fade into the universe. 

So when I write how much I love and miss you and let it release into the air, capture my words and feelings.  Place them in the pocket of your shirt and carry them with you.

I love you Danny and I will

Far Beyond the 12th of Never.


Daren's Letter - March 19, 2013

Hello Honey: 

Bit by bit, little by little, the grief takes over.  I wake up in the morning and work my way through the day.  I put one foot in front of the other and listen as I hear myself speak.  I feel my smiles spread and hear laughter that I claim as my own.  I think of you hundreds of times a day and with each pain, I swallow it away; bury it down inside me.  There are so many memories that create that pain.  I know that one day those same memories will make me smile, but right now, your loss is still so new. 

I was just getting able to breathe again after losing your dad.  It had been a year, and I had walked through a lot of my memories of him.  I had watched the changing of the seasons; winter to spring, spring to summer, summer to fall and fall back to winter once again.  Each season brought with it a bundle; memories that floated to the surface like steam from a hot tub.  I'd relive the events that had given birth to those memories and would feel the knife of grief twist a little in my heart.  Just part of the grieving process I told myself.  I knew it would never stop, for after all, I had loved him for fifty years and would probably only have another twenty to make my way through all my recollections of those times.  But I could do it, if for no other reason than I had you and your siblings who I needed to live on for, to smile for, to laugh for.

And now my boy, you are gone.  I had loved you for forty-five years, one month and 18 days.  Forty-five years, one month and 18 days worth of memories.  I have started the seasons once again.  Winter to spring. 

But my darling boy, I would do it all again.  I would go through this period of pain to have had you in my life for that time, for I cannot fathom my life without you.  To not have had my time with you, is something I cannot even imagine.  There was such a tremendously amount of wonderful in my being your mom. 

The hurt builds up inside me.  Each time I can't hear you say "I love you, Mom", or hear your laugh, or have you tell me your dreams or schemes, causes the pressure of the volcano to build until a day like today comes and it erupts, leaving me shaking and torn. 

So I sit down and write you a letter.  It's my way.  Remember the dreaded letters I use to write to you and your siblings.  When I had become upset by something one of you did I would write you a letter and usually leave it on your pillow.  I wasn't stupid honey.  If I wrote you, you couldn't argue with me. So I write you now honey.  I write you to tell you I love you, I miss you, I forgive you, and i'm so glad you are my son.

Take care of your dad for me until I'm with you again.

I love you honey.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Daren's Letter - March 14, 2013

Hello Honey:

I wonder what you are doing where you are at.  Are you in a healing process where your spirit is recovering from all you went through when you werre here?  Are you reviewing your life's journey and judging yourself from what you see?  Do you feel pain when you witness the pain you caused?  Does your spirit rejoice in all the joy you brought to this life with you?  I wonder where you are.

I'm still your Mom, honey.  I still think of you, worry about you and love you unconditionally.  I hope you are happy.  I hope you are peaceful. 

Here, life goes on without you.  It doesn't seem right that it does, but the days come and the days go and I breathe in and I breathe out.  I feel the air enter my body and seem to feel some of it escape from the hole in my heart, in my spirit that was left when you passed.

I was with your boys yesterday.  We went about the business of life without you.  We went to the Permanent Fund Office and they applied for their Alaska dividends and for yours.  There was a guy in there yelling at one of the clerks.  He had a felony and was angry he wasn't getting his dividends.  When we left the office, Christian commented on how stupid this guy was; stupid for getting a felony and stupid for trying to blame someone else for his bad behavior.  I was proud of him for recognizing that. 

Vince told Christian to call home and tell Hunter to make sure to get the dishes done, that they were going grocery shopping and wanted to be able to come home and put things away in a clean kitchen.  I was proud of him for wanting this. 

You did so much right in your life my dear son, inspite of the demons you battled dailey and that rightness is reflected in your boys.  No sweetheart, they are not perfect.  There will be times when they stumble, fall on their faces and need to rise once again, dust themselves off, and begin anew.  But my dear one, you have taught them to get back up. 

I can't promise you I will always be there for them, but I will promise you I will always try.  I can promise you that I will love them unconditionally, as I have loved you.  And I promise you when they need someone in their corner or at their backs, a Whiting will be there. 

Life will never be the same again without you.  It will never be quite as happy again.  But we'll live on.  That is what we must do and that is what you would want us to do.  Perhaps life will seem more gray.  It lacks the color you brought with your living. 

I hope when you review your life, you will be reminded of a mother that loved you wholly.  One that was given joy by your living.  Given laughter by your antics.  Given pride by your heart.  Don't cry for me darling.  I have enough tear for the both of us.

Send me your whispers on the breeze, your laughter in a song, your love with a kiss on my cheek.  I will sit quiet and listen for you.

I love you honey. 


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Daren's Letter - March 10, 2013

Hi Honey:

I wish I knew where you were and what you are doing.  You know me, honey.  If I know where my all my family is, then I can rest. 

What is it you do there in that new dimension?  Are you taking your contractor's classes like you wanted to take here on earth, but that your drugs kept interferring with?  You had so many dreams while you were living, and each one of them were so worthy.  You wanted to get your contractor's license here in Alaska and start a business with your boys.  Remember honey, I was going to come up and see that all the legal steps were put in place so you and Vinnie could get it going this year.  You had an in-family bookkeeper. 

I was hopeful but yet, I was also realistic, honey.  I could see you fulfilling your dreams had it been only you, but you had a silent partner in your life.  One that would keep pulling the rug out from under you and cause your good intentions to come crashing down around you.

My son, could do anything.  You were smart and handsome and charismatic.  Your dreams were not unrealistic and I knew you had whatever it took to make them come true.  But then my darling boy, there was your alter-ego.  Daren on drugs.  That was the one that made the rules by which you would live by.  That was the evil step child that would smash your dreams apart, that would unravel all you tried to build.  It was a selfish one.  It didn't care if it robbed my son of his time with his boys.  It didn't care if it ripped lives apart and broke hearts.  Addiction doesn't care about anyone but itself. 

In my mind, I see you as you are now; where you are now.  I see you happy, healthy and released of your demons.  I can see my son, the same one I glimpsed when you were able to be yourself while here beside me.

For this moment in time my darling boy, I will be happy for you.  I will be happy you are there being all that you can be.  I will be happy that you are happy, that you have peace, that you are there with your dad, that you have a perfect understanding of everything.  But it will only be for this moment in time though, honey.  For I know it is just a matter of minutes that I will be missing you so much.  I will be missing taking you out a loaf of my hot home baked bread.  I will be missing hearing your voice on the phone.  I will be missing your antics and your laughter and your dreaming of what might have been.  Yes, my darling boy, I will even be missing lecturing you on not letting your drugs take control.  I will miss everything and everything that has to do with my boy, my son, because I love you so much.  I do know one thing my love.  I know that love doesn't die.  It doesn't die with death.  Death robbed me of you, but it did not rob me of my love for you.  It will live forever.

So, to keep my sanity, I will picture you.  I will picture that you are not dead, but just away for a while.  I will picture you in this place...this wonderful place where you are living up to your potential.  I will picture you playing in the dirt with a backhoe, trackhoe, or hand shovel.  I will picture you with your safety vest on and your hard hat too.  Your levis will be dusty and your work boots will be worn.  I can see you and your dad standing there arguing.  He is saying there is no way the boring tool will come out on the other side of the road where it is suppose to because you lined it up with the left-handed part of your brain and he can only see through his right-handed part.  I can almost feel the ground shake underneath my own feet as the tool makes its way across the road and comes out exactly where it is suppose to come out at.  I can picture you telling your dad "I told you so, Pops."  Then, in my vision, I see your dad place his hand on your shoulder...just place his hand on your shoulder and you know in that instant how very much he loves you and how proud he is of you. 

I will play this movie in my mind and for a moment, it will make me happy.  I will think you and he are just away for a little while and soon you will be back home again.  Home in time for dinner.  Then, I will come back into the present and realize two chairs will be left empty around the dinner table.

Be happy honey.  If there's a chance you can let me know you are okay and close by, let me know.  Okay?

Tell your dad I miss him and love him and I look forward to the day when I will be with you both again.

I love you.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Letter to Danny - March 7, 2013

Hi Honey:

It's funny what spawns memories.  Two years ago, would I have thought that picking up a package of frozen mixed vegetables would bring memories of you flooding in.  Was it happenstance that led me to the frozen food aisle, to open the door and remove the package.  Or was it you guiding me there so when looked down at the package in my hand, I would be reminded of how you liked those vegetables.  I would be reminded of you and the thousands of meals I prepared for you and with everyone, I would receive your praise; each meal was the "best you ever had".  It didn't matter if I fixed you prime rib with baked potatoes or tuna on toast.  Of course, you had your favorites.  Hamburger paddies with onions floating in a rich gravy to be poured over mashed potatoes, was one.  Then of course there were tacos.  "It doesn't take much food for you and me," you would say, but I would end up cooking for a family of nine anyway.  Old habits die hard. 

Those old habits, my love, include my walking through the mens clothing department in the stores and having my mind wonder if you need a new pair of Levis or if you would like that plaid shirt.  Then my mind reminds me you don't need either and my heart feels the knife once again; grief reminding me you are gone.  I don't need to buy you Bic razors or Old Spice aftershave.  I don't need to worry if you have a jacket that will keep you warm enough or if I need to pick up your prescriptions.  I don't need to worry, but oh God what I wouldn't give to be able to worry about you once again.

My grief bounces back between you and Daren.  I guess because you both needed me so much, makes losing you both so hard.  I'm glad you needed me honey.  I'm glad he did.  I just didn't know at the time how important your need was to me.  Neither of you need me now.  Instead, it is I that need you.  I need you both to stay by me.  I need you to help me. 

You see my love, we still have 37 people on this earth that we love dearly: children, their spouses and twenty-five grandchildren.  I need you to do what you can, where you and Daren are at, to help watch over them all.  As much as this old mother hen would like to, I can't shelter them under my wings anymore.  I can't be around them all to make certain they are safe and protected.  I can only do so much to convince them to try and make right choices in their lives.  I will continue to pray for them all and as my prayers reach toward heaven, listen. Knowing you and Daren can hear them will let me rest knowing you too are doing all you can to protect our family circle.  With that knowledge, neither of you will seem so far away.

Danny, I love you.  I am thankful we shared this life together.  I'm thankful we took the good and the bad, rolled it and molded it into what would be our life.  It's funny, but those bad times really don't seem important anymore.  There were time when they took front stage in life but when all is said and done, they really weren't important in the play at all.  They were just filler in our story.  They took up space.  The plot of our story from the prologue to the epilogue and all the chapters in between was love.  Even when you and Daren closed the cover of your book of life, the love remained.  For after all, it is all that mattered anyway.

Tell our son there beside you that I love him.  Tell him I miss him and know yourself how very much I love and miss you. 

As for me, the curtain has yet to be brought down.  The character I am in this play of life still has more lines to read.  I hope to play my part well.  If you are able as you stand off-stage, whisper my lines to me should I forget.  Guide me to where I should be should I lose my way.  Knowing you both are there will comfort me.

I love you Honey.

Far Beyond the 12th of Never


Monday, March 4, 2013

Daren's Letter - March 5, 2013

Hi Honey:

The song I wrote for you "Dance with the Devil" is finished.  I can't begin to describe what a wonderful job Tyler York did on the compositon.  I know somewhere, close enough that you can see me and yet far enough away that I can't see you, you are there.  I know as Haley and I sat in the car and listened to the final, you watched us cry as you did when Rainee and Sheree and Shannon listened to it. 

Can you understand how very much we all love you? How very much we all miss you.  But then my darling boy, you were pretty darn lovable and so very missable. 

Vince has stayed a while in Utah with Rainee.  He has gone out on a couple of jobs with Mark and has struggled.  Head down, ass up, you taught him when it came to construction work.  The time he spent with you working construction has built up memories in him; memories that will sometimes be welcomed, but for right now are painful.

Haley and Jereme have been checking up on Christian.  Jereme has made certain there was fuel enough in the tank to keep the heat on.  They have asked if he's needed anything, but he tells them "no".  He's always been independent, but he knows if he needs anything, there are people close by who love him and will help him.

I've made it back to Alaska.  I will help Vince and Crush get all the legalities done that pertain to your passing: death certificates, social security death benefits, your retirement, your taxes.  Things that a seventeen and nineteen year boy haven't learned about.  They are men now, arent they honey.  They grew up in an instant.  One minute they had a dad and the next they didn't.  Life can seem cruel at times.

We will be there for them honey.  We will make certain they have what they need, including the knowledge that though you are not here, nothing will change as far as family goes.  We will still have our Easter party and our trips to Valdez.  We will have our Thanksgivings and Christmas Eves and keep as many traditions as possible.  We will get angry and get over it.  We will laugh and reminice about times when you and your dad were here with us.  Family will go on, but for a while, there will be an emptiness.  Two empty chairs reminding us although our family is still large, it is no longer complete. 

So come around as often as you can Sweetheart.  Place your arm around my shoulder even if I can't feel it.  Whisper that you love us and hear us say how much we love you back.  Laugh with us around the camp fire or around the dinner table.  Pray with us and for us when we end our days. 

You and your dad stay close, sweetheart.  Be with us when you can, for it is only then we will feel whole.

I love you my boy.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Daren's Letter - March 3, 2013

Hi Honey:

It's strange how one day I can feel like I am going to make it, and the next feel like my heart is being ripped out of me.

I told myself yesterday "Nothing will ever be the same."  I told myself the same thing when your Dad died, and now I say it about you.  "Nothing will ever be the same."  No matter how hard I try, or what I do, or how much I pray, "Nothing will ever be the same." 

I can't call you and hear you say "Hi Mom.  What's up."  I can't hear you say "Love you Mom."  I can't listen as you tell me about your plans or your dreams.  What am I to do, Honey? 

Why did you take it away from me?  Why did you choose to take those last pills.  Why were they more important than your boys or me.  What did they give you that I was unable to? 

Did you ever realize that one day they would win and I would lose.  They would leave me sitting here in Alaska wishing so badly I could drive out to your house and see you again.  Do you know I have your phone number on speed dial.  I call it and listen to your voice mail message answer "Hey, this is Daren Whiting.  Can't get to the phone.  Leave me a message and I'll bet back with you.  Thanks"  The message I leave at hearing your voice is to kiss the screen of my phone and whisper "I love you honey."

My hands are tied.  How I hate addiction.  How I hate drugs that robbed me of my son.  Do you know what it's like honey, to have an enemy that you hate so much and not be able to fight it.  To look around me and watch that enemy win and win and win.  To see other mothers lose and cry because they can't fight it either so they watch it rob them of their children too. 

What do I do Honey?  How do I accept this is something I just have to accept when it is something that is so wrong and unfair.  Good guys are suppose to win.  You were suppose to win.  But you lost.  I lost.  Your sons lost.  The good guys didn't win.  The drugs did.

I hate the system.  I hate that money is spent on incarcerating the addict instead of helping them recover.  I hate it that I have no answers. 

So I will sit here and cry. Cry for all that could have been but that will never be.  I'll cry for me and your sons and for you, because I know you my boy.  I know what kind of heart you had.  I know how much you were capable of and now will never be.

Today I am angry.  Today I am sad.  Today I am frustrated.  Today I am lonely.  The only way anyting could possibly be right from your death would be if I could help just one person not die too.  But I don't know how honey.  I don't know how to make a difference. 

I know you are near me, but it's not the same.  Nothing will ever be the same again.

I love you my darling boy.