The Month of July couldn’t be over quickly enough:
It’s already the end of September and it took me this long to write another blog post.
July was one hectic month; Remmy’s follow up surgery on the expanders on his head, and a Holiday (4th of July) that is still branded in our brains as one of the most valuable memories we have of the boys and ofcourse the second “anniversary” date (July 15th) of our tragedy
Remmy’s surgery on his burns on his head went very well physically, but he didn’t respond well emotionally. The moment he woke up from his anesthesia he pulled out his woundvac that was attached and inserted under the skin of his head (imagine a six to eight-inch tube under the skin of your head pulled out, he pulled out his IV and all the wires attached to his body. Waking up the children on his wing of the Hospital every time a nurse came in checking on vitals or when doctor came in his room for two full days. After the 2nd day the Docs requested Noelle to take Remmy to the Ronald MacDonald House and bring him in once a day for checkup. Understand that this was also the first time it wasn’t me (Feike) being with Remmy during the surgery and stay in SLC with Remmy was hard on Remmy but also for myself it felt strange and I felt like I abandoned him…. Instead, I had my hands full with our gallery, Able and Beanie at home with me and covering the Chaplain position at Frontier Home Health and Hospice. It was tough for me to be seperated from him and I’m assured for him it was exactly the same. After a week Remmy was fully discharged but the Docs also wanted Remmy to have a “break” by them not wanting to do any more surgeries until the beginning of next year. The doctors decided Remmy has had to much trauma and he needed the “break”. Remmy also has shown a delay in speech, motor skills and cognition compared to an average child his age, the doctors felt that he also needed time to develop these skills since the trauma and all the Hospital stays caused these delays as well. This half a year of a “break” has also been beneficial for us as parents and the rest of the family a lot. Remmy has been able to develop, play and grow this summer, now also going to pre-school 2.5 hrs 4 days a week being helped by Child development Services has been such a great and positive venue for him to develop.
4th of July.
Our 4th of July started great, early in the morning I got two kids (Able & Beanie) ready to be part of our “World” famous Lander parade. The fire trucks that are at the end of the parade caravan are packed with fire fighters and their children and when the 4th block in Lander is reached there is the big and famous “water fight”. Remmy loves the fire engines but not when the truck is driving and especially not when the sirens are going off, so Remmy stayed on the side of Main Street watching the parade with the rest of the family. Able and Beanie loved the parade, waving at people, throwing out candy to the children and snacking on candy themselves. Not until the fireworks started trauma triggers evolved into panic and anxiety, Remmy became restless after hearing and seeing fireworks. Able stayed cool until it got too close to him while Beanie enjoyed every loud bang and colorful skylines. Due to Remmy and Able’s behavior Noelle and I noticed their anxiety and panic hitting us while we were trying to calm the boys down. The smell and sight of fire and fireworks don’t trigger me anymore the way it used to (being part of the Fire Department helped) instead I became agitated and snappy especially when my thoughts brought me back to the wonderful but painful memory of the 4th of July 2 years prior when our family of 7 enjoyed the fireworks on our own property. Due to the State firework ban (Governor’s orders due to the dry summer in the State) Our County Commissioners over ruled the order, I felt the need to protect my property with a fire extinguisher in one hand ensuring my property didn’t catch on fire, since people in the county lines were igniting firework (Thank you commissioners!) Instead we picnicked on our property with a tent, small controlled camp fire, while storytelling and making s’mores. Memories came to surface where both the good and the bad connected and I was in a confusing state of grief at that specific time, I wanted to cry, yell but also smile. This by the way was the last photographic evidence of our two boys being with us. I keep the picture Able took of a smiling Zephy and Noah climbed on our backs close to my heart.
July 15th was our 2nd anniversary of the fire and that day generally stunk. Perhaps even tougher than the 1st anniversary. It seemed all our negative emotions were everywhere, anger, frustration, impatience, anxiety and more. Just like last year I went back to the property around 6:00 – 6:45pm and I cried and cried. Some days I feel like I’m healing and can envision the step/stage I am in my grief process. Other days I feel like I’m back to square one, trying to pinch myself making sure it wasn’t just a very, very bad dream. Needless to say neither Noelle or I were in the mood or thought about cooking until 7pm and I ordered Chinese, the moment I headed home, there it was a sign I’ve been asking for all day. A clear double rainbow was on the horizon. With tears in my eyes and the thought of the boys I drove home, while running into the house I called the kids ‘Able, Zephy, Noah’……..I mean Able, Beanie, Rem…..come outside, Able ran outside first…crying, jumping, screaming…..’Beanie, Remmy…that’s your brothers!’ Beanie and Remmy replied in awe ‘our brothers’?! I ran inside, trying to find Noelle….Noelle is bursting in tears sitting in a corner, I couldn’t do more then hold her and cry with her.