Friday, June 12, 2009


Occasionally I'll go into Henry's room, which has remained relatively unchanged since he died. It's got all of his things just the way they were left, some carefully replaced after they returned from his memorial service. I peeked behind his door today and saw his favorite shoes, a pair we bought him when he'd been so bloated with water after his relapse required high doses of steroids. They fit his over-sized feet then, but he loved those shoes and insisted on wearing them even though they wouldn't stay on. They sat along side his backpack which he carried with him back and forth to clinic with his special things in it. Usually gum, some cars, his 'shaker'(a music player) and his Leapster, which he rarely used, but always seemed to accompany us.

I knelt beside his bed and touched his Lightening McQueen blanket that kept him warm and comforted him so many nights. I looked at his blankets in which he'd twiggle his fingers in the loops each night as he slept. He knew each tag by heart and by feel. He could find his favorites in the dark. I remember lying with him on the the trundle beside him in his firetruck bed. He loved that bed. "I'm the luckiest boy in the world to have a bed like this." It made me so proud to have made it with him. It's really one of my favorite memories. He was so atypically patient that day. He watched carefully each step of building it.

As I knelt and remembered sleeping near him, I heard the tick of his fireman clock, given to us by a beloved neighbor and one of Henry's consistent confidants. I remember it stopped the day of his service. Maybe I didn't notice before that it had, very possible. But then it resumed again a day or two later. It just kept ticking and continues to this day. I don't remember it lasting that long before. It seems I always had to replace the batteries frequently. I knelt and listened to the tick tick tick. I looked up and remembered something else. The hands hadn't moved since the day it stopped. They didn't resume when the ticking did.

That's kinda how I feel.


A Doc 2 Be said...

The ticking will start again - your heart will beat again... time heals and while it will not be the same, it will be okay.

Your son, Henry, was a lucky little man in many regards, and you were as well. He was blessed by a family who loved him always and forever; you are blessed to have had him for however long it was his time and to have such cherished memories.

It sucks and I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

Words continue to escape me - my heart aches for what you and Tara and the girls are going through. I can only imagine how difficult it is to go in his room, but I hope you are able to find some type of comfort in all of your memories. Those seem like empty words from a parent who hasn't walked in your shoes. Saying I'm sorry for your loss, just doesn't seem like enough. Henry continues to touch so many lives and will always be my hero. It is amazing to hear about all of the donations made in his honor and we're looking forward to supporting the July 4th Lemonade Stand.

I wish so badly to see Henry outside playing with his sisters and the kids. I so miss him.

Love, Julie

Granya said...

Julie's comments are so true - and I offer my sympathy to her. It has to be hard to be in such close physical proximity and see Henry's absence daily.

His absence pulls at my heart, always, but it is so much harder when I am in his place, in his house, watching the children on his street.

Sorry Julie.

Anonymous said...

I never met you or Henry, but I think of him and you every day. Thanks for sharing the picture of his room. The fire truck bed is adorable -- I'm so glad you keep a special memory of the two of you building it. My sons also go to bed every night twisting the tags on their blankets and stuffed animals, such a sweet comfort ritual. I know your hands aren't stuck -- you've kept them moving to take care of your girls and family and to honor Henry's memory. I don't imagine your grief, how it hits you throughout the day and night, but so many are continuing to think of you, remembering what an amazing family you have and what a tremendous little boy you raised to leave a lasting mark on the world. If I find myself rushing through dinner and baths, I stop and remember to make sure we have the fun, the hugs, the I love yous. Never for granted. I so want you to be able to hold him again. I remain so, so sorry for your pain.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brian and Tara,
Just wanted to let you know that we are thinking of you. We can't imagine what you are going through, but know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Love, Brett, Lynda and Ali Hartley

Anonymous said...

Dear Bryan,
It is so strange how things happen. My heart aches for you and Tara. When I re-read your message I wonder in a way if the clock still ticking is a signal to you and to all of us that Henry is still so very much in all of our thoughts and hearts even though we can't see him in person and touch him. Please know we are all here for you. I realize there are times when you need your space too. Not a day goes by that I don't think about Henry and all of you and hope that his love and peace will help you.
Gina,Craig,Carinna, and Corey H.