March 25, 2006

// July 12th, 2011 // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

Having Nett and Chris living here has added a new dimension to our home. They’re an essential part of the family. Nett is no longer our daughter-in-law but our daughter, and full-fledged sister to our other children. Chris is an important part of my day as I help Nett care for him. And taking him to school each morning means I have no reason to stay closed up in my home all day.

This morning I stepped into their room to wake Chris for school. He and his mom were out late last night at Family Group and after nine hours of sleep he still wasn’t ready to greet his day. As I whispered his name he slowly turned onto his back, tucking his hands under his arms, just like his dad used to. It made me catch my breath. I watched him for a minute, savoring the moment.

As a rule, I try not to actively look for similarities between Steve and his sons but sometimes they leap out at me, shining like a moving picture of young Steve for a fraction of a second, and then disappear. I’m not alone. Other family members mentioned things, too. Nicholas’s laugh. Chris’s walk. We don’t say much to the boys, don’t want them to become self-conscious and avoid certain mannerisms, or go to the other extreme and strive to emulate their dad. We want them to develop their own style and mannerisms, each becoming his own, unique person.

That said, I am grateful to have Steve’s sons here as small reminders of my son.

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