This morning I pulled on my 98% Chimp t-shirt while thinking of Mr Loco. I drove Mr Loco’s bright blue SUV to Starbucks for breakfast because Mr Loco liked his caffeine. We were two peas in a pod- we needed some focus in a cup. I bought an order for someone in the drive through while I was inside grabbing our mobile order. It was something that Mr Loco loved to do. I am sure we will slide a few more things in memory of Mr Loco today.
It is a cold and rainy day. It feels like it has been a lifetime and yet only yesterday that we lost the most amazing husband and father. How on earth did the world keep spinning after our tragedy? I have no clue, but here we are. Five years has a significant feel. It has a certain weight to it. So much has remained the same and so many things have changed. I’m sure some think that all should be well and we should have moved on. That is not how grief works. It isn’t something with a beginning, middle and an end. It isn’t something you put neatly in a box and tuck away. It is always there just to varying degrees. It is on death anniversaries and birthdays and Father’s Day and favorite holidays. It is in Facebook memories. It is in so many little life moments that happen day-to-day. It is the directions from your phone taking you someplace new and taking you right by his work. It is in a song you hear while in a store. It is in comments people make about parenting solo. It is in so many day to day moments. What is the saying? Grief is just love with no place to go. Yeah. That.
Five years ago our life was turned upside down with the call that there was an accident of some kind and Mr Loco had been taken to the hospital.
Five years ago we got the worst news possible that surgery was not successful and Mr Loco did not make it.
Five years ago I had the opportunity to follow Mr Loco’s strong wish to be an organ donor. Saying yes was not even a debate. It was a YES. It was something we had discussed which made my answer very easy. Mr Loco was a helper.
Five years ago, today started the hardest days of my life. February is sprinkled with anniversaries. The date of his accident, the date he was declared dead, the date he donated his organs to save 5 people, the date of his memorial, the date of our wedding anniversary are all smooshed together.
This blog gives me the opportunity to look back on myself during that time. I took over Mr Loco’s blog and just sort of poured my thoughts out.
Five years ago I was in a sort of survival mode. I had so much swirling in my head beyond the initial shock and grief. I was panicked about preserving his memory for Baby Loco in every way I could. I was worried people would forget him. I was also worried about how we would survive. Simple things like being able to pay the bills each month, my looming student loan debt and having health insurance seemed huge. Then there was the big picture. I was now here alone with the job of parenting Baby Loco. That was not the plan. The prospect seemed impossible. We were a team, an amazing team at that. This. Was. Not. The. Plan.
Back then and even now, my focus was on Baby Loco, preserving the memory of her dad and creating a life that was as stable as I could make it. Lots of love, consistency, and tradition were my focus. That is where my energy goes. Parenting alone is an all-consuming gig. I am proud that I have tackled the task and I think Mr Loco would give me a thumbs up for my efforts. Baby Loco is a pretty cool kiddo. She makes parenting a very enjoyable gig.
Grams moved in with us to help take care of Baby Loco as I went back to work. What a relief to know that Baby Loco is in good hands while I am at work. I wish I could be a SAHM but until I hit the lotto, work is required and I just pretend I am a SAHM in my off hours. ha ha!
Over the years we have been surrounded by the most loving and helpful people. We really are lucky to be so rich with friendship and kindness. Our lives would be so different without that kindness. Thank you to everyone who has helped us. From the very little things to the big things, it means so much. Little things will make a memory pop into my mind and I am just grateful on a daily basis. What a lesson for Baby Loco to learn about the kindness of others and passing on kindness when we can, not out of obligation but just because it is what you do.
Baby Loco is no longer a baby. She was only 16 months old when she lost her father. Now she is 6 years old. I often pause at moments in our life that I think Mr Loco would love. I think to myself “Savor this moment for yourself and for him. He would love this.” He would.
Baby Loco is an inquisitive kid. He would love all of her questions and really enjoy discussing answers and chatting with her. She would likely be far more well-rounded and bright due to his conversations. I try my best to do him justice.
Baby Loco loves to build with LEGO. Last year for Christmas, she got a small shoebox of Mr Loco’s LEGO from childhood. When we build a new set, I often think of him. I can easily imagine that LEGO would be “their thing” or maybe it would be a whole “family thing” but either way, he would love that time together.
Baby Loco reminds me a great deal of Mr Loco. It is comforting to see so much of him in her. He lives on in her quirky little six-year-old self. Her great empathy, her willingness to help, and her great laugh are just a few moments were Mr Loco shines through her personality.
It is nice that even after 5 years, he is still “alive” in so many ways I never would have imagined. He lives on in his organ donation. He lives on in his acts of kindness. He showed us all how to “Be Excellent To Each Other.” He lives on in all the ways he has inspired others. He lives on in the memories of his friends and family who loved him so. I have so many memories and stories. He was one awesome dude. I was lucky to be friends with him for so many years. He lives on in the memory of so many who never even had the opportunity to meet him. He lives on in Baby Loco.
To take from the quote from You want a physicist to speak at your funeral, “no energy gets created in the universe and none is destroyed” which means that Mr Loco’s amazingly good, awesome and most excellent energy is just being put to a different use but is still just as amazingly good, awesome and most excellent.
I am always happy to talk about Mr Loco. I am always happy to share stories. I am always happy to share pictures. He was good people. Good. Good. People.