Friday, July 18, 2008

Yesterday was a really tough day

My younger son is the most amazing person. His best friend from temple moved to Texas 2 weeks ago. Yesterday I checked my email first thing in the morning from work, and it turned out that this friend's father had passed away and the funeral was yesterday. The family was returning to our town to bury him (he grew up in So Cal). The temple had sent out a notice the day before, but I had been too busy at work to check my Yahoo email account on Wednesday. I freaked out. And immediately left work to go wake Steve up and take him to the funeral. I figured that at their age, there likely wouldn't be many friends there to support this child. I was right. From what I could tell while we were there, my son was it.

As I said, I woke him up, and told him the news. He got very quiet, but got up without complaint, got dressed in his nice clothes, ate, brushed his teeth, and was ready to go in about a half hour. (He looked really cute in his suit pant, nice shirt, camo belt and pukas, LOL!)

When I say this was an all day event, I mean all day. The service was at 11:30. Then the interrment, which was at another cemetery 30 minutes away. I gave Steve the choice about whether to go to the 2nd site or not, and he said he wanted to go. He said he needed to be there for his friend. At the grave site, he stood there the entire time with his arm around his friend. It is Jewish tradition that people help bury the body, so traditionally each person puts 3 shovelsful of dirt into the grave. It's considered a mitzvah (good deed) to help the person onto their journey into their next life. Needless to say, this took a long time, seemed like forever, really, but those 2 boys stood looking into the open grave, Steve with his arm around his friend until everyone was done.

Then the 30 minute drive back into town for the visit to the shiva home, which wasn't actually their home, since they don't live in town any more. I felt awkward, since I didn't know a soul except the mother, but I was going for Steve.

So after 1 and 1/2 agonizing hours at the house (for me), where Steve kept this kid entertained and laughing, I finally called it quits. I again made sure that they had phone numbers and addresses, and watched them give each other big hugs (I've talked before about how affectionate my son is). We didn't get home until 4:00. Long day.

The worst part of the entire day for me was sitting in the service and discovering exactly what had happened to the man who I found out I actually went to high school with (I never knew!). He had killed himself. My heart goes out to this family and breaks for them. It was breaking even before I learned of this, but now... even more so. Such a shame. I am just so glad that all of that passed right over Steve's head during the service and that we didn't have to have that discussion on top of all the others we had yesterday.

My son is the most compassionate, sensitive, loving, caring, best friend in the world. I can't remember the last time I have been prouder of him. No grade, no musical talent, no anything can replace his innate sense of goodness. And when I told him that at bedtime, he replied back, "Thanks Mom. You're an awesome Mom, too."

I cried when I went to bed last night, but not for the reasons I thought I would earlier in the day.

16 People Gabbed:

Anne said...

HUGS my friend. You know I'm here anytime and you've got my number.

Wendy said...

"Thanks Mom. You're an awesome Mom, too."

Now I'm crying.

Seneca said...

I'm sorry (((Hugs))
What he said to you at bedtime was heart warming, it brought tears to my eyes.

Nikki said...

That is so sad! I am so proud of both of you. I'm sure seeing both of you at the funeral meant a lot to them on such a hard day. What a sweet boy you have!!

jennybrat said...

That's amazing. You have every reason to be proud of your son.

Lori said...

Thanks, y'all. Yes, my son is really a remarkable child. He's 10.

Don't get me wron, I love both my children to death, but Steve just has that special something. In describing the 2 of them, I've often said that Steve would give anyone the shirt off his back, and Jeff would take it.

Yesterday, Steve gave the shirt off his back. He gave the entire closet.

Christine said...

Hi Lori,
This is my first time visiting your blog (I hopped over here via Twitter where we share a few of the same friends). I hope I'm not intruding on a private moment, but just wanted to acknowledge what a sad, but beautiful post this is. I think your son is an wonderful young man and a fantastic friend.

Warm thoughts to you and the grieving family.

Lori said...

Hi Christine, no intrusion at all. Welcome to our blog! That Twitter. I'm telling you. I'm almost sorry I signed up - I feel obligated to have it open ALL THE TIME! LOL. I'm hardly getting anything else done.

I have to agree - my son is a remarkable kid. Thanks for the kind thoughts.

Lauren Dane said...

Wow, mom, yes you have definitely got a kiddo to be proud of.

azteclady said...

Lori, you do have a remarkable young man for a son--and he has a remarkable mother. What you did (by taking Steve there, and he simply by being himself) for this young boy who is now an orphan, and in turn for his mother, is the best example of generous love ever.

Thank you so very much for sharing this with us.

Rosie said...

What Wendy said. I need kleenex. Mwah! Love you Lori. What a gift to have a kid like that. Such a special blessing in your life.

Sarah McCarty said...

Hugs to both of you! What a tragic situation. And how sweet of Steve. And you to recognize his friend would need him.

Sarah, sending more hugs

Nikki H said...

Obviously you have done an amazing job and last night, in a strange way, was one of your rewards. It's so difficult to teach compassion that is sincere. Y'all are awesome.

Nikki H

Lori said...

Thank you, everyone for your kind words and thoughts. I feel very blessed to have such a warm-hearted, open, generous-of-spirit child. He is truly a blessing, and when you add that to his love of life, and sparkle, he just shines. It's hard to be around him and not notice it - bask in it, really.

Stacy~ said...

Wow, what an incredible son you have. You must be so proud of him. It's always heart-warming to see such goodness.

nath said...

You definitively have an awesome son and you must be so proud!! :) It was very nice of him to stay by his friend, I'm sure his friend appreciates it a lot.