Tim is a tender man. He has always been the type to watch a sad movie and tears run down his sweet cheeks. I love that tender side, but it’s really tough to see my knight and shining armor hurting. He’s going to miss his little sidekick. He loves all 3 girlies and is SO good with them. He takes them on Daddy dates and has had many tea parties and makeovers. But, with Brandon I saw joy in my husband’s eyes like I’ve never seen before. The way that he and Brandon would tease each other and the commotion that they always made as they tripped, tackled, threw stuff at each other is going to be missed. I’ll miss Brandon’s struggling squeals and laughs as Tim laughed his devious laugh at such manly torture. You know, Tim never did let the poor boy win one of those wrestling matches. But Brandon always picked the fight and came back for more like a little lion cub. What was neat about Brandon is when (old man) Tim said “Enough. Let’s settle down” Brandon would. He obeyed immediately.
Katie girl was the closest to Brandon in age and maybe even relationship. They were the oldest so they both slept upstairs. They shared a bathroom. Because they are older and more mature they got to stay up later at night. They’d spend their evenings drawing or building K’nex or Legos together. They liked making forts out of sheets and blankets. Occasionally they’d watch a movie. They both liked Starwars and it was a treat for them to watch it since the little girls were a bit frightened by Starwars. Brandon felt somehow safer with Katie upstairs. If she was at a sleepover or at camp he always asked if his little sisters could sleep upstairs with him. Even though Katie girl was a year and a half younger than Brandon, she was the leader. He followed her lead in many areas. Katie faithfully reads her Bible every night without being told. Brandon witnessed her doing this for 8 months. One night in the past month, Tim went up to check on the kids since it was so quiet upstairs. There he found Brandon reading his Bible. Tim asked, “What are you doing?” (He asked because Brandon hid whatever it was he was doing under the covers) and Brandon replied, “Reading my Bible.” The last Sunday of his life, he took notes in church because he always saw Katie doing so. How precious. I worry most about Katie tomorrow when the family is gone and it’s back to normal life around here….that is, normal minus Brandon.
Kylie is taking this the hardest. She loves the deepest and her reactions are the strongest. She was the first one to burst into tears when we told them the bad news last week. She’s probably cried the loudest and the most of the three girls. But she also responds to her sadness by rage and yelling. We have to help her balance her emotions so she can express herself, but also use self control. She needs a lot of hugs. She needs a lot of reassurance of love. The first few things she said when he died was, “But Brandon was so strong. If he was that strong and still died, what’s going to happen to me?” The other thing she said was, “Are we going to adopt another little boy?” She very much enjoyed being in the same class with Brandon. He got a lot of attention from everyone, but she was so proud he was her brother. I’ve heard her say a hundred times, “I just want my brother back.” I intend to spend a lot of time cuddling with her and helping her heal.
Haley had stolen Brandon’s heart. If the girls would wrestle, he had no problem throwing Katie or Kylie down, but Haley would get placed down on the floor like a porcelain doll. He would give her piggy back rides whenever she asked. She’d bat her brown eyes at him and say, “pleeeease?” He would give her rides in the wagon. He would brush out her hair to make her look like a princess or play Barbies with her. He would lie down on her lap during a movie while she combed his hair or scratched his back. He let her hug him whenever she wanted. He was her hero. In her eyes he was almost as strong as Daddy. He could do anything and fix anything and she loved him dearly. The 4 kids really didn’t fight often, but Haley and Brandon fought the least of any of the kids.
As for me, I’m doing okay. I am struggling mainly with sleep. I cannot sleep even though I am so very tired. Every noise in the house makes me get up and check on the kids. I also am having a hard time eating. Food has no taste and it all feels like poison when it hits my stomach. I’ve never been a big eater and don’t have a large appetite even when I’m not grieving. Often I would begin a burger or sandwich and he’d finish it off rather than allowing me to throw it away. He said to me this past week, “Mama, you don’t eat enough. You should finish your sandwich. You not that big.” So that is what I replayed in my mind all week as I forced food down my throat so my body has nourishment. I miss every last thing about him. I still expect him to burst through the garage door and ask for a drink, or just to come in to say, “Hi Mommy!!! I love you!!” before running back outside to play with his pals.
As I mentioned earlier, the rest of the family leaves tomorrow. We’re on our own starting tomorrow. We have spent the last 8 months adjusting and enjoying getting to know Brandon. Now it’s going to take a great deal of time adjusting to not having him with us. Every last thing reminds us of him, and how we no longer have him to enjoy life with. So anyway, I hope this gives you a better idea how to pray for us all. Thank you for the continued prayers and support.