Do Not Disturb

I find myself still spending a lot of my day thinking of Steve.   At work, in my car, at home, at the movies, with friends (sorry friends but you probably can tell I am sometimes not paying attention…not on purpose and nothing personal).  I know I am missing what people say to me.   Sometimes during the last year it feels like I don’t even understand English.  Words sound foreign to my ears, and I often can’t remember words I want to say.   I used to be able to multi-task but now I feel like I can only process one thing at a time.  So I try to focus really hard, and I often have to ask people to repeat what they said or re-explain something.  All that focusing is exhausting.  About the only time  I don’t spend a lot of time thinking of him is when I am with my family.  I realized that just now as I was typing.  That is very interesting and something I will have to think on.

So what consumes my thoughts?  Where to begin?  I think of the days I picked him up from work when he could no longer drive.  The jokes he would make in the car, his excuses as to why he needed a vanilla shake.  Or the day I went with him to try out walkers, that was surreal.  I imagine him telling his stories and laughing.  I see him teasing others, pushing buttons to get a reaction.   Telling us girls he was afraid to ride with us in Yellowstone, laughing as he called out license plates.  I remember so much laughter.  I can still hear his giggle when we all would play “Socks” at the lodge and he would be in a sock missile battle with someone somewhere in the lodge.   How much he loved to laugh and make others laugh.

I think of what an amazing person he was…how many people he impacted.  He makes me want to be a better person…more  accepting of others, healthier, active.  And less of a complainer, definitely less of a complainer.

I can see him cooking or frosting cookies.  Then I remember the last time I saw him frost a cake.  It probably took him 30 minutes but he didn’t give up or complain.  With his careful and methodical way he focused on that task.  For every one move he made we all made many as we rushed here and there.  If I was able to capture it on film he would be clear and defined, his movements slow but steady, while we all become streaks of color fluttering by him.  Moving a lot but probably not really doing anything.  But that is not what I want to remember.  So I remember the time he gave Bethany the cookie dough covered in garlic, or the yummy snickerdoodles he made with a secret ingredient (not garlic).  And the cinnamon rolls that make Christmas morning so delicious.  Or the time he convinced me Crisco tasted sweet, like vanilla or ice cream (in my defense, I was very young).  Or when he would sit with me when I was in elementary school and we would make bowls of ice cream and toppings and we would race to see who could stir them up the fastest, then talk while we ate.

When I relive these moments, he never seems to be rushing around.  Even when he was healthy I don’t think he rushed.  His mellow presence brings me a sense of peace.  And he always makes me smile.

If I could I would wear a “Do Not Disturb” sign most of the day.  I don’t want to be interrupted.  I am busy.  I am spending time with my brother the only way I have left. (does this count as complaining?)

Always, always when I think of him I tell him how much I miss him.  And I hope he knows how much he is loved.


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. skinhorsereal
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 08:33:32

    How do I stop the tears, there must be a way?


  2. skinhorsereal
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 08:55:47

    Oh Lisa, hard to read this through the tears, you bring him back to life and yet he seems so far away. Mom


  3. grumpybutterfly
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 09:12:30

    If you find a way to stop the tears, I will buy it from you.
    Mom, what a great description, even though I see him every day, he is so far away.
    Thank you.


  4. Holly (birdsall) Fellows
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 10:27:11

    Lisa, Your writing is as beautiful as you are. Your right, Steve did not rush. The times I remeber him moving quickly was when one of his kids were in danger of getting hurt. I also have a hard time finding the words that should come so easily. Sometimes I worry that it is a sign of getting older, but then I realize that it is probably the result of a distracted mind.
    I never knew there were so many ways to cry. Ususally I am in the car alone when the sobs and wails come out. At home it is a trickle and looking at pictures the tears come even when I am smiling. Every dad I still can’t believe he is gone.
    Steve asked me to take him fishing Fall of 2010 and it took what felt like forever to get ready and get him ready and to the dock at Lake Wilderness. I could not get the pole ready the way he wanted it so he took 20 minutes to get the line ready, fished for 10 minutes and then said “No, they are not biting. Too late in the season” and we packed up and left. But for that 10 minutes he was free. I could see the peace on his face and that is what I hold on to. I felt so honored to be on that dock with him and see him doing something he loved. he loved life and I loved him.


  5. Holly (birdsall) Fellows
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 10:44:42

    My mind is flooding with memories right now. You mentioned the garlic powder in Bethany’s cookie dough…this year there was no cookie dough wrapped in plastic wrap waiting for me at Christmas ( non garlic thank you). Steve thought of others so much. You have that (& many other things) in common. Remember when you two bought the Christmas ornaments I made for the Young Life auction and gave them back to me because I had worked so hard on them?
    I remember Steve making cake and getting out two spoons so we could scrape the bowl together (and brownie batter and pumpkin batter,,,,). I remember, I remember…..


    • grumpybutterfly
      Jan 29, 2012 @ 00:18:54

      Thank you Holly…I don’t feel like I do things for others because most of the time what motivates me is something to do with me and what I want…sometimes it is my need to control things.(that’s my terrible secret). I don’t remember buying the ornaments and giving them back. I don’t think I can blame the loss of Steve on that memory gap so I must be getting older :). I am glad you remember, thank you for sharing it with me.


  6. Polly
    Jan 29, 2012 @ 14:28:02

    Lisa this was a beautiful Blog….so many great memories of Steve. Thank you for writing your thoughts down as they sure resemble mine! Much of what you say is sooo true for me too! Thank you for sharing these memories…..XOXO Polly


  7. Becky Birdsall Hansen
    Jan 29, 2012 @ 20:53:03

    Ohh the memories- Thank you for sharing them Lisa, along with your reflections. All the memories I hold so close to my heart. I was fortunate to have grown up in a loving family and I am grateful…..for Steve…
    and for you all.


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