Saturday, April 21, 2018

He never complained

June 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Patricia's Journey

Alexander has just left the condo for the airport.  In 3 hours he will be on his way to Camp Woodward, a skateboard camp in Tehachapi, California. On June 13 he will land in Omaha where he will remain. If you have never heard of Camp Woodward then you probably don’t have a child into skateboarding. It is the premiere skateboarding camp in the country.  Any skateboarder parent who has overheard their child’s conversations with his or her buddies knows it doesn’t get better than Camp Woodward. Any kid who attends knows he is fortunate.

Mack & Alexander heading for the airport

In the days leading up to this one, we created some wonderful memories.  On Tuesday, Alexander and I decided to have a night away from the condo to celebrate his upcoming departure and our movement into the new phase in our lives. The famous Turtle Bay Resort is only 20 minutes away from our home.  That afternoon we gathered Alexander’s best buddies for a fond farewell.

Cody, Mack, Alexander, Hunter

After Laurie’s lunch of homemade calzones, we loaded up the boys and drove to Turtle Bay for swimming.    While we waited for the room to be readied, the boys swam and hopped from the pool to the hot tub to the pool to the other hot tub.  I lounged nearby out of the sun.  These last chemo treatments are causing my skin to react to sunlight with red, itchy bumps.  Just try to stay out of the sun in Hawaii.

At 3:45 pm, I went to the front desk to ask if our room was ready.   The policy is carefully worded to reflect a check-in time of 3 pm OR as the rooms become available.  Ours was not ready, however, the young man said he would change our room to one that was ready in a better location with a full ocean front view.  When God surprises and delights, I have learned to just say yes.  It was a deluxe room where the concierge delivers the fruit basket mid evening welcoming you to the resort.  The only sounds were the waves crashing on the rocks along the shore.

One view from the lanai

In our room, we served up slices of Ted’s famous Macademia Nut Haupia pie. Four boys and eight slices of pie.  Vanished.  If you come to Hawaii, you will go to Ted’s just because that is what you do when you come to this island.  You might even buy a T-shirt which helps make Ted’s even more famous.

Ted's is famous for its pies...and just because it's Ted's

We were gifted with a late check out of 6 pm and meandered down to the pool after waking up on Wednesday morning.  The economy has affected the occupancy rate of the resort and it felt like we were part of a small private party.  There were so few people milling around the property.  We were ready to check out about 3:30 pm and I stopped at the front desk to pay for our room. The only charge I was presented was for the movie we watched the night before.  ”Someone has taken care of your room charge”, the desk agent said.  ”It’s all taken care of.”  I walked away in tears.  Of course, it’s all taken care of.  There are angels all around me and God is showing me in big and small ways the possibilities of living in trust.  As I walked to the car, I was still in tears at the unconditional giving being shown me time and time again.  As I have learned to receive, I have learned to give. Everyday, something has appeared that I have thought about or needed.  It’s magical.  God knows if it were up to me, I would think too small, which is why I have turned the whole of my life over to a Divine plan.  Please, save me from my limited thinking.

It is Thursday, the day before Alexander leaves.  You know when a big event is months away and you talk about how it will be here before you know it?  And how soon it will be the night before and you will talk about back when it was months away and how did it get here so fast?  That describes this week. Alexander is excited and anticipating what lies ahead.   He is such a loving, compassionate child that I know he is tempering his excitement around me due to my bouts of sadness at his leaving.  A top notch high school, time with his Dad, reuniting with his best friend, his own bedroom, close to family and his dog Buddy. I couldn’t be happier for him…or more grateful.  His Dad has been in the shoes for the past two years that I now find myself in.  It was a gracious and selfless act for him to allow me to have Alexander with me.

Putting together packing boxes

We took a final walk on the beach after dinner.

Alexander willingly came to this new place and moved through a difficult experience as I met the challenge with my health.  He never complained.  Well, the laundry facilities are less than ideal and he did let out a peep now and then about the inconvenience. The in home washer/dryer that awaits him in Omaha is a luxury that will be appreciated in a way only those of us who have schlepped our clothes to another location to launder can appreciate.  The washers are in a separate ground floor shelter on the property and the dryers are in the building on the second floor.  You sometimes wait four hours for  a washer to open up, given there are four washers for 134 units.  Who did that math?  My energy has been compromised for the past year and I have not been able to be there for him and with him in the ways I envisioned.  I couldn’t always drive him or pick him up.  I couldn’t engage in much of anything after dinner.  He never complained.   While I would love to say that I gracefully sailed and danced through each day this week making the most of every moment and relishing in the remaining time we had to be together physically and I never complained, I still got crabby at having to repeat things numerous times, felt stressed with all the details and complained about noisy neighbors.  Just as I blow being named Mother of the Year by February 1st of each year, I haven’t achieved sainthood either. You can’t cram in loving.  You can’t make up any lack of loving in a few days.  Being present in your life and loving as best you can each day makes it possible to let one go without regret.  I loved him the best I could this week…and all the days prior.

This is not how I thought things would be, but then when in our lives has it ever really been?  Life is best met by waking up each day and asking “I wonder what will change today.”  At no time in my life would I have believed I’d be separated from my child.  No way.  I have no idea what this will feel like or be like.  It is a complete unknown, just as is every day of our lives.  At no time did I ever believe I would sell all my belongings and move to an island or face cancer or have a child as wonderful as I have.  And they all turned out to hold enormous gifts.

This afternoon, a fellow condo owner walked by as I was sitting on the lanai in my baldness.  Penny stopped and asked how I was doing.  She told me she is a sculptor and that I have a beautiful, perfectly shaped head.  At no time in my life did I ever imagine that conversation.  Here I am trying to find creative, artful ways to cover my bald head and she is telling me my bald head is the art.

Back to now.  Alexander is at the airport and just called to ask how to get his boarding pass.  Without being crabby or reminding him how many times we went over this, I told him where his travel documents were.   Where did I really think this detail ranked in remembrance as he prepared for this significant event in his life?  He knows where his skateboard and IPod and phone are. He knew I would know where his boarding pass was.  Isn’t this called teamwork?  These are the things I have often complained about with motherhood and yet it is how we mother.

I am going to post this blog without a lot of editing and review, which I typically love to do.  I simply want to sign off on it as if it will bring some kind of closure to this event.  As if it will say “that was then, this is now“.  A little more sleep is in order, some more tears and a lot more praying for the strength to do what I am being called to do.  My heart is breaking.  I miss him already.  I have no complaint.  To love this deeply is a privilege.


8 Responses to “He never complained”
  1. Robert Rapp says:

    As always, I am moved by your writing. I am so grateful that you and Alexander have had this special time together. It has been all that I hoped for. He will remember these moments for the rest of his life.

    I can never replace you. I can only do my best to honor the intentions that we set out to raise a compassionate loving, honorable, contributing human being. Thank you for the gift of Alexander.

    Alexander’s Father

  2. David Tasaka says:


    What a wonderful piece you wrote on Alexander’s departure. I’ve learned that when one door closes, God opens another for our growth and learning. May you have that door open for you too.


  3. Leslee Joy says:

    Once again I am brought to tears with your writing. I send an emotional hug, but wish it could be a real physical hug. Alexander is blessed to have you as his mom, and I know that he knows that too. He will be in good hands, and I know your heart will ache with him gone. I will pray for strength for you in his absence, and also for your healing. The body is an amazing thing, but we know that is because it is just one gift from God. Prayers for you daily….I love you and miss you!! You are a special angel, and am amazing woman!
    Leslee…in Omaha

  4. Jeri says:

    Ohhhhhh Patricia. When I regain my composure and stop the tears. I will write more.

    Loving you from afar,
    Jer }}

  5. Jackie Hinton says:

    Hello Darling,

    I am in tears with the beauty of this post. Thank you, thank you for sharing this passage with us all. Your thoughts, your words expressing those thoughts are nothing less than absolutely beautiful. Hopefully, you will save all this on paper for Alexander at a later date. I’m sure he appreciates how very lucky he is to have a love such as yours. I know I do! Here’s a slow tender hug coming your way. Jackie

  6. sarah says:

    Hi Patricia,

    It’s one of those times that I just don’t have the words….so I won’t even try. If I was there I’d be giving you a great big hug and helping you with the tears. All my love and respect. Sarah

  7. Jan Johnson says:

    Ditto to all of the above. In my humble opinion there really are no words to articulate the unconditional love of a mother….other than it brings me to tears to even think about it….and mine are 35, 31 (tomorrow!!!), and 28. It is the greatest gift imaginable and the toughest job to be a mom. Love you as always!! Jan

  8. carrie says:

    Patricia: Your faith and selflessness is such an inspiration. May God speed your healing. Only good energy coming your way.

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