Saturday, August 5, 2017

You Love Them for a Lifetime

Today is August 5, 2017.

It’s a beautiful morning. The sun is shining, there are no clouds in the sky and there’s a gentle breeze blowing through the air. I’m sitting on the porch with my coffee thinking of all I have to be grateful for ….and then I feel it.  I feel his presence with me.
My mind goes back to another beautiful morning in June.
Terry was at the lake. I came back from my walk, looked at my phone and saw I had a text from my former boss, still my friend, Lisa. I texted her back and said I would call her in a few, she texted me back and said she couldn’t talk but she would call me soon. I texted her back ( don’t you love this age of technology?) and said I had a coaching call at 9 so I only had a small window of time.
I was so happy that morning. I had big plans for my day and I was ready  to conquer the world after getting in 4 laps around the subdivision .......and then the phone rang.
It was Terry. He said “Honey, I have some really bad news” Nothing could have prepared me for what he said next. His voice cracked and he could barely say the words “Casey was killed in a bike race this weekend”…………..and the world started to spin, and my heart started to race and everything started to close in. I couldn’t find words. I had to know more….and I had to be alone and quiet.
He went on ….”Lisa is on her way down to be with you because she doesn’t want you to be alone”
We hung up, I looked online at the paper and there was the story. I looked on Facebook and there were the postings on his page. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t imagine a world without Casey in it.
Casey (29) was my youngest charge in the first family that I nannied for. I was with him the first 6 years of his life and even after the job ended he was a ring bearer in my wedding and still a very important part of my life.Terry and I still saw him on a regular basis until he became a teenager.
 I hadn’t seen him in awhile  but we were Facebook friends and I kept in touch, we chatted a couple of times a year and I kept up with all his stories of cycling and his life with his soulmate Maria.
Molly was his sister and I usually never said just Molly, it was always Molly and Casey. They were as close as a brother and sister could be. Always rooting for each other, always supporting each other where ever they went, what ever they did.

I called Lisa and asked her not to come. I wanted to be alone. (I’m funny like that) I needed to process this loss. I spent my day looking at Facebook postings from all the people who loved and adored Casey.
He was so kind, he was such a gentlemen, he was always doing something for someone else, he was kind, he was patient, he was modest….he was so loved and he is so missed.
I went through pictures and thought about all the funny stories I had about him in my head and I cried a river of tears.
It’s been 6 weeks now and I still cry every day. It’s still the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about every night. When you are a nanny, you love and care for someone else’s child.
You only have them for a season but you love them for a lifetime.
One of the things that I am most proud of in my career as a nanny is that I developed a course called Nanny Transitions where I help support and guide nannies through the pain of leaving a family.
Leaving Molly and Casey was why I developed this course. It was so painful to leave them after 8 years that I didn’t know how to deal with my grief. As I worked through it all I developed a workshop to help other nannies....it is my labor of love to my industry……but nothing ever prepared me for this.
Sometimes I struggle with my grief and I feel guilty about grieving or I feel like I don’t have the right to grieve….but my nanny’s heart tells me I do.
As a nanny I have always tried to reach out and support and encourage nannies who are going through hard times but of all the thousands of nannies that I know, only one has reached out to me to see how I am, to see how I am doing and that makes this hurt even more.
I put a post on Facebook and lots of people posted and supported me. It gave me hope that I would have support through this, but a few days after this happened I posted on facebook about my hurting heart and even nannies who knew of my loss, asked me why I was sad. It was so painful that I deleted the post. It made the pain hurt even more to think that the only people I thought could understand my grief……………….didn’t.

So…I’m trying so hard here, to deal with the grief of losing this man who was not my son. I didn’t know him well as a man, but as a child, as a curly red haired boy I knew him so well and loved him so much and you don’t just stop loving them when the job is over. There is no expiration date on love.

I’m grateful for my husband’s love and support through this time. He knows me so well and he sees how much I am hurting. He spends extra time with me and understands that his very independent wife can’t be alone right now.
I’m moving slowly through this grief and I know it will be here for a long time… I know it will change and shift and the day will come when I don’t wake up crying.
I also know that grief has its own timetable.
I don’t understand why Casey had to go but I will learn the lessons of his life. Casey was an Eagle Scout and he lived by the Scout Law. I will try to do the same. It is the best way to honor him.
I carry him with me now and sometimes in the quiet moments of a gentle breeze  I feel him with me and I know that he is at peace. I hope I always do.
Ride on Casey…..you are forever in my heart.

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