Wednesday, July 20, 2011

gaston 2011

As I write this, I wish I was leisurely enjoying a cup of coffee on a miraculously breezy North Carolina morning while looking out on the lake. I wish I had a day ahead whose most stressful moments involved choosing who would tube or ski first or dreading the next sunscreen application. But alas, those days are behind us and and we have 51 weeks of waiting to enjoy that kind of relaxation again.

This year was different from the rest. Lake Gaston was the one time each year that we all saw Griff. Just as Mike, Mary, Alby and I were petering out from the kids' do-it-all-in-one-day attitudes and boundless enthusiasm, Griff would arrive, with all his toys and limitless energy in tow. He'd ask them interesting questions, take them for jet-ski ride after jet-ski ride, snap lots of pictures and video and spend time getting to know them as best he could. Then he'd entertain us all by teaching himself something new, like how to wake board, or how to do some sort of behind-the-boat trick. He was like a hurricane of energy, a windstorm of contagious excitement that we looked forward to each year.

Griff's loss was felt all week long. The nagging feeling you get when you've forgotten something came often and was quickly followed by, "I just can't believe this." We've found that with kids, you're fabulously catapulted into the present and your grieving comes in tiny private bursts when your thoughts break through the chaos of your days. Within the peaceful backdrop of Lake Gaston, Griff broke through.

I'm sure he'd be glad to know that it was a good week, too. Lots to discuss and catch up on, loads of fun provided by the kids and several visitors filled our days. The kids made sure we were moving full speed ahead, but even they, especially Logan, brought Griff up several times.

I guess there's no "getting used to it". There is forever a hole where there used to be something so much larger than life. It's unimaginable that people figure out how to go on with giant holes like the one Griff left, but they do. And we are.

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