It’s April, and Spring has finally arrived in Iowa! Well, at least it seems like it’s here to stay. You just never know here in the Midwest. A late freeze could sweep down overnight from the North and take out all the early flowers and the farmer’s crops. Praying the warmer days are here to stay!
The change of seasons always makes me melancholy in the beginning. Not that I’m sad to see the end of Winter! It just brings back memories of Springs in the past and things we used to do that we don’t anymore. A turkey gobbled across the road down by the creek the other morning, and I remembered how Chad loved to hear them. He was always so excited for Turkey Season here in Iowa every April. I think he loved it best because he could HEAR the turkeys he hunted. He didn’t have to see them. He’d come home from hunting with his dad to tell me about their latest adventure and the sounds he’d heard from the gobblers and hens, as his dad used his turkey call to bring a big Tom in close enough for Chad to get a shot. When he bagged one each year, of course we had to take lots of pictures and also weigh it and measure the beard and spurs to see if he’d got a bigger one than his dad got.
Another thing I miss are the little things Chad noticed that I didn’t until he’d mention them. Like when I’d push him out to meet his bus in his wheelchair on calm Spring mornings, he’d say “birds, Mom, hear the birds!” Sure enough, a Meadowlark or some other songbird would be trilling away, and my mind had been so busy thinking about other things that I’d not even noticed. He loved to sit out on the front deck and listen to the birds and the cars going by. He get so excited when a neighbor would see him and honk as they passed our house. I’d see him waving long after they’d gone on around the bend.
One neighbor, who was also the head cook at Chad’s high school and always talked to him when he came thru the lunch line, told Chad that she’d heard heard him playing his Tim McGraw CD on the deck one quiet afternoon when she was outside & the sound drifted to her house a half mile south of ours. He told her he heard her husband laughing out on their patio the same day. I love to hear stories about my son, especially now over two years after his death. It confirms his life and the many people’s lives he touched in the 24 years he lived on this earth. Imagine the stories he’ll be telling me about Heaven one day!
Spring is the season of new birth, new beginnings, and it gives me hope for a time when I will be with my son again. I believe that in Heaven, it’s perpetual Spring, because nothing ages there. It’s always fresh and new. I can just picture Chad there now, no longer confined to a wheelchair, but running thru fields of wildflowers and fishing from crystal lakes; not just hearing the beautiful sounds of the many birds and the rest of nature, but seeing again, and oh, what beauty to behold! If he could talk to me, I’m sure he wouldn’t be able to find the words to tell me what he’s now seeing.
Yet, even with knowing he’s there, happy and healthy, I still miss him so. I miss his big smile and his quirky sense of humor; that amazing laugh and “don’t quit” attitude. I see him as a little boy before Batten’s Disease took so much away, how he was constantly on the run, talking incessantly, and bugging his sister to play with him. Oh, how I’d love to live those crazy childhood days of theirs all over again, knowing now how fast they fly by!
Spring also brought me a wonderful gift a year ago, actually on March 11, 2015, just a little early for spring, more like late winter, I guess. She came all wrapped in pink, and they named her Cassidy. “Cassie” or “Cass” most of the time, and such an adorable little bundle of joy, making me a proud grandma and easing the pain of grief some. She looks so much like her daddy, but I can see our daughter in her also, and every now and then, that sweet smile of her Uncle Chad. She definitely inherited some of his personality, which is only fitting, I suppose, since I’m sure he helped God pick her out.
Happy Spring, everyone!