Yesterday, we completed the ice rink in our back yard for Jacob. He had asked Travis to build him an ice rink. Jacobs uncle Brian and cousin Austin helped build the rink. They, grandpa and grandma helped fill our monstrous outline with over 7000 gallons of water. Travis must be either smiling or upset that we are covering his entire back yard with an ice rink. Travis was our “grass man”. I know he wishes he was here to oversee this project and then play with his #1 son.
I opened up Facebook and saw that my hometown photographer posted photos that he took during the search for Travis. The very first photo I saw was of our Jacob and our Sydney and her boyfriend Samuel, and our nephew Austin. My mind and my heart were full of emotion. I can only imagine the fear and the wonder my children experienced. When looking at the photos- I still cannot believe it truly happened. The photos are the proof, his ashes are proof, the 100’s of cards and all the people at his prayer service and funeral are proof, receiving his belongings and the muddy clothes he wore are proof. Why? Why do I still hope that he will come home? Why do I still sometimes think that he is gone somewhere and will be coming home?
As I paged through the photos my entire body was overcome with the flood of emotions. Seeing our daughter Samantha surrounded by her friends, as they search. Search for their friends father. They search for man they have come to love. They search for my Travis.
During the search I was never allowed to go see the ATV. To this day, I don’t know exactly where the ATV flipped over. I see the photo, the photo of Travis’s last ride. This photo causes every nerve in my entire body to send shooting pains to my heart. This photo is proof that it happened. This photo is a start for the beginning of the unknown. I may never know what exactly happened. I may never know if Travis was in pain. I may never know the extent of his head injury or concussion. I will never know the exact date or time of his last breath. What I do know. What I believe, is the results of the ATV accident caused his death. Yes, he drowned . Yes, he had hypothermia. But why?
It was because of the ATV accident.
The photos look like something one would see on TV or in a book. I look at them and have to tell myself or make myself believe that there truly about my family, my love, my husband whom is no longer with us. I still feel as if I am in and out of reality. I still feel like I am in a fog.
Yesterday was my first full day back at work. There has not been a day that I have not cried. There has not been a night that I have not cried myself to sleep. I continue to hug his pillow and try smell him. Every morning I imagine I hear his cell phone alarm go off and hear him walk into our bathroom and brush his teeth . What I wouldn’t do to walk downstairs and see him smile at me as he is making our coffee.
Many times, throughout the day, i find myself talking out loud as if he’s in the room. I carry on conversations. I speak out his name loudly. A part of me believes he’ll answer back. Daily, I go outside and look at the sky. I talk to him. And beg him to show me a sign.
Today, I worked almost 7 hours— I took Travis Urn to the funeral home. The girls and I are having jewelry custom-made, so we may have him near our hearts at all times. I am eager to see the final products. I carefully carried his ashes, I had to wipe away the dry tears and kisses from days prior. My brothers and father were at my home and I showed them Travis ashes. I spoke to Travis on the way to the funeral home. Carried on the conversation is if he truly were present with me. I cried as I touched the urn. I wept as I held the urn. What I wouldn’t do to be able to hold him we were time. To hold his hand, to kiss his lips, to touch his face.
I tried to do some Christmas shopping. Christmas is already next week. I don’t think I’ve ever been this late purchasing presents for others. I couldn’t come home and share with him what I found. I couldn’t be texting him and emailing him or calling him or talking to him about ideas for loved ones. I still feel so cheated.
Our children’s and my life have been completely turned upside down. Our lives are forever changed. Sydney asking me what is the purpose of life. I too have been questioning that statement. What is our purpose? Does it matter if you’re a good person? Does it matter if you believe in God? Why does a person have to worry about money? Why does a person have to work more hours, in turn which does not allow them to spend time with their children and loved ones? What purpose do we have if we do our best and God still takes us away from our children and loved ones?
I sit here now, trying to share my feelings. Feelings that I don’t know how to explain. I don’t want to sleep. I don’t want to wake up and not have him with me. I don’t want to spend another day Without him. I sit here, wrapped in his warm fuzzy blanket holding his ashes. What I wouldn’t do to have him here with me. I need to find my purpose. I know that I need to stay strong for my children. I know that he would not want me to sit here and cry and feel sorry for myself. I know he would want me to march on- I need to find my purpose. It just hurts. 39 days ago i last saw Travis. It feels like yesterday we were searching for him.
My purpose is our children.
I will make them proud, I will make Travis proud I talk to him every day about our children. I know that he can support our children and me in a way that he never was able to prior.
I have purpose.
Lythab Travis Wade