Strengthening our family ties
THURSDAY, May 27 – At the crack of dawn, the boys and I are off to Schiphol where we’ll be picking up Uncle Pete, before I drop them off at school. Pete, their favorite uncle, has flown over from New York to celebrate what would have been Jennifer’s 42nd birthday.
It comes as no surprise when, in the early afternoon, Sander calls to say that he’s on his way home. He keeps seeing flashbacks of the accident and it’s impossible for him to concentrate. It is even less of a surprise when twenty minutes later Eamonn calls. ‘Bad day, bad day, I just want to be with the people I love.’
Half an hour later Eamonn and I are sitting on the bed. He tells me that all of a sudden he realizes that we’re going to be celebrating Mom’s birthday, but Mom won’t be there. The shoe has dropped and the end result is a painful tangle of thoughts in his head. Logic is no good, but a good hug helps to unravel the knot.
Uncle Pete is sleeping off his jet lag. He and I talked for three hours this morning: about life and death, about Jenn, friends, family, the suspect, about him and about me – exchanging profound thoughts about life, in general. The boys wake him up earlier than planned, but the sight of those happy faces makes up for any lost sleep.
Who wants to be sitting in a classroom or office? We refer to this as ‘playing social hooky’.