When Big Bubby passed so close to the holidays day’s, we were all still in such a state of shock. None of us really knew what to do or how to go on. As previously mentioned, we spent Thanksgiving with Casper and her family. For Christmas and New Years, we didn’t go back to Dallas. I just couldn’t take seeing Big Bubby’s grave again. Christmas, Million Dollar Brother, Baby Sis, Casper, and Red Headed Step Child drove down to New Orleans and stayed with us. My husband and I spent Christmas alone for the most part, a coworker did invite us to dinner so we did get out for that. By the time we were finished with dinner, the kids were close to being here.
Casper and the Red Headed Step Child stayed with us over the weekend of Christmas and left on Monday to head back to their lives in Dallas. Million Dollar Brother and Baby Sis stayed with us until the weekend after New Years. Million Dollar Brother had a long time friend, we will call Rabbit, who came and stayed with us a few days for New Years. She had never been to New Orleans and wanted to experience as much as she could.
Grieving, if you have never gone through losing a child, takes most of any energy you might think you have away. You feel exhausted from the time you get out of bed in the morning until you go to bed that night. I love all my kids including those adopted through showing animals, Big Bubby’s band of brothers, but that week was a difficult week for me. For two reasons, one being that Big Bubby wasn’t there to celebrate with us and two, I was working and then trying to be a good hostess in the evenings. All in all, we all had a good time and was exhausted at the end of it. We said our good-byes even though I didn’t want them to leave, and off they went to Lubbock to school.
The next major “New” experience was Big Bubby’s birthday in February.
Trying to plan for a birthday party for someone who has passed away is interesting to say the least. You don’t want to be disrespectful but I wanted to do something especially since we lost him so close to his birthday. So we made the long trip back to Dallas leaving on Thursday. Unknown to us, Big Bubby was going to mess with us the entire weekend.
We arrived in Dallas in the middle of the night more like Friday morning. We hadn’t made reservations as we figured when we got tired we would find a place to stop. We ended up being able to drive all the way. We only slept for a few hours because we had to go see T (the funeral director) regarding Big Bubby’s headstone and military stone.
FRIDAY EVENTS: When we got up, it was to a phone call from Lubbock from our two kids saying there was an oil leak on the truck they were driving back to Dallas. Here is where I say, my son the joker, started his birthday weekend party. We got up and dressed, went to the funeral home to work out the exact particular Headstone I wanted, gave him our photo’s to be etched on it and left. My husband had been in contact with Million Dollar Brother through all of the meeting with T. Between the Million Dollar Brother and Baby Sis, they just couldn’t get the part back in place after replacing it. It’s a difficult part and typically takes a lot of pressure to squeeze it to put it back. I had a hair appointment with Hair Queen to get my hair cut and colored. So as soon as we were done there, we were off to Lubbock. Keep in mind that I still had to figure out how to buy 25 red, white, and blue balloons, a bottle of Jack and plastic shot glasses before, tomorrow, Saturday’s event. Hair Queen graciously offered to take care of all of that for me and even pick it up for me and bring it to the cemetery the next day.
So for the next 4 1/2 hours we were driving from Dallas to Lubbock to see if we could get this truck back to Dallas. When we arrived, it took my husband maybe 30 minutes to fix the problem and get the truck going. So we all pulled out headed to Dallas thinking another 4 1/2 hours and we would be back in the Dallas area.
The truck started over heating when my husband and Baby Sis drove it to get fuel. So we went back to the house to see if we could quickly figure out what was going on. Again, Big Bubby messing with us because we took off from Lubbock (what should be a 4 1/2 hour drive) and drove 10 hours because of pulling over to let the truck cool down. We finally made it to Dallas around 7 in the morning on Saturday.
SATURDAY EVENTS: So because we had no sleep the night before, my husband decided to work on the truck. It ended up being the thermostat which if he would have just taken it off, we could have driven the speed limit all the way to Dallas and he could have fixed it once we were back here. (Big Bubby wanting to spend time with the family I guess). So with the truck fixed, it was now time to go celebrate Big Bubby’s birthday.
We had invited a few friends and we face timed his battle buddies from the military. I said a few words as did my husband. We released 25 balloons representing the 25 years of his life, took a shot of Jack with him, and listed to “Wish You Were Here” by Cole Swindell.
It was amazing how that song fit our situation so perfectly. It was beautiful to see the balloons released as they were his true colors as he would fight for the red, white, and blue no matter when he was called to do so. After our celebration, we all went our separate ways. We were staying with the owner of the small barn that got Million Dollar Brother into horses. We were so exhausted from the night before, we went back and took a nap. After our nap, our Baby Sis wanted to go to Billy Bob’s. We ended up going bowling which was fun too. We bowled until we closed the alley down.
Sunday we spent with family and friends before we left to head back to New Orleans on Monday. Several weeks prior to leaving for Big Bubby’s birthday we had decided to get an emotional support dog for me due to my increased anxiety in public and depression levels. My doctor agreed with us and wrote the letter to be able to get one. I have wonderful friends (we will call her Queen Bee) who bred and raised Labs. She put me in touch with her breeder and after discussion with that breeder, we found a black lab (Krissie for Big Bubby’s name sake) and on Monday drove to see her. She was bred for hunting but the owner knew our story and knew that her dogs would also do well as therapy dogs. She was still to young to take with us, so my husband went back a few weeks later and picked her up. More about her in an upcoming post.
While it was nice to be with family and friends for the long weekend, it was nice to come home to New Orleans and get away from the memories. Sometimes they are too overwhelming for me to even put into words.