Diary of a Mother's Mission

My son, Kevin Martin, disappered under mysterious circumstances in the wee hours of July 18, 2004. His partial remains were found on February 1, 2005 in the river. The Des Moines Police have not been helpful and this is my blog to tell what I have done as it's done.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving, 2006

Nothing very original and I'm not feeling very original today. It's more like same old, same old, or is it same ole, same ole. I chose a quiet Thanksgiving this year. I really wasn't up to visiting and being in situations where I didn't know some of the people, which is the way it would have been. It felt wonderful to receive a few different invitations but I guess I wanted to stay home and reflect on things, Kevin and Terry. Instead of reflecting, though, I guess I was feeling sorry for myself and so being by myself was a mistake.

The situation with Terry was more the norm. The person dies, a few days or a week later, one has the service and then it's over. Then the hard part. No more calls, no more messages on the answering machine, no more trips to the tobacco outlet and then to the post office... They talked on the news the other day about the fact that they're giving additional training in grief counseling to those in the military responsible for helping the families who have lost loved ones. Aparently there are those who don't think enough is being done. They can do more, I'm sure, to help, but then there will still come that point where the family has to move on and rebuild their life. The situation with Kevin was different because he was missing for six and a half months, but the bottom line is sooner or later one has to stand alone with one's grief. Every brief once in awhile there is a moment of joint rememberance like when the young man approached me at the "Kalidescope", or "Hub" downtown and told me he had been at Kevin's search. And, yes , one knows that other family members and a few close friends are feeling the loss just like you, that goes without saying, but still a person stands alone with his or her inner grief, sad to say.

Two years ago Terry came with me to a girlfriends house for Thanksgiving. I was amazed that he wanted to go! That year he said he just didn't want to stay home. It was nice and so I have that memory of a recent Thanksgiving together. Last year he went with his friend Carl to Carl's grandmother's for Thanksgiving, so that was good, too, since ordinarily he wanted to stay by himself.

I was remembering my first Thanksgiving here in Des Moines. I was still upstairs at 1505 Pleasant, Kevin lived downstairs. Brian went to New York that year with his father, but Kevin felt he had to stay here to work. My oven was small, a really cute old range with only three burners on top, and so the oven was miniscule, hardly large enough to cook even a modest size turkey. I cooked the turkey downstairs in Kevin's oven. Kevin was fast asleep through all of it. His hours were very different than mine and since he didn't have to work Thanksgiving Day I'm sure he went to bed just as I was getting up. Well I cooked a pretty good size turkey, which I think is funny. If you're going to cook one, one might as well make it a large one. So Kevin and I had at our disposal about a 23 lb. turkey. Of course there was stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce, etc., olives, which Kevin really liked. Everything was done by about 2:30, I called Kevin (he was still sleeping),I fixed his plate, or maybe he fixed it (I would have made the portions too large ( at 2:45) and Kevin, not being a big eater, it was all gone (his food) and over with (Thanksgiving) by 3:00 p.m.! Not the most memorable day, but we did have a really nice one the following year, Brian, Kevin and I, certainly more memorable, but I do have to laugh anyway.

That was Kevin, though, but something else surprised me too. Just the other day I remembered that Kevin told me that the same two teams play on Thanksgiving Day, the Lions and the Dolphins. I was really impressed! Not that I'm an avid football fan, I'm not, just a Steelers fan, but I should have known that, but didn't, and Kevin did! It just came to me, that particular memory of my conversation with Kevin, Wednesday, as I was driving the bus.

So, one big one down (Thanksgiving), one to go (Christmas)


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