Sunday, January 13, 2019

Bleak Mid-Winter

Seemingly benign things- a Kawhi Leonard article in SI, kingtut19888 login popping up when I restart my/his computer,  a pocket sized 2106 calendar, a commercial I know he will never see- these things start my heart to aching, but I don't stay there too long. I can't. Maybe I should?

We are coming up on three years on February 2. Goddamn suicide.

Some rays of light poke through. Receiving a grant to run a children's grief camp again, planning a trip to Florida, losing myself in another good book.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Last Day of November

We had an extra week after Thanksgiving before Christmas this year. Maybe that's why November went so fast.

I don't know why I just put on the collection of songs I made on Spotify to remember Adam by starting with Jack Johnson's version of Imagine. Oh dear, how it puts me back to finding out  the worst news of my life. This past Sunday I had more crying spells than I've had in a good long time.

I did go through all the ornaments this week and made the tree look halfway decent. I hadn't done that since Adam died. I don't think I bothered to decorate at all the first year. The second Christmas, I half-assed it.

I'm cleaning out the closet known as the "Harry Potter Closet" under the stairs to find the Christmas wrappings and get rid of some the repository of sh-- that I've thrown in there over the years. There are things I just can't throw out...the Teavana box from the last Christmas gift Adam gave me to name one. I know it's stupid, it's just a box (and a very pretty one at that and I've always been a sucker for boxes).

I keep coming back to the computer to listen to the playlist. I'm not fancy enough for a blue tooth speaker like everyone else. I'm not making good progress on the closet.

Did I mention Adam liked the song Fast Car by Tracey Chapman? I listened the heck out of that album when I was pregnant in 1987-88. It must have passed through to him. Songs like The Rip Tide had extra meaning for me after Adam's death. Rip my heart out. Which I am grateful for, for I know I loved.

Everything that you love, you will eventually lose, but in the end, love will return in a different form.
--Franz Kafka and the Pervasiveness of Loss 

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

November 2012

He always took his shoes and socks off first. We could always find rolled up socks on the living room floor when Adam visited. He was always the last to bed and usually the last to get up.

2012 sounds like a long time ago, but it doesn't feel that long ago. This picture came up on my Facebook memories today from 6 years ago:

When I look through that folder of pictures it looks like the day my mom went over to Springfield with me and we had lunch at the Chesapeake with Adam. We took some blustery pictures at Scheel's messing around on the statues. It's a blustery day today, also gloomy.

Mr. Lincoln, I presume

Here is mom at lunch looking delighted! 

Time goes so fast, people. So fast. Do not take one day or hour or minute for granted. 

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Darker Days Ahead

As the hubbub of October events draw to an end, and the time changes backwards, I have been feeling the familiar constriction in my whole being as winter approaches and the sun hangs lower. The holidays used to be a bright spot, but now they are a reminder of the one who is not here.

Don't get me wrong, I have moments of contentment and even joy, many of them. Acceptance of Adam's death grows stronger. There are days I believe all lives are short, even those who live to 100, and we will all be together somewhere sooner than later. I'm reminded that the pleasure of growing old or older is compromised by seeing more and more death. A 55 year old woman died this week in our little town, the mayor's wife, who was seemingly full of beauty and light. We will all deal with death in time, so that is comforting and makes me more human. I'm nothing special.

So it is time to hunker down and focus on projects that can be done indoors, and keeping as physically active as I can (thank you fitbit). And before I blink my eyes, spring will be here again, and the cycle continues.

Sunset on the labyrinth

Saturday, October 27, 2018


i feel so refined listening to live trumpet concertos and sipping espresso in my Florida hideaway.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Another Walk in memory of Adam

I could have not have asked for two better events: Out of the Darkness Macomb/McDonough County last week, and Springfield yesterday. The weather was cool and cloudy but clear. Driving into Springfield the 3 smokestacks are always the familiar beacon and I heard the song Perfect by Ed Sheeran. I was the first to arrive, always nervous who will attend the Springfield Walk and how we will find each other as the crowd is usually in the thousands, or seems like it anyway. Cal was first to arrive followed by Betsy. I knew Matt W was coming from Arizona for the first time, and I wasn't sure I would recognize him. Ashleigh and Tim rolled up next with two more friends from Edwardsville, Michael Nickerson (known to Betsy as Ned Nickerson, Nancy Drew's boyfriend- how she remembers this I don't know) and Nick Ludwig (dead ringer for Nick Jonas).

Nickerson is in a full foot and calf cast and can't walk much. Ashleigh phoned Matt and he was on his way with Zach. Jon was dealing with an overflowing toilet but would make it soon. We then saw Sam and met his girlfriend. A pale young man named Michael joined us, and hauntingly reminded me of Adam. He said he knew Adam, but not well. Brent and his wife Kallie completed the group, and I was happy for the great showing of support and caring, most of these 'kids' were at Adam's memorial service in 2016, and I didn't get to talk to them much at all, so this opportunity each year is especially important to me.

(some thought it was macabre to pose with goofy props)

After the Walk I had reservations at Kiku, the first restaurant that Adam worked at in Springfield, but they didn't open until 4:30 and it was only a little after 3. The group decided to meet for a drink at Mowie's Cue, a pool hall/pub near the UIS campus they were all familiar with. It turned out to be a great way to kill time, as several played pool, and everyone relaxed and broke into different groups to talk. Brent was especially gregarious, partially because he grew up near Macomb and lived here for awhile. He easily regaled us with Tut stories, and it was really nice he was so natural talking about him.

Having a shot of Crown for Adam

We all met after that at Kiku where most of the party had hibachi at two big grills at our table. It was fun, relaxed, and easy, and I am so grateful to these guys to take the time to fellowship together. It seemed kind of a like a reunion for many of them, as they graduated college several years ago and have gone in separate directions. It's clear that there was a pretty strong bond among them, which again, made me feel happy for Adam. Sherry, the owner whom Adam had worked for, gave me a huge discount and hugs. I know she felt terrible about Adam's suicide.

Matt from Arizona, Michael (doppleganger), Brent (before the fire)

Ned Nickerson and Nick or Joe Jonas at Kiku

This morning on the way from the hotel to Michael's for a bit of shopping, I felt that sinking feeling after the high. I saw the Men's Wearhouse where Adam was fitted for his tux for Eli's wedding during the last month of his life. Reality set in. The only reason for yesterday's high, was Adam's low. He kept this life in Springfield separate from us, and it is gratifying to know his friends were such good people, and we heard some new Tut stories. However, as Betsy said, I would trade knowing all these friends of Adam to have him back. It was a long ride back to Macomb, but I'm feeling as well as I believe I can under the circumstances. Two amazing weekends surrounded by warm hearts and lots of love.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Another amazing Out of the Darkness Walk wrapped this past weekend. We raised over $14,000 so far, the highest total by far in three years. Over 200 Walkers (our mayor estimated closer to 400) signed in on a rainy but not cold day in October to remember loved ones lost to suicide, support each other and make a difference in our community. Adam's Uncle Kevin made it in from Omaha for his first Walk, and represented the Tuttles well! Everyone enjoyed visiting with Kevin.

To see an entire high school football team walk up to our event  in uniform; it's sobering. One life changed so many. The impact of suicide is enormous on young people. I see it in my own sons, and I saw it on Saturday. The most prevalent comment I heard was how these young people brought out the emotions in everyone.

The torrential downpour just as we took off to walk could be seen as a negative.  However, there was no lightning and it wasn't too cold. I choose to see the positive, the resilience, the metaphor for overcoming a tragedy and making the world a better place. We have to do things differently if we want to stem the increase in suicide.

Our team this year (many didn't make the pic):

Cal had so many friends and supporters come to hear him speak. Several spent the weekend with us and it was a joy to have the house full of so many amazing young adults. If I hear another complaint about "Millenials" I'm going to lose it! This generation is caring, thoughtful, bright and funny.

The support and love was felt strongly by me and I believe others that day and leading up to the Walk with donations pouring in from so many sources. The rain just made it more special.