Marcus John Russell June 14, 1991 - October 26, 2008
We have reached another milestone. Year #3 without having my oldest son Marcus with us. He fought a brain tumor/cancer for 2 years before it took his life at the age of 17.
This has been one of the roughest year so far. Depression, anxiety seem to have taken over my second oldest Aaron and me during the last year. Aaron is now the exact same age that Marcus was at the time of his death. Aaron is now a senior and will now surpass his older brother in earthly age. Aaron will finish out the marching season playing the baritone, his brothers instrument, and continue on to graduate. He really hasn't dealt with his brothers death. He even avoided our activities today.
Noah and Jackson went with John and I out to the cemetery where we put together some foam model airplanes, F-16 Thunder birds which were his favorite military plane that he wanted to fly someday. We had our own airplane salute in memory of Marcus. I think it was good therapy for the younger boys. They both have been struggling, especially Jackson. We had lots of tears and the grumpies last night. Jackson was actually sobbing uncontrollably. The councilor told me that as Jackson grows up he will have to grieve over and over as he realizes what the loss really means. He was 6 when Marcus died, and now he is 9. Yesterday he couldn't figure out why he was so sad, all he knew was that he needed to go get something new to make him happy. He couldn't understand why he kept crying, and thought if he had something new to distract him, he would stop. By the time we got them to bed, both Noah and Jackson were in tears. I ended up climbing in bed with Jackson and letting him and Noah cry it out. We talked about Marcus and what he is doing. That it is ok to miss him and remember him, especially on days like today. I reminded him that he is watching over us and gives us little reminders to show that he is near. We talked about the funny things he has done since his passing.
Today, they picked out somethings that reminded them of Marcus and we took them to the cemetery to put around his headstone. Noah picked out some lizards, Marcus used to catch them when we lived in Arizona, he always wanted a bearded dragon, but his sqwimish Mom couldn't bring herself to do it. Jackson picked out some little planes and a little batman figure. Marcus was a military plane buff and his dream was to fly them someday. When Marcus was young he was obessed with batman and even as a teen, his last movie he saw in the theatre was "The Dark Knight."
Jackson picked out the patriotic balloon. Marcus always had a flag pinned up in his room. His heart was with the military and his country. He was talking to recruiters right before his cancer returned, he was going to find a way to get in and join the Marine Corp band, after his mission of course.
One of the hardest thing to deal with is watching my children grieve, find what this all means, and go on living, when I can't even deal with it all myself.
The best thing I have realized this month is that I really haven't hated the change of season's like I have the last 3 years. I mean I dreaded seeing the leaves change, the smell in the air, all the fall decorations and especially Halloween. Well, I still hate Halloween but it's not a loathing like before. My heart is healing, peace comes more often and I am "getting used" to Marcus' absence, and the pain that comes with it. Of course there are days when the grief takes over, but I take those days because it reminds me of the love I have been so fortunate to have and the promises I have made to make sure we are together again, forever, to never to be apart again.