4| Death

A1718
We dance to keep spirits up.

…Because eventually, things start going downhill and we don’t know how to stop it.

A1719
“Hey Monka, what are you doing…Monka?” – Xi

Did it begin with Marin’s disappearance? Or with Monka’s death? He slipped into a peaceful rest by the fireplace…my heart hurts slightly less knowing we gave him a good home, but it hurts for my children. Little Xialla didn’t understand…until she did.

A1720

Cayson has been struggling so much lately, I am afraid how this will affect him.

A1721

As for Xi, I wanted to protect her from this forever.

A1722
A1723

After it was all said and done, I went for a run. We all deal with things in our own way.

A1724

Oscar had been out at one of his school sports…and he did not take the news well.

A1725

I take comfort in the knowledge that Red will seemingly outlive all of us. I don’t know what I would do if he died right now. He’s my rock, like he always has been.

A1726
A1727

We each deal with things in our own way. As time moves on and our children no longer need us, we can delve further into our own hobbies.

A1728
A1730

Hope is over a lot, but not to ask for news anymore. I think she knows I have none on Marin, even though I desperately wish to find some very soon. Instead she takes whatever comfort she can.

A1731

But not everything is super bad and gloomy. Even if I feel that Cayson isn’t telling me everything like he used too…or any of my children, really.

A1732
Happy YA birthday Cay!!!! – teary eyed Kit
A1733

My first born is now a young man. I couldn’t be prouder and yet, Lyssa and I are sad…because he’ll be going off soon to do whatever he wants, and we will support him. But…agh, parenting sucks sometimes! You just want to keep them safe but you have to let them go fly sometime…

A1734

“Happy birthday Cayson.” Just because he was nearly as tall as me didn’t mean I couldn’t lift him up! I was still stronger than him! Even if it hurt my back a bit…

A1736
A1737
A1738
A1739

We all did our own things within the house, some more productive than others…

A1740
A1742
“You know a lot about alcohol Cayson” – Oscar
A1743

It felt weird to be able to do my own thing a bit, but also good? It’s…bittersweet. Hope and I’s kids are growing up, and we are getting older. It’s just the circle of life.

A1744
A1745
A1746

Then life can give us a big twist and surprise us! Well, I guess Xialla can add this to her science report…”my ghost dog Monka contributed to this project by licking the baking soda.” I bet I’ll be getting a call from her teacher soon!

A1747

But, life ends and lives continue, so we will be okay. We’re Brooks after all. We endure. Wherever Marin is, I know she is strong enough to handle whatever is happening, at least until we find her.

A1748

Even if it feels like we never will. Just…there are no traces or leads. It’s as if…she planned this.

A1749

Work is getting harder, with the stress of Xialla and now Marin. I think I will enjoy retirement…if I can stay awake long enough to get there.

A1750

Speaking of my little princess, she has been quite the busy bee on her badges and manners!

A1751

Oscar has been spending a lot of time on his computer, studying for tests and prepping for college opportunities and internships…whatever that means.

A1752

As for Cayson…am I a bad parent if I say I am worried? He seems…really off. But he’s an adult now and old enough to make his own choices…he hasn’t mentioned university yet. He just likes to make videos, cook, and mix drinks for his followers.

A1753

Yet I feel like Red always knows more of what’s going on in this house than I do…and I wish he could speak and tell me what’s up, so that I can help.

Until next time.

Andi

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