This is my rough draft completely unedited. For a full explanation go to Part I.

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Today – Part VIII – Rough Draft

The next week was a blur. His dad had lead him away from the accident, and driven him home. His mother had wept when she heard the news. Kael didn’t cry then. He looked forward. The wall of his house stood not 15 from him but his eyes could see so much further. He could see past the wall past what even a window could have offered him. Kael was searching the heavens for his Willow. He didn’t even know how he had this ability, his mind flitted from place to place. He found nothing, this isn’t heaven he thought to himself this is hell. With that he blinked his eyes and was brought back to the present.

“…take the kids with us.” Kael’s mother offered.

“No!” His vehemence surprised even him. He didn’t have to think about that. His baby Willow was chopped down before she reached her branches out fully, and he couldn’t stand the thought of sleeping alone. The infant was fast asleep in his father’s arms. Carinen was watching. She was still so young, but her big blues eyes never missed a detail. She watched Kael, and she watched his parents but she said nothing. She knew something was wrong, and she may have sensed it better even than Kael. Kael knew she would start to ask questions, he was so glad she spoke so few words. He didn’t know what he could take.

It’s was then that it hit him. They won’t even remember their mother. Carinen may remember a feeling, or at least be able to look at pictures of the two of them, but Levi wouldn’t even know the wonderful woman that gave him his green eyes, and his entire life.

Kael resolved then to not forget and to let them know that their mother had been beyond perfection. Tears rolled down his face and this time the full body jerks that are associated with an uncontrolled cry. His parents stayed with him, but eventually the tears slowed and he asked them to go home.

The first night was by far the hardest, he wouldn’t say any night after that was any easier but the first night couldn’t have been any worse. The Infant wanted milk which he couldn’t offer accept out of a bottle which just wasn’t the same. Carinen cried much more frequently than normal and Kael couldn’t blame her because she knew everything had just changed in her life.

The funeral came next. It was the worst form of torture Kael could think of. Who had decided it was a good idea to have a huge get together and make the grieving family have to deal with people right after this happened. Kael wouldn’t call himself an introvert, but he certainly had to prepare himself to be in big crowds even in the best of times. So many people drained his energy in normal circumstances and right now he carried what felt like an elephant on his back. He could hardly straighten his shoulders. Lucky he sported a beard because there was no way he would be shaving.

Kael’s tongue became sharp in this time. If someone said even the slightest thing out of what he thought appropriate he would fire back in a manner intended to cut. Kael was sly most didn’t even realize they had been slighted, but he could see the hurt in other’s eyes. He didn’t like to hurt others, that is why he had become such a gentle fellow through the years. Acting young and speaking without thinking left many wounded. He pushed that out of his mind and went back to brooding of the loss of his forever.

Soon it was all done and he was back at his house. Now that he knew the funeral was done it was like his one task was complete. But when he got home he felt totally directionless. He certainly didn’t look forward to the funeral but it had given him some direction. He knew he had to do that. Now he had to do nothing and that scared him. For weeks he sat down and let the world pass before him. When Carinn wanted to play he would turn the TV on to entertain them. When Levi was fussy he would carry him around not seeing anything. When they were hungry he did all he could to feed them. When they were frustrated and cried, he would cry and yell back. In those few weeks his parents saved his sanity. They would come with food, they would watch the little ones.

Kael would sit in his house alone. He wouldn’t read or watch TV he would search the heaven for his Forever. No matter how far he looked from his couch in the living room. He never did find her.

The guilt of just doing the bare minimum for his kids began to stack upon him. He knew that he couldn’t ignore them like this. He was looking at two more of his forever’s sitting there wanting his attention.

By God’s good grace Kael had been Blessed to run an online business. He reduced his hours to just whenever the kids were asleep early in the morning or at nap time. He resolved that if somebody asked his kids what they did, they would answer, He plays with us.

His decreased time with his business had the opposite affect that he would have supposed. He had hired people to do most of the things he would normally do. He only completed the task that only he was qualified for. Turns out all those little things he did just because he “could” he wasn’t very good at. He gained more time and more money. He resolved to become super dad. He had to rise above a normal dad status, because these little ones were already so used to a super mom.

Kael began to do things, lots of things, little things, big thing, anything. His day did not have a time where he could search for the heavens. He wouldn’t let himself. Days became months and months became years.

His kids eventually began to see that other families had this grown woman that would follow them around. They began to understand what a traditional family looked like and they wanted to know why they didn’t have a mom.

Kael tried his best to explain what happened so they could understand. This was only marginally better then the first few times Carinen would just cry for mommy to hold her. Even this many years away from Willow and Kael had a hard time not crying when he thought of her not being there.

Kael had never like goodbyes. Not just with the people he was really close with. Even casual friends that moved away. It was like a world of possibilities had been taken from Kael. Kael loved to think about what could be and how great the world could be. He loved to see all the forward advances in technology and such. When you said goodbye you removed those possibilities and Kael hated that. When you died you said goodbye permanently and Kael did all he could to not brood on that fact.

This time was a little different because as he explained how perfect Willow was to him, he began to realize that her face was harder to visualize than it once had. His stomach lurched, was he forgetting? He had promised to not let the kiddos forget and he himself was losing it.

Frantically when he got home he began to write. Anything he could think of. He talked of her perfect golden hair. Of the way she laughed. He began to write their whole history together as far as he could remember.

This journal became his obsession. Whenever a spare moment revealed itself he would take out his journal and jot down more of Willow. This book in effect had become willow to him. The feeling he thought were fading came back with a vengeance. He remembered happy times, sad time, excited times, but they all ended in fact that Kael knew all of those times where the last times.

His focus on his kids was sidetracked this journal became his life’s work. Soon one journal was not enough. Two journal could never do the job. Kael knew every journal in the world could not capture the essence of Willow but yet he continued to write.

Days turned to months. After about six months of this it was like he came up for air and notice how much he had ignored his children. He was back to doing the bare minimum for them and the TV once again was doing more parenting than him. He had discovered that guilt was what kept many parent in line. And that guilt hit Kael once again. He looked at his beautiful children and just wondered how he could ever ignore them. They were getting older. Carinen was already eight and Levi five. That’s when it hit Kael. He had been without Willow longer than they had been together. It didn’t seem possible. They only had six short years together. Was that right? He thought surely Willow was with him since the beginning of time.

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