How Can You Drain Something Already Empty?

Sometimes I feel like I am surrounded on all sides by mountains whose tops are in the mist; I know they are high, but I don’t know how high.  Somehow, and at some point I have to scale those mountains, but right now all I can do is feel small, powerless and ineffectual and let those mountains loom large in my mind.  It is almost paralyzing how much has to be done.  So my title stands, how can I feel drained when I was empty to begin with?  It’s definitely one of life’s mysteries.

Today I tackled one of the tasks that needed to be done, and that was acknowledge the kindness and generosity of family and friends.  We had a large turnout for the visitation and funeral.  We also had a great response to Kevin’s Endowment Fund.  Necessarily, then, I need to make a point of thanking people.  So today I got the thank you notice prepared for the newspaper and it will be published this Thursday in our local paper.  I also started on the individual thank you cards.  These are much more emotional.  I don’t know how many I will do today, but I do know, that however many I get done, it is that many less I have to do.

For those interested, here is the text that will go in the paper on Thursday:

BATCHELOR, Kevin – I would like to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to family and friends for the love and support you provided throughout Kevin’s illness.  We were blessed to have the right people come into Kevin’s life at the right time – our family doctor, Dr. Kathleen Michalski, whose compassion and concern for Kevin helped us immeasurably as we faced the inevitable.  Our visiting nurse, Annie, Kevin anticipated your visits so much; he appreciated your advice, kindness and care.  Many thanks to our friends who steadily maintained their support in a myriad of ways as Kevin’s health declined.  Special thanks to those dear friends, Karin and Betty-Ann, who got Kevin to that one last opera, it was one of the best gifts ever.  Steve, Stu, Pat and Joe, long-time friends – your regular check-ins with Kevin were always bright spots for him, even on days when he was tired.  To his nephews and their children: Todd, Glenn, Symonne, Jakob, Alex and Liam – you know he loved you and it brought him great joy just to have you around.  Thank you to my sister Marilyn who worked her magic at RVH whenever we had a visit, it made a huge difference to our stress levels knowing you were there for us, as well as your support outside of the hospital.  A special thank you to June, Kevin’s sister, who has her own battle with the “c” word yet still made a point to join us almost every day after Kevin’s diagnosis, bringing tasty treats to tempt Kevin into eating and exercising with him during commercials for the Y & R.  And thank you to my children, Jesse (Donna), Kelly (Ian) and Christopher (Justine) and grandchildren Troy, Gareth and Lennox – it was a tremendous gift to your father spending time with him throughout this ordeal, talking about everything under the sun while you gave your love freely to him.  I know he values and treasures you still.  And lastly thanks to all those friends, coworkers, family members and former students who contributed to the Kevin Batchelor Endowment Fund administered by the Orillia Museum of Art and History; the response has been overwhelming and demonstrates how one man’s passion for the arts can bring a community together for a common good.