Today, I sit. I think, I wonder.
It is so very hard to express to those around you what this means. She is not my co-worker, she is not my BFF, she is not a random woman at the grocery store. She is my sister. The one who I grew with. The one I fought with. The one who will never know how much I protected as a child.
Our father left when I was 4 and she was 2. All of the anger, and fall out, fell upon me over the years. She was protected. She lived in a bubble. I have always felt my sister lived the charmed life. She has always been obvious to that around her. Just worried about herself.
This is in no way a judgement. I am only making a statement. Each of us are different and in how we deal with that around us. I have always allowed too much of the outside to the inside of my bubble. It has dominated my life. My husband’s. So and so needs this done or wants us to do that. I have never been able to draw that line in the sand. My sister always did.
We may live 14 hours apart and see each other rarely. We do not talk enough. However, she is my sister. I would do anything in life to protect her and always have. The night I called her to tell her she had better come to see “C” as things were getting worse. She was dating her now husband. She worked night shift as a bartender. She called for him to bring the computer to work to book a flight. She worked until 2 am and was on a flight home by 6:30. As she was booking the flight he said to her “I didn’t think you were that close.” She looked him in the eye and said “She is my sister! She called me to come. I am going home.”
I want to think good thoughts. I want the best to happen. In 24-28 weeks, I would like to meet my nephew or niece. There is something to be said for ignorance. Unfortunately, I am not able to fake the ignorance. I know the stress of a high-risk pregnancy. I know the joy of getting to the next goal. I would spend the next 9 months in bed if that is what it took for me to be in the same boat. However, it is unlikely that will ever happen. 40 has come and gone. Just like clockwork mother nature calls to crumble my world every 24-28 days.
I send prayers that all will be well. That there will be few to no bumps in this road. That he/she is as stubborn as their cousin “C” and will fight the fight.
I am happy for my sister, but my heart is still shattered.
There is no way to explain all of the emotions. Only those in this “Club“, ever truly know.
First full week back to work after the holidays. Whew.. Man am I tired. Hahaha.
I know I know. I said no resolutions. However, that does not mean that I cannot think ahead for the coming year. Some would say that this is progress in the life a person living with grief. I would say it is a means of protection. A means to fill ones day, the emptiness.
What will we do with ourselves this year to fill the gaps?
For a year +, I have been following Bucket List Publications. To use only one word to describe Lesley and her blog is very difficult. I shall take a stab and say “extraordinary”. Each year she makes a Bucket List. One with dreams and ideas that can be realized throughout the year. She has just posted the 2016 list. Each year, when I read her list, I immediately get excited with anticipation to see how the year unfolds. To see the photos. To read the blog post of adventures.
I think we all need to take some hints from Lesley and make a little list of our own.
Challenge – you do not have to share with us. However, everyone that reads this post, make a list of your own. No matter how big or how small. Make a list of some things you would like to see and do in 2016. They do not have to be far away or expensive. It can be as simple as learning to skate.
The hard part. Making sure that you get to cross them off!
I have always been guarded with my inner most self. There are only a handful of people that ever truly knew-know just who is inside of here. Umm an ex-boyfriend, one ex-fiancé, 4 very close friends and some guy I call hubby. We shall refer to them as the chosen. Hahaha. No, I really do not think that much of myself, however given my childhood, defense was always a safer bet with ones feelings, emotions, inner most secrets. Otherwise, they could be used against you.
Since “C“ passed away, I have taken my defenses to a new level. Entering the blogging world has given me that outlet that I have needed to express myself. The one that only the “chosen“ know is in here. I have a tough, defensive exterior. However, deep inside I am much more complex, more shattered than I have ever been.
It is funny sometimes what triggers thoughts and memories. Just looking at that calendar pic from yesterday triggered this…
In my childhood I attended a summer camp. As I got older there were also winter sessions. In my later teens, I only had time for winter, as I had summer employment. 23 years ago this week I received a letter. We had met at the lake on summer break. His best friend and I knew each other from summer camp and school sports. Thus, began my friendship and beginnings of my relationship with my first love. It was through these letters that we learned of each other. So much is lost these days with social media. One line and one word answers.
When I met my DH I was working the night shift. I also had a second job, working every other weekend. I lived alone and needed the extra to pay the bills. When we met, we had little time to spend together due to our jobs. Therefore, we spent much time conversing on the phone in the evenings.
I realize in life that not all are blessed with these types of relationships. Please, let me clarify. I am in no way trying to imply that I have a perfect marriage, good communication or the like. We are normal, working, tired individuals. However, I feel that given how our relationship began, I feel that it has helped us in many ways.
I see my brother and sister-in-law. They have been together for 5 years. They are glued to their individual phones. Yes, they communicate constantly. Perhaps too much given the phones are glued to them at all times. I mean we had play by plays from the boys at their bachelor party 3 hours away when we were at a dance club at 2 am. I look at them and wonder what we would be like had we met now. Would we be as close. Thank goodness I will never have to know!
I will begin this post by saying, please do not judge. Hahaha..
This weekend I had big plans. Clean the house, basement and sort/begin to wrap what Christmas presents I have purchased. Well that did not go as planned. I began by finishing up a present, I had been working on, while watching a movie. (I moved my sewing table to 4 feet from the basement TV!) This followed by me thinking.. Ummm I could watch another movie while I wrap. After checking things out I decided on Magic Mike XXL. I just wanted something that took no thinking and would be entertaining.
Well I got more than I bargained for. As the movie progressed, I began to think of my carefree days. You know the ones where you woke up on Friday and decided that you would rather visit a friend in a city 6 hours away than stay home this weekend. In those days I was single and working the night shift, 6 pm until 3 am. I would grab a bag and after work, hit the road, getting there when she got up Saturday AM. Those were the days.
Yes, this movie brought on a bit of nostalgia. Watching the “male entertainers” take a trip of comradery, made me think of my childhood friends. My “wild” twenties. In my twenties, I worked hard and played medium. Hahahaa. Some may say otherwise but I like to think I still maintained some decorum. I have been caught in a few compromising positions in my time. But hey that only added to the fun!
I got thinking of friends of the past. I grew up in an age when we no longer had pen pals on paper but chatted in the on-line world. Yes, I was an IRC chick. I spent a great deal of time chatting on the channels. These friendships across the miles gave me an insight into things I never would have experienced otherwise. I have even had the pleasure of meeting some in person.
Then I got to thinking about now. DH and I live in a constant wave of grief coupled by stress. However, we need for our own sakes to pull back to those days of the carefree. We have to re-write what would be our future. Life made different choices for us. WAIT! I never wrote a thing in my 20’s. I had the basic plans. I worked 2 jobs and looked after the important things and that left my play time to be mine. Perhaps that is how I need to look at our 40’s!
My 40’s will once again be my playground. DH and I are heading out-of-town for the old lady birthday. Looking ahead this week I think we will be exercising some of this carefree crap! Hahahaa.. We have the basics covered. A place to sleep what else do we need! Just each other.
I read a post this morning, that got me to thinking. This blogger, My Perfect Breakdown, touches me in so many ways. She is thoughtful and insightful and filled with much love. Her most recent post reminds me so much of our family struggles and lives.
Family holidays, the times when you wish to see family, friends, cousins from afar. The times when you want that sense of security and love. They are not always so.
My DH and I both come from large families. His much larger than mine. We have siblings and many cousins. Many of which are as close as a sibling. We each grew up very close to our grandparents. We are blessed with these memories and occasions.
Then we married. My parents separated when I was 4 years old. I have lived my entire life with a split family. This has been a note of tension with my in-laws since day one. They do not understand or respect the parameters which I must navigate through each holiday. To ensure that each and every parent and grandparent has been checked off the list.
Christmas looks much like this.
- Work until noon Christmas Eve
- Last minute stops at the stores on way home
- Prepare super for parents, in-laws etc for 4 pm (I began this tradition thinking it would help the checklist…)
- Clean up supper
- We head to church for 6:30 pm. We switch between his parents and mine each year.
- After church we head to DH’s Aunt and Uncles for Christmas Eve to see his cousins and spend time together. (Usually getting home by 1 or 2 am)
- Christmas morning can be any number of things. Breakfast at my in-laws, followed by dinner at my parents and supper is always at my Grandmother’s at 5:30 pm. At my grandmother’s I will see my father.
- Boxing day we go to my parents to see their gifts and usually boxing day shopping followed by supper at my In-laws.
It is a constant schedule change and mix up to ensure we have been everywhere, and at the times they dictate we be there. Within all of this we go to our son’s grave to light a candle and spend time with him as well.
Easter and Thanksgiving are much the same. As I have aged, I feel there is no quality time anymore as we are rushed between them all. I try to hint at some to change schedules to different days. So that we all do not feel rushed and can take time to spend with all but that never happens.
DH has grown to dislike all holidays. This weekend will be no different. Often, Tuesday morning heading to work is a relief. Things are back to normal.
I never wanted to be in this state for myself. I strive to calm holidays down for my DH’s sake and so that we can enjoy. I just struggle to find the balance.
Sending you all warm wishes for this holiday weekend. May you be surrounded by love and good memories.
Lately these things keep creeping into my thoughts. To be truthful, it is not like it is not ever-present. Although, each day a different scene or memory may take center stage.
This particular memory is very close to the surface. Most likely it was the anticipation of Twin 1 and Twin 2 and their journey home from the hospital that has sparked these thoughts.
The hospital where our son was born is 58 minutes from our home. I have made that drive many many times. Most good and some not so good. The afternoon our son passed away. We went back to our “room” which was a 6×8′ with a bed, a night stand and a local call only telephone to pack our lives up to return home. Knowing, that we were leaving the one and only thing that mattered most, we packed and headed out.
In the next 90 seconds I was introduced to the life after. My new life as a Mother with empty arms. As we left our “room” we encountered a Prenatal group doing their hospital tour. It was in those moments it hit me what day it was. WEDNESDAY. For last 3 weeks, a new group came through, every Wednesday. I had just said goodbye to our son, and am instantly faced with 15 couples, days and weeks from birth. All I could stammer out was “Oh shit, it is Wednesday. I need out. Get me the H out of here”
Out to the parking lot we go. Suitcase, purse, coats, cards and well wishes in tow. We place everything in the trunk and got into the car. I decide to drive. It has been three weeks since my C-section so I am going to anyway and my husband looks shell-shocked. Best if I drive.
I put the keys into the ignition and just sit there looking at the building. There we sit for minutes upon minutes. The back seat is empty. The car seat is at home in a box. It was shipped the day before he was born. (it still sits in the same box unopened) We head out.
No one ever discussed how to drive home alone. We got home in record time that evening. I could not stand the torture. The utter pain and agony of leaving him there and driving our family home. DH and I held hands and cried. I will continue to relive that drive home for the rest of our lives.
Every time we head somewhere as a family. We relive parts of that journey. Our backseat is still empty.
The most favorite day of the school year has arrived in our next of the woods. I have just listened to a 30 minute conversation between three of my co-workers about getting their combined 5 children off to school. I love seeing the results. The hairdo’s, the funny faces, what happens after they are dropped off pristine at the door…
That being said. This has been a very long 30 minutes to endure. Based on the conversation here and the agreement between these three there is nothing worse in life that getting them ready for pictures.
Here I sit in the middle of all of this everyday. I will never be that Mommy. I will never be the one sharing school photos. When he graduates, I will not be able to do up a book of all his school pictures for a keepsake. I will never have these memories.
The only time I had to worry about picking out an outfit for my child, was for his funeral.
Some days are harder than others. To all your parents out there do not sweat the small stuff. In 10 years, the fact that Jack or Sally had a cowlick or oreos in their teeth will only make that picture more special. It is capturing the true essence of your child’s personality.
Happy picture day all!