Thursday, March 29, 2012

I Wasn't Jumping, For Me It Was A Fall. It's A Long Way Down To Nothing At All

     The title of this post was taken from the song Stuck In A Moment by U2
* This post was written weeks ago. I just didn't want to share until now.

     The clouds thicken overhead and the skies turn grey. There's a storm coming, I can feel it in the air. I open the front door and watch from the couch. The kids play quietly in their rooms. I hear one splatter of rain and then the heavens open up. I hear thunder in the distance, and see the bright glow from the lightening. This is my favorite kind of afternoon, the ones when the storms come. I love the dark ominous feel that the storm brings, as if it's trying to show us who is in control. In those moments I feel at peace, almost like the storm raging outside matches how I feel on the inside. Even though the rain falls, the thunder cracks, the lightening strikes, and the wind howls, I find comfort in those moments. It brings me a sense of peace. Mason comes running and begs for me to shut the door. I hold him tight on my lap, wrapping my arms around his tiny little shoulders. I whisper in his ear "Mason watch. See if you can find the beauty raging in the storm."I'm not sure that he understands my words, but he calms and watches. Moments pass as I treasure the sweet smell of his little head mixed with that of the rain. He finally looks up at me...

Mom, does God make it rain?

I think he has a hand in all things.

Mom, do you think Dad can see the rain?

My love I think your Dad is always watching over us, and yes I'm sure he can see the rain.

Does it rain in Heaven?

I don't know sweetie.

He turns and gives me a kiss then asks to go play. It's cold where I held his warm body, and I pull a blanket over my lap. I watch as the storm slows and the rain tapers off. I wonder if the storm raging in me will ever calm.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

It's Nearly Been A Year Since He's Been Gone, But We Still Sing His Goodbye Songs

     The title of this post was taken from the song Can't Get It Right Today by Joe Purdy. 

     I like to watch Desperate Housewives, I admit it. It's always been my way of ending the weekend. This is the final season for the show, and while I am a little sad to see it go I'm not heartbroken over it. Two weeks ago Mike, the husband of one of the main characters Susan, was shot and killed. This past week the show was centered around the funeral. I watched almost fascinated. Parts of Susan's performance as a grieving wife felt fake and unnatural, but who am I to judge. It got me thinking about things, and with it almost being a year now I started to reflect on April 14th 2011, and the days that followed. 
     April 14th 2011 was not a normal day, and from about 11:00 that day on I had an uneasy feeling that something wasn't right. I'm not going into all the details, but by the time I was driving home from my meeting at 4:15 that afternoon I was sobbing. I knew from the fact I hadn't been able to reach Mike on his phone, that something was horribly wrong. I sobbed as I pulled into the drive way, opened the door, ran upstairs, was a heart attack. I don't remember much from then on, and some things I don't want to share. I remember the police coming, I remember calling people. I remember my mom and sister showing up along with a lot of other people. I remember sitting on my front porch and being asked what funeral home I wanted to use. I remember my principal showing up and hugging me. I remember asking that the kids be brought to me so that I could let them know before they found out some other way. I remember sitting with them in the grass as I somehow managed to tell them their father had passed away. I will never forget the way Sebastian screamed. His scream will haunt me for the rest of my life. I will never forget Tyler's wide eyed stare as she tried to process what I was telling her. I will never forget the way Mason tried to wrap his head around what I was telling him and crying while taking cues from his siblings that something was terribly wrong even if he didn't yet understand it. I finally remember leaving the house. My mom drove me to my sisters as I left everyone at my house, the police, the funeral home, friends who had come, and I'm not sure who else. I remember texting Lee Ann and her calling me back. I do not remember anything else that night. The next day I remember going to the funeral home and making arrangements, then the cemetery, and then the flower shop. I remember writing a check for the burial plots as I stood next to where he was going to be buried, my dad gently tried to take care of it for me, but I had this overwhelming need to do it myself. Over the next few days I mostly remember sitting on Carl (Carl is a chair for anyone who doesn't already know it). There are very vague images of people sitting near me, and the kids coming to hug me, but I can't clearly place anything. I remember the family night/viewing in bits and pieces. I remember it being terribly hot in the funeral home. I remember the line of people that went out of the building. I remember hugging a lot of people, but I can't put together conversations or faces, and I don't even really remember what the kids were doing. I know that at some points they sat with the kids of friends and talked. I remember several people asking to put things in his coffin to honor his memory. Mandaly found someone with a bottle of water, because it was so hot. I don't remember much of the funeral. I remember Mandaly speaking, and then holding my hand so that I could make it through what I wanted to say. I remember Mason squirming in his seat and getting frustrated during the service. He fell asleep on one of the pews. I remember hugging people, but I don't remember the 20 minute ride to the cemetery. I don't remember anything about the graveside service. I remember hugging some friends afterward, and picking out flowers I wanted to keep. It's probably a little sad that I can't even account for what my children were doing most of the time during those initial days. I can only say that I am incredibly grateful for the many people who stepped in to fill a role that I clearly was not capable of. I remember people trying to make me eat, but I couldn't. I didn't eat for 6 or 7 days. I remember spending the first night back in the house alone while the kids stayed at Mandalys. I do remember spending an afternoon going through Mike's things with my family and putting aside things I knew I wanted to keep, and then getting rid of things that weren't important. The only reason I remember most things from the months that followed is because I blogged about it. Sometimes I go back and read those early posts, or heck most posts, and I don't remember half of what I wrote about much less actually writing it. I'm grateful for whatever inspired me to write. It helps me not feel so disconnected from this last year of my life. 
     In part of that Desperate Housewives episode, Susan is surrounded by her friends when she blurts out a serious of numbers. It's the voicemail password for her husband, and she starts naming off all the things she needs to do, like turn his phone off and figure out how to service her car, and worrying over who is going to teach her son how to play baseball. I related so well to this part of the episode. I remember having these random thoughts of things that I needed to do. I would just start to fall asleep and then I'd remember something else that needed to be dealt with and it would consume me for hours. It was a vicious cycle, and while it has slowed down as I've been able to complete most of the paperwork and things that needed done, I still have moments when something will hit me and I think "DANG! How has it taken me so long to remember that I needed to do that!"
One year...365 days
365 days = 52 weeks
52 weeks = 12 months
 One Month = 4 Weeks and 2 Days
4 Weeks and 2 Days = 30 Days
30 days = 720 Hours
720 Hours = 43,200 Minutes
43,200 Minutes = 2,592,000 Seconds

2,592,000 = 25,920,000 Deciseconds  
25,920,000 Deciseconds = 2,592,000,000 Milliseconds
2,592,000,000 Milliseconds = 2.592 x 10^15 Picoseconds

Once again how is this possible! I have come up with a way to make April 14th a little easier. See that is my friend Deb's birthday. She spent that entire week last year with my family. She cleaned, helped with food, helped with my kids, bathed Mason, and so much more. Even though she is no longer here with us, I will put my efforts into remembering her on her birthday. That sounds better than focusing on Mike's passing. I often wonder if he was there as she crossed from this life to the next. Was he one of the ones that was there to greet her? Did he hug her and thank her for all she did for his little family? Do they both watch over us now? I can almost see them taking bets on how long it will take me to screw something up :). I miss them both dearly. I don't know how much I'll post between now and the 14th. I feel the weight of it all so very clearly. 

Lyrics for the song Can't Seem To Get It Right Today

I just can't seem to get it right today
I just can't seem to get it right today
I just can't seem to get it right today
I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh, I guess I'm gonna give up

It's nearly been a year since he's been gone
But we still sing his goodbye songs
And she knows, she should move on
But she just can't let him go
No, she just can't let him go

I'm sorry if I made you wanna cry
I'm sorry if I made you wanna cry
You should know I never meant to hide
I just hate bringin' you down
Oh, I just hate bringin' you down

I just can't seem to get it right today
I just can't seem to get it right today
I just can't seem to get it right today
I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh, I guess I'm gonna give up

And I dropped my paintbrush in the dirt
I'm still numb by just how much I hurt
I cut my hand, wait for it to work
But I just couldn't bring him back
No, I just couldn't bring him back

I just can't seem to get it right today
Oh, I just can't seem to get it right today
I just can't seem to get it right today
I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh, I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh, I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh, I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh, I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh, I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh Lord, I said I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh Lord, I said I guess I'm gonna give up

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Know Where You Need To Be, Even Though It's Not Here With Me

    The title of this post was taken from the song I Miss You by Miley Cyrus.

      The school talent show is on the 30th of this month. They had their first tryouts on Tuesday. I forgot to bring Tyler's gymnastics suit to school. I had flashbacks from last year as explained in this post. Tyler was a little upset, but I assured her that I would have it all together by today's tryout. It's been an year and a half since she has been in gymnastics and even though she is still amazing, she is a little rusty. She's been stretching, working on her routine, and adding some dance moves. We decided that we would tie dye a shirt and personalize it, then just wear a cool pair of shorts rather than wearing a leotard. She finally picked out a song to do her routine to. It's titled I Miss You by Miley Cyrus, here is the last verse.

"I know you're in a better place, yeah
                                                       But I wish that I could see your face, 
oh I know you're where you need to be
Even though it's not here with me."

Yes, my darling angel is dedicating this performance to her dad. She even picked out letters to iron on the back of her shirt to say "Daddy's Girl". I'm glad she wants to do this, and I'm so proud of her, but it absolutely breaks my heart. I'll be on stage to spot her as she does her round off back handspring, and I know I won't be able to hold back the tears. Mason is even thinking about getting involved and doing a few forward rolls during her routine. 
     I had to go out in the garage yesterday to get Tyler's balance beam, she's going to use it during the talent show. I don't go out in the garage much. I haven't gone through everything in there and so I never know when I'll run into things of Mike's that I wasn't expecting. The house holds so many of Mike's treasures and memories, but I have organized it from top to bottom and I know where all of those things are. There are no surprises. There are surprises in the garage and I'm not ready to deal with some of them. One of them is his day planner from 1996. I saw it as soon as I opened the garage and the tears came. I brought that and a drawing pad he had in the house. When I'm a little more composed I'll post some things from them. I didn't expect some things to be so hard. Mike passed before Easter last year. This Easter is not a first for us, but as I walk through the stores and I see Mike's favorite candy from this time of year I can't help but to choke back tears. I was stupid to think that after the firsts it would be a little easier. 
     Nothing seems to be working out the way I want them to. We have yet to buy the last two lots I need in order to build the house. The lawyer is working on it, but it's been a much slower process than I anticipated. We probably, rather I know we won't, get to move as fast as we wanted. At this rate I'm not sure we will be out of this house before summer is over. I just want things to go my way is that too much to ask? If this last year is any indication then yes, it is way too much to ask.
    Okay, I'll end on a happy note. My nephew Ender turned two today, and I can not wait to celebrate his birthday on Saturday. He is so freaking adorable, and I hate that I don't see him more. I am also in complete and total denial about them moving at some point in the future. I guess I'll be flying to Washington state as much as I can. I hate that now they are partially across the state much less across the country. For now I'm going to celebrate little Ender and the joy he brings to those around him. Of course I love Scott and Marie as well!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

And In The Embers She Remembers All The Places That She’s Been

     The title of this post was taken from the song Make It Last by Stroke 9.

      I sit staring at it, the curser on the screen. One blink, two, then ten, I've lost count but I know I've been sitting here for awhile. The curser blinks at me saying "write something, type something, do something." I just stare at it. I no longer know what to say. I no longer know that I have a voice for the part of me I've lost. I don't know if I can continue to try to put into words all the crazy things that go through my head. The curser continues to blink. I pick up a pencil instead, maybe my words will flow through a different luck. All I get are little squiggles and lines. I stare at his picture instead. It's the one of him on the 4th of July a few years ago. He's sitting in a chair wearing his work hat, and his Imperial Domination shirt. What gets me about this picture is the smile on his face. It's just a small one, his lips barely curve up, but it's enough to see the sparkle in his eye, and to know that in that very moment he was happy. In that moment forever captured in time he was happy. I have this same picture on my desk at work. I can't look at it too long during the day or I'll cry. On a sticky note above that picture is a quote from someone I know who recently lost their wife, it says "It's the pain of a separation we're dealing with, and the hope of a reunion that encourages us to be obedient and faithful." I love this quote. 
     I find that I hate the warmer weather. I hate the thought of spring. I hate the patches of grass that are growing longer, knowing that I'll have to mow the lawn soon. I'm preparing myself for next month when it will mark one year since his passing, but I didn't expect to hate spring. I didn't expect the warm nights to make me lonely again. Once the kids go to bed all I want to do is sit on the front porch, but it brings back so many memories that it's overwhelming. I hate that I no longer find joy in so many things. I hate that I feel guilty when I am happy. I hate that nagging little voice in the back of my head that screams "You shouldn't be happy YOUR HUSBAND IS DEAD!" I hate when I look at the kids and realize all the things they will never have their dad there for. I hate how angry that makes me, and then I hate being angry. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Now How Many Days In A Year. She Woke Up With Hope, But She Only Found Tears.

      The title of this post was taken from the song Absolutely by Nine Days.

      I haven't felt like writing lately. I don't want to talk about the good, bad or the ugly. However, I find that tonight I cannot sleep and so here I am. Over the last month or so I've felt like the ball in a pinball machine. One minute I'm sitting quietly, feeling at peace and then someone or something pulls back the trigger and I'm off and running, bouncing from here to there until I finally fall into the black hole at the bottom. The process just repeats itself, over and over again. My moods change often, and I often don't know how to deal with it. The only place where things remain a constant is at work. I can put myself in work mode, and do all the things I need to do, but after work my emotions are random. I don't know if it has to do with the one year mark coming up in April, or if I'm just putting too much pressure on myself. Whatever it is I don't like it. 
     Wednesday it will have been 11 months. I feel like on that day almost a year ago I fell into a deep dark hole, like Alice when she fell down the rabbit hole. Everything has been upside down, too big or small, and nothing fits correctly. Then, I feel like I'm running from someone who keeps yeliing "Off with her head!" as tragedy rains down. I have some beautiful things going on in my life, but it's hard for me to always see it. I want the pieces of my life to fall into place. I feel like I duct tape a piece of myself together only to have something happen that rips another hole in my soul. Why can't I just be happy...all the time? Why can't my life resemble something normal without me always worrying about what is going to happen next.