Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

I feel it happening again.  Admittedly this time it took much longer for me to unravel.  I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not though?

I’m 5 weeks from welcoming another baby.  A little girl.  After everything, Darcy finally gets a sister.  Things feel completely incomplete (if that makes any sense?)

They’ve had me on Unisom for most of this pregnancy for sickness, so sleep has been a blessing.  Now as I’m nearing the end though, the insomnia is stronger than the pills and I find myself back to where I was when I was pregnant with Fletch.  Scared, sad, lonely, angry and just generally exhausted.  These rainbows really take a lot out of you.

The hormones probably don’t help either.  Or the screaming toddler or 8 year old with the attitude of a teenager. Sigh.  I thought this pregnancy would be easier, emotionally at least, because it was a girl. Well it’s hitting hard now.

It’s a reality smack of everything I’ve lost all over again.  It’s knowing that my mom isn’t here to help, which has been horrible with each pregnancy.  It’s knowing that Darcy gets to grow up with a sister, but Fletcher will never know his big brother.  They will never share that bond.

Maybe it’s because this is it for me.  I should be excited for that, I haven’t had easy pregnancies.  But it’s just another ending, another chapter of my life over and that makes me sad.

I cannot believe that she will be my fourth.  In a million years I never thought I would have so many children.  In a million years I never thought that I would lose one.

Happy Birthday Buddy

Today I should have been up early making a special breakfast for my newly aged 5 year old.  I should have been wrapping presents that contained ‘boy stuff,’ (I must admit that I have no clue what 5 year old boys are into) and freaking out because 5 means school in the Fall and a whole new rite of passage.

Instead I dropped off the kids and set about cleaning and staging my home to go on the market tomorrow.  A huge departure from where I expected to be on May 17th those 5 years ago when Benny was born.

In between freaking out over getting everything accomplished, I realized that I can’t even picture it.  I can’t fathom a 5 year old Benny.  It seems so old and he was so young when he died.  This is the first time where I’ve really struggled with this.  Darcy was barely 5 when he passed.

How has so much time passed?  I’m amazed at how raw it all still feels after 3 and a half years.  My days are busy, Fletch keeps me busy and Darcy is non stop talking, dancing, going.  They make it better, but it still never truly goes away.

I’m amazed that we are even in a place where we would consider moving from this house.  It might sound strange because of what happened here, but so many beautiful things have happened here too.  This is the only home my children have known and we’ve lived here nearly 13 years.

So many changes as I look back over the last few years.  So much has stayed the same though, mostly this constant ache to have back something that is no longer attainable.

So instead of celebrating a 5 year old, we will celebrate his memory.  I’m amazed every year by how many lives he touched in his short time here.  Happy Birthday Buddy.  We love you lot’s and miss you always.

 

Scars & Shipwrecks

I’ll just leave this comment here…

Alright, here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.
I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.
As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.
In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.
Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.
Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.