Class of 2033

I was invited to a Facebook group tonight for when my son enters Kindergarten this Fall. My head nearly exploded when I read that he would be graduating high school in 2033. As in, 13 years from now. As in, I will be 53 years old. Even better, I now know that I will be 55 when my youngest graduates.

And to some, that probably isn’t even that old. It isn’t in the grand scheme of things, it’s just not what I planned for me. It’s just that little reminder how off kilter things went.

We had Darcy when we were 28 and Benny at 32. I wanted to be a younger mom. Not because it was this great life plan, but because my mom had me when she was 33. And she died when she was 49. I wanted my kids when I was younger because I wanted them to have as much time as possible with us. I was so constantly concerned about something happening to one of us.

How disgustingly ironic my life became those 7 years ago. I was so worried about something happening to us because I never thought that anything could ever happen to one of my children. None of us do until it happens.

So here I am again, in a bitter twist of fate freaking out at how old we will be come graduation time in 13 years. So much can happen between now and then. So much can change. And it freaks me out. My mother wasn’t at my graduation. Or my wedding. She wasn’t there when her grandbabies were born.

I know that I’m very lucky to have my rainbows. I just need a moment to catch my breath and scream at the Universe. This anger has caught me by surprise because it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way over everything. The need for control is rearing it’s ugly head again and I just need to shake my fists a bit to release this energy building up inside.

#thisischildloss

2020

I’m not sure anyone actually enjoys getting older. Tomorrow marks the beginning of another decade and on January 24th I will be entering my 40th year. I was born in 1980, so my birthday always coincides with the year. Each new decade, I am a decade older.

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been dreading this until recently. How the hell am I that old?? It doesn’t seem possible. I look in the mirror confused by the same eyes that have looked back at me since I was a young girl. Sometimes it feels weird to be in my body. And then I look back at pictures and memories and I’m floored by how much I have done. And how much time has passed.

I always dreaded getting older. My mom died young at 49. The thought of losing everything scared me. Then my son died at 18 months and the term of dying young seemed relative. None of it makes sense.

About a year ago a fellow loss mama shared with me that she loves getting older. And I didn’t know what to say. I hadn’t ever thought of that attitude as an option. But now as I look back on the last decade, not only am I happy to be getting older, because of every day is a gift, I cannot wait until midnight.

Everything is numbers for me. And these last 10 years have SUCKED. I continue to feel like my 30’s weren’t so great, ok, they were awful. I am convinced that if I go into my 40’s with an open heart and mind, I may have a fighting chance.

No, there are no promises this decade won’t suck too. That’s ok. It just feels like I grew up. A lot. And maybe I can be better prepared for my 40’s to suck because I’m not only taking the sorrow with me, but the growth as well. And that’s something.

So Happy New Year. In this moment, I welcome my 40’s. We’ll see how I feel about it in 24 days.

I had forgotten

Tonight I went out with the girls to see the movie Bad Moms.  Absolutely hilarious, loved the message it sent.  I loved every moment of that movie and how it portrays how hard we moms have it.

At the end of the film, the cast was talking with their moms, sharing stories from their childhoods.  It was cute and funny and I found myself thinking, how would this work if one of the girls had lost their mom?  I watched the banter between mother and daughter and smiled.

Then one of the mom’s started tearing up and saying that she was so proud of her daughter as a mother.  She said that she was a great mom.  Such a simple, beautiful statement.  It nearly broke me in two as I realized that I will never hear those words from my own mom.

It’s been over twenty years and I am still shocked at how hard this hit me.  It was like a punch to the gut, realizing there was still more that I have missed.  I have been walking around for so long with this gaping wound on my heart and it was like someone sticking their finger in it.  Nothing has affected me as much as this has in so long.

It reminded me that no matter how normal I think I am, all it takes is a little trigger to remind me of all that I’ve lost.  It’s not as if I’ve ever forgotten my son or my mother, quite the opposite actually.  We talk about them all of the time in my house.  It’s more that I realized again how much was missing from my life.

I’ve cried buckets of tears over me not having a mom, over my children not having a grandma.  There are a million times that I wanted her here to fix things, like moms do, especially when my son died.  But I never once thought about how much I needed to hear from her that I’m doing a good job.  It never even occurred to me until tonight.

One of the lines in the movie is that parenting is so hard because you don’t know if you’ve done a good job until the kids are grown up and then it’s too late.  My mom never got to see what strong, independent daughters she raised.  She never got to see me as a mom.

I forgot how awful this feels.  I can’t believe that something so simple can turn me into a puddle so quickly.  So much of my life lately has been centered around the kids and I think that I sometimes forget that I need to take a break to check in with myself and see where I’m at.  And when I don’t, tonight happens.

I know it will never end, but when it hasn’t happened in awhile, it takes me a moment to catch my breath.  I wish that I could tell her what a good job she did.  I wish that I could tell her that I had a really happy childhood because of her.  I mostly just wish I could hug her and feel just for that one moment that everything would be ok again.

Mother’s Day History

So I did some googling tonight as to the history of Mother’s Day because I was curious how it all started.

A woman by the name of Anna Jarvis held a memorial ceremony in May of 1908 three years after her mother’s death.  She wanted to celebrate her mother’s life and all that she had done for her children.  She was honoring her late mother.

Anna’s mother Ann Reeves Jarvis had had thirteen children over the course of her life.  Seven of her children had died before Anna was born.  Seven.  She was a bereaved mother.

Because of a lot of hard work on Anna’s part, the US recognized Mother’s Day as an official holiday in 1914.

For those of you missing your moms today, this holiday was started for you.  For those of you missing your children today, this holiday was also started for you.  It was grief that brought forth this effort to create a day just for Mom’s.

So when you think of Mother’s Day, don’t just associate it about being for those that are here.  It began for those that are not.  Happy Mother’s Day!

2 Years ‘AA’

So I need to write one more entry for CYG to close it out, but in order to do so, I need to look back at where I was last year relative to this year.  Suffice it to say, it’s going to be awhile.

I’m curious how different things look through the lense of 2 years out opposed to 1 year out.  Yes, there are obvious things have changed, such as Fletch, but it’s supposed to be about where I’m at in my ‘grief journey.’  I don’t know that I like that term because ‘journey’ implies that there is an end.  There is no end to this.

I cannot believe that I’m writing about this 2 years out.  It all seems so foreign to me now.  It’s like that awful thing that happened to someone else-but it actually happened to me.  How is that even possible?  2 years out and I still cannot wrap my head around losing Benny and I was there!  I guess not too much has changed in that department.

He would be 3 1/2 now.  I can’t believe that.  He would be in preschool.  Maybe he would play soccer or do gymnastics.  Maybe he and Darcy would fight like siblings do.  A lot of ‘maybe’s’ and ‘would’s’ here.  More like ‘should.’

I miss him every day.  I watch Fletch, who is so like his brother, and wonder what kind of mischief they might get into together.  They have the same flirty smile and deep dimples.  I watch Fletch play with Darcy and I’m so filled with happiness and sorrow all at once.  There’s someone missing from their game, there always will be.

I’m not surprised at how much I miss him, but rather how much I miss my mom.  I feel like every time something big happens, I miss her more.  I missed her at graduation, both high school and college; I missed her at my wedding, but most of all I missed her when I first had kids.

My grandmother was right down the street from us growing up.  She came over after school and did our laundry, ironed and always had fresh baked cookies and butter cake.  My mom’s family is close and I have so many amazing memories growing up with that family during holidays.  I miss that.  I want that for my kids.

I think what made me miss her most this year was the absence of our remaining parents.  Not one of them acknowledged November 8th.  No phone call, no email, no text.  It probably wouldn’t bother me so much if at least one of them remembered.  The worst thing for a grieving parent is the belief that their child is being forgotten.  Well, thanks for that.

I know that if my mom was here, she would have been there.  She would have been there so much over the last 2 years.  She would have been an amazing support, she would have been a parent.  It kills me.  It’s grief compounded.

2 years out sucks too.  All of it still feels so unfair.  I mourn for Benny, I mourn for my mom, I mourn that Fletch will never meet his older brother.  I’m assuming it will just get harder too, because he’s our after.  He doesn’t know what he’s missing.  Kind of like Darcy with my Mom.  She doesn’t know what she’s missing.  It breaks my heart for both of them.

I wish that I could say that it gets easier.  It’s like parenting I suppose, it doesn’t get easier, the grief just changes.  What used to set you off a year ago is ok and another trigger has taken it’s place.  You start to lose another part of that person.  It sucks.