And Just Like That…

Parker messed up royally.  Why is it when we give them a little praise that they feel like it’s a free pass?  No I did not write that last blog to give him the freedom to make poor choices.

It sounds like I’m talking about one of my children, ‘make better choices…’. Sigh.

Things in his life were out of control last summer.  We talked about it and I told him he needs to change.  I would be there to support him, but he had to put in the work.  As much as I like to be in control, I hold no illusions that his issues are his issues.  I cannot fix them for him, nor can I take them on.  All that I can do is support him.  And decide how much I am willing to invite into my life.

I said in the last post that there are days when yes, I question him and us.  This is one of those days, this is what it looks like.  I will not hide it or pretend things are OK when they are not.  This is marriage.  And I’m not ashamed at all to show just how imperfect it is after child loss.

He has his demons and I have mine.  I have learned over the last few years though, that I cannot take on his demons or his failures.  I can just hopefully help him through them.

It’s hard when you know just how short life is.  It makes you really question what works and what doesn’t and puts things into pretty clear perspective.  God, adulting is hard!

I Won’t Give Up On Us

I Won’t Give Up On Us

We were listening to some lullaby music on Pandora tonight and this song came on.  I love these lyrics and this song and how meaningful they are.

Over three years ago Parker and I stood together teriffied at what had just happened.  We were not prepared for what lay ahead.  Nothing prepares you for child loss.

Our therapist said that we were a good match because we both had pretty tough childhoods.  We were already survivors in our right.  Maybe that instinct just kicked back in.

We were friends first, for a long time before we dated.  We’ve always been very comfortable with one another.  Maybe that made it easier.  We didn’t feel like we had to be brave for each other.  We could just be.

We’re alike in a lot of ways, but so different.  I’m more aggressive with things that I want, I’m strict with the kids and I like feeling in control.  Parker is more laid back with most things.  He can change plans on a whim and time means nothing to him.  There are times when I wonder how we DO work.  But his strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say there were many times that I wanted to give in.  I think that’s pretty normal in any marriage.  I’m sure there will be many more in the future.  I just look at how far we’ve come in the last 3 years.  He knows my pain better than anyone else.  He has fought alongside me to make this marriage work.  He has loved me when I didn’t know if I could love myself.

There are no guarantees for the future, we know this only too well.  I just know that I will continue to fight for us.  We are far from perfect, but damn we’re good!


10 Years

‘Parker, when I first met you, I knew that you would be a good friend, but I never dreamed that we would be standing here together 7 years later.  I know that I’m the lucky one in all of this because I get to spend the rest of my life with you.  You, who have become my very best friend and the one person that I know I can always trust in.  You, my little Packard freak, that I’m so proud of.

I have never felt the way that I do today, a mixture of hope, excitement, love and happiness.  Today is really about making new memories and reminiscing in the old.  You are my future, my heart and my life and I have never been happier than I am at this moment right now.  I love you and know that this is an amazing new beginning for both of us.  I’m so lucky to have found my one true love.’

‘Sheryl, who ever thought that when I met you 8 years ago that we would be standing here today.  You are the most generous, loving, caring, unselfish person I know.  I promise to love you, respect you, laugh with you and cry with you.  You are my best friend, my better half and from this day on we spend the rest of our lives together making memories of us.’

-Our Wedding Vows

9-30-06 3652 (2)Ten years ago Parker and I made promises to one another and shared our love with our friends and our family.  We vowed to always be there for one another.  We promised to love one another.

One of the last songs we played at our wedding was ‘Better Life’ by Keith Urban.  When you get married you have these preconceived notions about how your life is going to be.  Hell, as a child, I dreamed about this.  Everything is always so perfect in your visions for the future.  Sure you talk about ‘sickness and health’ and ‘better or worse,’ but on your wedding day you only expect positive things to happen in your future.

I never expected my future title to be ‘grieving mom’ when I wrote those words and made those promises.  No parent does.  I never expected the last 3 years of my marriage to be filled with PTSD, counseling and grief.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would have to call Parker sobbing uncontrollably and tell him to get home right away, that something horrible had happened.  I didn’t expect that we would say good-bye to our little blue eyed angel just as his life was getting started.

We were numb for so long.  Both of us just absolutely terriffied, looking to each other to make it better.  Both suffering with PTSD, flashbacks and nightmares.  Clinging to one another trying to figure it all out.

Parker would cry in the morning and I would cry at night.  It worked for us for awhile.  He wanted to be surrounded by Benny’s stuff while I needed it shut away, with a few minor exceptions.  No two people grieve the same way.

With a ton of love and support, we survived that first year.  Then the second.  Then the birth of our second son.

Now it’s getting tough again as Fletcher creeps ever closer to eighteen months.  How did time pass so quickly?  How are we here again?  How come he looks so damn much like his brother?

We are struggling.  Parker handles things very differently that I’m comfortable with.  We’re working on it.  I guess that’s all we can do.  That and hold our breath until we cross that eighteen month threshold.  That’s marriage though, working through the tough times.

I read these vows now and I’m trying to remember those two people that wrote them.  They had so much hope for this amazing life together filled with happiness.  I miss them. I miss their innocence.  More days are happy than not, but there are just some days that are tough.  When just existing feels hard.

On September 1st, we celebrate 10 years as a married couple.  I had no idea what the future held when we made those promises all those years ago.  I don’t know what tomorrow brings for us and our family.  I do know that I love that man more today than when I wrote those words.  I’m lucky to still call him my best friend.

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