****I mentioned before we had really really spotty service on our trip so I didn’t blog but took notes on my phone what I was thinking/feeling****
Our trip was lovely. Truly a escape and so wonderful to be with just the baby and my husband.. but the dark hit hard coming home. I wish I had written when I was there. I think there would have been some positive notes in it.. Like about how it went to work on the business plan for the non-profit… (it went well we had good talks and it was good time spent together) but this now will be the truth I see and feel currently.
It ain’t pretty.
I am exhausted.. all the time lately. But I need to write. It will likely be very choppy. I feel like I am bursting at the seams.. so I am just going to write. Up alone in a quiet house I will release.
I did a lot of looking through pictures on my computer while we were gone. I looked at me and wondered if I would ever look like that again. I am so changed.. so aged in such a brief amount of time.
I get lost in pictures . .a desperation starts to build. . to take hold of me. I want to absorb the pictures.. to pull them into me and make them become part of me. Its not logical but its palpable.
.. the heavy sits on me. I think. .
I want her back. The depth of my despair over missing her hits me. The finality. That she is never coming back. That I will never hold her again. Or touch her face. Her face is gone.
cremated. soon to be buried.
.. .a piece of me breaks away.
I want us back. All of us. Not just her… I want me. I want the spark in my husbands eyes back.. my children’s innocence. I want us.. the old 6 of us.But those people are gone now too. I never did say goodbye.. .
We hit 5 months since her diagnosis while we were away. Walking back to the house that morning after breakfast for a moment I looked at Tony and thought “this is nice”.. that didn’t last long, immediately I thought about how we shouldn’t be here right now. We weren’t supposed to have lost her already.
Thats the trade off isn’t it? The “deal” we were given. We got the warning in exchange for the slow ending..
We got time.. .we got knowledge she would die.. we were supposed to have more time to make memories and be together. Almost all of what we did have..3.5 months was spent at Stanford during radiation treatment…Its isn’t fair.
We got shorted 6 months.. 5 good months. I knew I would have to watch her slowly die. Likely suffer.
Thats the trade off .. .
We got screwed. We didn’t get those 5 good months.. and I still had to watch her suffer. Far more than I ever imagined. She lost her speech. Her sight. Her mobility. She wasn’t able to eat.. or even drink.
No laughs. No smiles.
.. no hugs or kisses.
She knew she was dying.
God damnit. God fucking damnit.
that wasn’t the deal. .
I am eternally grateful for the time I got with her during her radiation treatment. But I was planning on more. For all of us together.. For her and I to have more talks. . to just be mother and daughter… just a bit longer.
Not child being treated for cancer turned child dying from cancer.
I found myself on that walk in silence yearning not for the lifetime we lost.. just the months.
We walked. A lot on this trip. We collected shells to add to her collection and to ours. We also wrote her name each day in the sand. It was there. Briefly. We knew it would be washed away when high tide came. But I enjoyed seeing it and knowing we could have a piece of her with us.. as well as leave a piece of her in that ocean.
Driving home I told Tony how it was easy to be tricked into comfort… that without all of our oldest 3 with us it didn’t feel so real that one of them is dead. Almost like she was away at college. I was sad.. but not distraught over it.. I could pretend easier. Coming home though I was scared.. what would it be like when the mirage gets exposed?
answer: It sucked. Hard.
We got the boys and then headed to a birthday party. Our first post death event that wasn’t focused on her. I felt like I was drunk.. so out of it. Our boys had a blast running around throwing balls and bouncing balloons.. It was hard for me the whole time.. but hit overload status when I watched 2 little boys that adored my Jennifer, little men that proclaimed plans to marry her.. 2 boys that when she was with them both together looked like she was half on cloud nine half scared she got busted…
2 boys now playing with another little girl.
Oh thats so hard to write.. to expose.. My anguish.
That should have been her. She should have been there. I am not lying when I say all the kids there around her age would have been clamoring to play with her. And she would have played with them all.. and she would have taken breaks to take care of baby Charlotte for me. I would have reminded her to let her little brothers play too if they wanted.. She would have.
she wasn’t there though. She will never be at a party with us again.
Will I be a grandma at my grandchild’s birthday one day and look around the room.. and feel her void? Will I imagine that it should be her cutting the cake and handing it out? A grandma.. thats so far away in this lifetime of mine.. yet I will go through all days weeks.. years.. .
I bailed. I told Tony I needed a break and I took the baby and went outside. Unfortunately something was lost in translation and Nicholas followed me out the door. So I sat on the side of the building with my youngest 2 .. he looked at me and knew. A terrible new truth I never wanted my 2 yr old to know..
“You sad Mommy?”
Luckily he had to pee so I brought him to Daddy and a friend took Charlotte and I made a real escape. I was barely out the door when the sobs lept out. I walked…and I talked to her. I wanted to break something. Rip apart the world around me the way I was being torn apart from the inside.
Unbeknownst to me a friend followed.. that day it turned out to be a good thing because if she hadn’t called for me I think I would still be walking around in my fury and sorrow. I released… just for a moment with her.
I looked in the mirror today and noticed I burst blood vessels above my eyes .. its becoming my new look.
I cant recall much of what was said.. but we walked back and then we said our goodbyes and loaded into the car. One party down.. one more to go.
I’m apparently a bit of a overachiever. We had previously said yes to another party for the same day. A thank you being thrown by the organizers of the recent local fundraiser dinner for the people that helped them. To say I was now extra nervous after what had just happened would be a understatement.
.. I was wrong though.
I dont know if it was the release I had already had.. or that these were all new people. New kids. Or even kids playing in the other room but it wasn’t as hard. We had a good time. The kids had a good time. I worried about the other little girls around Jennifer’s age being there.. in part for me but also for J0nathan. Tony talked with him afterwards.. it did make him a little sad but he liked it. He was actually quite drawn to the other girls around his big sisters age.
Oh now I remember too.. at the first party that little girl was flanked by 3 boys..
Jonathan was the final one.
he also agreed that the first party for some reason was harder than the second one. I am trying so hard to not try to figure out why.. but just go with it. Follow his lead and his needs. Which right now means he needs time with little girls Jennifer’s age.
That thank you party was close to our home so I drove the little ones while Tony and Jonathan walked in the rain . .that would have been her normally. Well except that we wouldn’t be meeting these new people without her being gone… so nothing normal about anything involving the Kranz’s anymore.. . I try to remind myself how happy it would make her to see us building new relationships. She enjoyed meeting new friends.
Hopefully we aren’t too broken to make these new relationships thrive. That they can withstand the onslaught of my sudden spurts of grief.
I am starting to recall a few of my dreams. Not many.. just enough to know my nights are full of what my days are too..
nightmares. Bitter, gritty nightmares.
This explains why I wake up tired. I went for run today still. Came home to little boys who wanted to go for a walk so we strapped Charlotte in a stroller and headed right out. Jonathan wanted to go for the walk but he wanted to control it for some reason.. control who went. Nicholas was just ready to get going so we headed out first while Tony sorted Jonathan out. I need to remember to ask how he did that.. how he got through to him. Maybe it was that the rest of us headed out and didnt continue negotiations.. We try to give him control as often as we can.. so much in his little life is out of control.. but he has to be able to give up a bit of that control once in awhile.. the walk was one of those things.
I was a bit of a mess today.. just crying any chance I got. The moment I sat still the tears crept in.. Days like today I try to find ways to honor her memory.. or make new memories with the kids. One of her favorite treats was indoor picnics. I would surprise her and Jonathan and lay out a blanket and treats and we would drink sparkling cider out of wine glasses.
Did that today for lunch. Tony and Nicholas’ first time joining us. They were surprised and they loved it. It simultaneously made the void more apparent and made me feel closer to her.
Had to keep moving to keep from curling in a ball.. so I cleaned the kitchen with my fancy new no chemical cleaner that I ordered after seeing it on tv. I cannot. cannot beleive I have become that person. I was never like that. Now I worry about everything. I looked at the bottle and read that its gluten free..
cue guilt.. that I should have gotten certified gluten free cleaning products while she was alive.
Most dinners I try to do family style now. Her most favorite way to eat. But its a lot of extra work and dishes. So I didnt do it all that often. I figured when they were older I would do it more often.. Not as picky about food and able to cut up what they are served by themselves.
Why did I wait til she was dead for so much?
I’m sorry baby girl. Sorry for not being better for you. Sorry and so sad right now. That you had to die to for me to learn… for me to be this mom for your siblings.
I want it back.
To live this time. This right now.
..those lost damned 5 months.