without a definition
Last night I went to see a very popular tv medium.. popular and from the looks of it insanely wealthy. I went with my sister and her friends and my bereaved mommy friend. We were up in the nose bleeds of a large amphitheater ($70.00)..so she came nowhere near us. But of course I couldn’t help but hope…If its true.. if this gift of hers is a reality then I am insanely jealous.. what I wouldn’t give to be able to communicate with my daughter again..
we talked about losing our kids.. about our families and how its changed everything … and about our daughters.
Oh how I miss that girl of mine… and hers too. I think I get what people say to me now.. that they miss this girl nicknamed JLK that they never met. ..because I miss this girl that I never knew.. A blonde haired mini mommy, much like the one I lost. And I am so sad for her parents.. but so horrifically and selfishly grateful I can get to know my daughters new friend through their unending sorrow. I can imagine them walking holding hands
..it helps shut down the image I fear.. of her reaching for mine still, the way I mindlessly reach for hers ..
The boys had art therapy here this morning. It feels good to be doing something for them.. this change we have experienced is so much more than just a dead sister for them and they need..we need .. help figuring out how to survive this.
Nicholas and Charlotte napped at the same time which gave me one on one time with Jonathan. We decided to play some board games. I let him pick it out. I was very surprised when he carried over the Fancy Nancy board game. We had played it once before.. with her. . I remember it. I remember how much anxiety and stress was happening at that time. Though nothing in that moment. Nothing that should have outweighed the gift of playing with them.. I remember not enjoying the time with my kids playing that game. ..
Today I absorbed the time with him. I took pictures and we played a few rounds.. then he got a new game. Another one from that same afternoon.. We talked about it.. we talked about playing with her.. Inside I longed for her.. Worried a little about how she might feel about us playing without her. ..but then really tried to be there and present with him. Shockingly hard to do. We put them away in the game closet and then we saw a sign of her.. from her. He was the one that noticed it.. (I hope.. I am trying so hard to just accept it)
I was feeling pretty good. I took the kids to my friends house so they could play while I went to cross fit. I go in the car, still feeling pretty good. Then a song came on. I chose you. I started to crumble. Luckily Gilroy is a small town and I was quickly at the gym …undone.. ..bent over.. shielded from other cars and eyes…
Its a song from her video slideshow. A song that played over and over again in her bedroom those 36 hours she laid dying.. one breath closer to her final one.
I pulled it together.. went in for a workout. That is the reality of this grief. You can be overcome completely one minute and talking and smiling the next. I have to. This is the definition of my new normal.
Afterwards I went back to get my kids. I found out Nicholas had been misbehaving.. a lot. He did the minute I walked in the door.. taking a drink of his water and blowing it out. Followed by one defiant act after another. I disciplined him.. I struggled with not knowing what the right thing to do was. I do not want to raise a child that bites.. or is disrespectful.. I don’t want to raise a child thats hurting and I am not helping him..
such a fine line.
Parenting is always hard.. I have always wondered if I was doing it right.. but the stakes were never so high…well except for a few months. . unbelievable high that time..and as it turns out..
How can I tell the difference in my 2, almost 3 yr old, just testing the limits from struggling with the complete upheaval in his life? Its like a switch in him was turned ..
.. again in my writing it comes to me..
a switch. a trigger. just like me in the car with the song. I don’t know what it was.. but maybe he had a moment like mine.. that ripped him raw.. exposed his wound.. in a split second like the song did for me.. A 2yr old without words to explain.. without knowledge to understand the emotions wanting to come out. .
Did I miss it? Did I go the wrong way?
This part of child loss is something I was unprepared for.. not only helping my children cope, but also figuring out what is normal and what is grief manifesting itself..
***looking to find the right pictures for this blog (always after I write) I came across these from our Make A Wish trip.. the trip that was the beginning of the end for her.. she was always there for Nicholas.. I think I forget.. only 2.. but his only big sister.. She took such good care of him. Could turn around the biggest tantrums.. Without being asked.. she stepped out of the stroller she needed… to help get through to her littlest brother.. when mommy and daddy couldn’t.
What a gift she would have been to this world..
I need to go hug my son while he sleeps.. whisper to him how much I love him. How much she loves him.. Damn it. damn it. ***
Oh and PS She is totally sporting princess jammies and boots in Universal Studios.. That’s our Jennifer!
One day I want to read these entries with my kids.. after they have grown.. when we can look back together and try to figure out what advice we could give to families in our shoes.. shoes that are so new now.. so new and unfamiliar.. ones we will be forced to walk in for the rest of lives. I want to write that by then maybe they will be a little beat up.. a little worn in.. a bit more comfortable.. But I don’t think so. I think forever they will feel like wearing the left shoe on the right foot. They can work .. we will manage in them.. but we will never be used to them. .
I just want to do right by my kids.
I went out to buy dinner for me and Tony. All my energy seems to be spent just surviving the day. I used to pride myself in doing it all..and on a tight budget. I haven’t clipped a coupon since that Friday in late October.. she was still 5.. I remember cutting one for Chuck e Cheese.. before that day when I picked her up from school.. before we ended up in the ER… then in the recovery room learning she had a tumor in her brain.
And I overheard a family talking.. a little girl talking with her family .. normal after school talk. The part of parenting I was just about to get to with her. The part I got somewhat while she sick since she grew up so much in that time..I just wanted to be them..
to be me.. us.. again.
I want to be able to share that my daughter had the same outfit and my husband the same shirt when I see them on another family in a picture. I can’t. Nobody wants to see such an eery connection between themselves and the family with the dead kid.
I want to go back to the mom who believed my only real job was to keep my children from dying.. the mom that thought that wasn’t going to be that hard of a job.
So now I am left without a definition .. with no idea what it means to be a mom anymore.
This is my truth.
and I listen to the song again.. connecting to lyrics in a different way..
” We are not perfect, we’ll learn from our mistakes and as long as it takes I will prove my love to you”
ok baby girl. I know. I do.
I will forever be sorry. I will forever try.
Until forever is done..