Thursday, May 14, 2009
Graduations and Pity Parties...
Ashley and Stevie were born two weeks apart. Ashley's mother Sandy and I were close at the time. She was married to my cousin Ron and as children he and I were close. My family was big back then and all the cousins spent a great deal of time together. Ron and I were close in age and I got all his hand-me-downs.
When Ashley was born I was at the hospital, and Stevie was with me, all snuggled up in a baby sling. Stevie was a great big baby with huge cheeks and Ashley was a lean baby with big eyes. The two of them spent a lot of time together in pools, back yards and at parks. They climbed trees, played dress up, and got drunk once at a family party on fuzzy navels.
We took our first trip to Disneyland with Sandy, Ron Ashley and her little sister Megan when the girls were still little. I cried on the Peter Pan ride and the girls got sugared up and crowned with Mickey ears. I still have a photo of Ashley kissing Stevie on a ride that day.
Ashley called today to thank me for a quilt I gave her for graduation. She graduates from college this year and I am very proud of her. She is going to be a teacher. I knew she would be from the time she was little. Ashley was playful, responsible and patient. She was guided gently and has always been the first one to snatch up a baby or sit on the floor with a little kid to play. She is a hard working girl who loves her family with her whole heart. She loved Stevie very much and she was at the hospital the day Stevie died.
Ashley is good to me and it hurts. She is doing all the things Stevie would be doing, getting all the milestones, and she deserves all the happiness it brings but it reminds me of all the things Stevie will never be able to do.
I am an asshole because I should be grateful to have Ashley in my life, grateful that she is so loving and caring. I am grateful but I also let my loss get in the way of expressing that and being closer.
When Stevie was sick she pulled away from everyone and the last Easter we had together she cried because she wanted everyone to leave. It was hard for her to let go but that was what she was doing, it hurt her so much to be in a bed sick, without hair, unable to walk. It was hard for her to know that she would never have anymore holidays with the people she loved most.
I am not sure everyone understood that and they broke into her room any way and loved her up. She was pissed. I think it was mostly because she knew she had to leave...
Today I am falling apart because I am remembering all of this clearly, it is playing in my mind like a movie...I can smell the Easter Bunnies, feel the warm day, and I remember the way Stevie sobbed as my sister held her.
I promise on most days I am normal but on the days I feel heavy and broken I come here and have a little pity party so I can sort out all these feelings, cry and make room for deep breaths and new moments.
My girl graduated early and she moved away to start her new life. It is far away and she can not be reached by telephone or mail. I just have to trust that her new life holds great promise(s), unending love, adventure, bliss and a place for me when I graduate.