This life of mine is morphing, all the familiar things are blending with new experiences that remind me of everything that came before. I am paint mixing, tides moving in and out, time passing, a loop of memory that plays around and around. I am seasons, cycles, time that is passing.
I am awake at two in the morning with a song playing in my head, a song I can not name but it belongs to Stevie. I am remembering those last days because the sky is the same blue, the trees are full of leaves, the air smells the same as it did that April she left.
I have not been to the cemetery since, well it had to have been right before Elliott was born. This is the longest I have gone and I feel it, it hurts, it feels like a broken promise. The baby hates the car unless I am in the back with him, where he can see me, still he will only ride in that big car seat for a short amount of time. That is my excuse. The reality is that I am busy with a new baby, all of Noah's activities, life...
I ache to go and bring her new flowers, sit and talk, lay down on that thick grass under the sun and fall asleep in a forever sleeping place. I am also afraid of it, afraid of falling down a rabbit hole where are that pain and memory is. I love my girl and I wrap her around me like a blanket everyday of my life but I am so afraid of falling into a sad place I won't be able to get up from, my tough places have been softened by baby kisses wiggly toes.
April is hard, spring has all these beginnings, she went to sleep when everything was waking up, all her favorite things.
I am feeling sorry for myself this morning, sitting in the dark wondering what I could have done to save her, wishing I would have done a million things differently, said more, given more, been smarter, braver...wishing I could have been more for her. I don't need to go to the cemetery, that rabbit hole has found me at two in the morning.
Noah and I were eating lunch outside yesterday and we both agreed that we wished there was a God, wished even more that there was a heaven. We both didn't want to believe in a biblical God, someone that was too much like us, like a dad or a president. We wished for a God that was more like stars and magic and love.
Since I am indulging myself in dark thoughts and self pity, since I am allowing myself to grieve I will say out loud that when Stevie left I needed to leave too. I wished for my life to be over, I needed to be with her, I didn't want her to be alone and I couldn't imagine being her without her. I feel differently now, not because I miss her less but because I feel needed here more. I want to watch Noah grow up, I want to be a part of his life, I want to raise Elliott savor every milestone. I want to be witness to Aly's life as it takes her by surprise and she falls in love and explores the world. Now I fear how fast my life is moving, I fear that all this will end and there will be nothing, no Stevie, no heaven, just nothing and I find myself awake when I should be asleep checking on Noah, making sure the door is locked laying here listening to Elliott breath.
I count the years I should have left, wonder if my heart is strong enough, if my brain will stay wet and alive, conduct electricity like it should, if my cells are programed well and will keep reproducing at the rate they should for as long if not longer than the women before me. Elliott needs a mama, and I am an older mama, 47 is not old but I will be 77 when he is 30 and 87 when he is 40 and I don't want to be falling apart I want to take care of my grandchildren on weekends, make sunday dinner, have Christmas morning at my house.
I miss Stevie and if I could believe with all the parts of me that believe and disbelieve things that she was waiting for me in heaven then I could sleep, and not worry. If I could restore the faith I had when I was a kid in a God that had his hand on me, then I could breath deep and trust.
It will be six years and still these moments when I can't accept that this has really happened, it's like I keep waiting for her to come home. Last night I was nursing Elliott in the big chair in the living room. Steve was working on taxes and making beer, Noah was in his room listening to Bruno Mars new CD, Aly was at work. The lights were all on in the house, it was warm and cozy and I was flooded with nursing hormones touching Elliott's new hair when I heard a click and the front door gently opened. Then I heard the whole house creak a little like it does some winter mornings. My first thought was "Stevie is home" I smiled. Then I felt so very sad.
Grief is tricky, you never know when it will swallow you. You live with it everyday, it is a part of you, but sometimes it is bigger than you are and you can't stuff it back into your pocket, you have to let it do what it does until it is ready to curl back up and be manageable again.
Next week I will go to the store and buy flowers, the fake ones, I will try to find something simple and sweet, I will include yellow tulips even though I feel like I need to bring something pink. We will load up the car Steve, Noah, Elliott and I ( Aly refuses to go) with pic-nic stuff from Whole Foods, bring a blanket, some toys for the baby and take the long drive to Oakmont. My heart will beat hard as we climb the hill that leads to the road the winds and winds to the place where Stevie's body is. We will sit and talk and cry and I will tell Stevie about Elliott, he will play in the grass, he won't know where we are, he won't understand this place, he is a baby he is spring.
I will remark like I always do how pretty it is there, peaceful, the view breathtaking. I will tidy up, replace old flowers with new, trace "Stevie-Christine McMoyler" with my finger. I will tell her I am sorry it took so long to come back, I will tell her about the baby and the new fence, and the garden beds. I will tell her the daffodils came up and only a few red tulips. I will tell her that I found a whole tin full of satsuma soap she left and that I almost passed out when I opened it, that it reminded me of her and that last day. I will tell her how much I love her and I will beg her to find a way to come home and tell me she is OK. I will say I need more than the front door opening, it could have been the wind.
I need to find a way to go back to sleep, it is going to be a busy day. I have lunches to pack, a house to clean, a studio to move back home, and a baby boy who needs my every moment. I need to find some peace before my house is awake, I want my boys to wake up to the smell of something sweet baking in the oven, old school music playing on the iPod, my smiling face and mushy kisses.
I am grateful for my life, even the parts that hurt. I am sitting in this bed, in this room and it all seems so tragic and beautiful. It is all a circle really.