Friday, April 18, 2014

Seven

video
Stevie,

It's April 18th.  I have been a wreck all week, my cells are remembering.  Today has been hard really hard and I can't explain it.  I can't breath.  I miss you so much.  I hate this.  I am allowed to feel sorry for myself once in a while, have a pity party, fall apart but it feels like weakness like I am stuck and I am not stuck.  I am sad and it has been too long, seven years, and today I realize, really understand it will be the rest of my life.  Is this what it is like to be in prison?  At least in prison you know the people you love are out there, you can call them, get visits, send them a letter.

This is my letter, will it make it's way to you on the other side?  Are you sitting next to me while I write this wondering why I am such a mushy pile of tears, not strong at all?  I am sorry.  I need to know you are somewhere, I need to talk to you. I see your face in pictures, watch you dance and laugh, hear your voice on video, it isn't enough.  I want to smell your hair, kiss your cheeks, touch your hand.  I want to go into your room, sit on your bed and talk about your day.  I want to take you shopping, watch your look at everything, find just the right thing, something I would have never chosen in a million years.

There are happy days sweetie, there really are, we have  holidays, and birthdays, and silly times.  We are alive and living and doing and surviving but it isn't the same without you, there is always someone missing.  It is hard to take a family photo, it's hard to explain when people ask how many kids I have.  I always include you but have to explain, and I have to deal with the pity and awkward moment,  I  smile and say "It's  ok" when it isn't but I am expected to pretend.

It would be nice if I could say, "I have five kids.  Two of my daughters died, one at 19 and one when she was born early.  My other three kids are alive, healthy and happy and that brings me great joy but everyday I live with loss and it sucks, it hurts and on some days it's unbearable.  I envy you, that you don't have to know this and I wouldn't wish it on you and I try to find beauty and gratitude and I count my blessings but sometimes I can't find God in my heart, sometimes I feel very alone in the world and I would give anything for it to be different to be able to say I have five Children three daughters, two sons and life is good".

I am sitting her in the sunroom, it looks different now, a new carpet, honeycomb blinds to keep the heat out in the summer, the old leather couch from Ikea is out here and all of Elliott's toys.  Remember when we had all of Noah's toys out here, it looked like a preschool...I am at the computer, a different one, and I am typing and crying and it feels good, I need to let it out.

Chantal re-occurred.  I am not sure what will happen but my fear is that she will die soon.  I am praying for something different.  I was once envious of David that he got to watch his daughter grow up, become a woman, live on her own, have boyfriends.  Now I am just painfully sad.  I pray that no matter what happens that she is not afraid.  If she transitions Stevie will you be there?

I remember this moment seven years ago, we were in that room at Muir, I could see the foothills and the tree's from the window, you hated the sun going down, and it disappeared into pink.   You were in so much pain, so afraid, I was so tired, I didn't know that was our last night ever.  I laid down next to you and we tried to sleep, 12 hours later you were gone.

I still have the shirt you were wearing.  Dad buried your little green slippers with the cherries on them in Thailand, on a beach.  We wanted a part of you there.  He also bought a little float covered in flowers, lit with candles and sent it floating out to sea.  I am sorry we never made it there while you were alive.

Forgive me Stevie for not doing more, for not being better, for not handling this with more grace.  It just never goes away.  The best I can do is stuff it down and live in the moment.  Then there are days like this when it just doesn't seem possible that the world just didn't stop the moment your heart did.

Tomorrow we will go to the cemetery.  I have your yellow tulips, some daisies and these obscene aqua colored flowers that are as big as my head.  When I found them I thought of you and had to have them, I am not sure how they will look out there but I don't care, I know if you could see them you would smile.

I am going to watch a video dad made of you tonight.  It is the one with you before the concert.  I love the way you look, your hair just out of the shower, long, auburn, wavy.  Your smile makes my heart swell, and your long fingers, beautiful hands and those eyes, I could see inside you through those eyes, all oceans, and dreams, and sweet things.

I am asking the same thing I always ask, "Are you out there, are you still you, are you happy, do you know how much I love and miss you, can you come home, just for a minute and tell me you are ok, that I will see your again?"

Oh Stevie thank you so much for being my girl.  Thank you for 19 years of loving and being loved by my favorite person.  Thank you for teaching me, forgiving me, getting me, and letting me be your mama.

Stay close, don't be too far away I miss you too much.




Monday, April 7, 2014

April

The weather turned and turned and now it is warm and the blossoms are falling from the fruit trees in the yard.  I put most of our garden in the beds dad built for me, four big squares frames by thick planks, filled with organic soil.  The plants are so small and fragile looking but I know as spring turns to summer the beds will be full and green and beautiful.

The pink tulip did not come up this year.

Your daffodils did.

April is a hard month.  Without warning the memories come back...that last days.  It is like my body has memory it know what April is, will always be and it goes into auto pilot.  I hate it but I embrace it too.  This is your time, it deserves to be honored, you deserve all my attention, and the pain is mixed with all the love.

Your brother is over 6 feet tall now, he is beautiful Stevie, you would be best friends.  He looks like you a little, he has your sense of style, he is a little stubborn too, in his own way.  Your sister is still living at home, she is grown up now but still needs to hold on to something here, any part of you she can, that is us, this house, these rooms.  Elliott is different, he is his own little person, like a little bulldog, he smells awesome, he is silly, and he loves
dandelions just like you.

I am getting wrinkly.  It happens, and its happening fast because I spent way too much of my youth in the sun before there was any such thing as sunscreen.  I am cooking again, making art, chasing Elliott around, still crazy, still me.

I miss you.

Everything keeps changing but some part of me is frozen in time because I can not let myself forget anything, I won't, it was too wonderful, even the shitty stuff.  I would give anything to go back for a day and just lay next to you while you read a fat book, to listen to your breath, to touch your cheek.

Don't be too far away, I need you close, I try to act tough but sweet girl I can not do this part by myself.

(Please God let there be a heaven, let my girl be there waiting for me, having fun, doing all the things she loves most, surrounded by people she loves who love her.  Let there be books and puppies, good coffee, music, soft clothes, big beds, full moons, and only falls and springs.)

I love you Stevie,

Mama