Saturday, March 14, 2015

Almost April...

I forget about this use to be my lifeline.

Life goes on...I hate it when people say that but it's true, it does, bills have to be paid, laundry needs folding, lunches need making, babies need nursing, gardens need tending, bathrooms need repairing.  You realize one day that almost 9 years has gone by, you haven't been to the cemetery since December, you can't remember what her hair smelled like.

Then one morning you wake up from a dream.

You were on a pay phone calling me from college, you had a history class that was going until 8pm and I was worried, I wanted you home.  Some guys were bugging you, a friend, his name was Anthony he was teasing you about some junk mail about mortgages and the number 80.  You sounded happy, distracted but I told you I needed you to come home, I missed you.  You told me you were fine, you would see me later not to worry you had a ride home.

Then it was just like yesterday... no time had passed, we left the hospital without you, you were zipped up in a bag in refrigerator in a mortuary and I was home and it was quiet and you were not here and my world crumbled and there was no forgetting.

I thanked you for the dream when I could catch my breath, when I talked myself down and repeated, "she never left she never left she is just someplace else where I can't see her but she is still her, still herself, still alive just not here in this house, on this planet, the way you understand, its ok, its going to be ok."  I forced myself to believe it because if I couldn't I wouldn't be able to pull myself back together.

I am grateful for the dream, if it was you Stevie I get it, if it was me I get it too.

The grief never goes away, it just hides.

Next month I will bring you tulips, I always do in the spring.  I won't stay long, and I won't cry until I have to leave.  Sometimes I never want to leave and sometimes I panic knowing that one day I will be in that very same grave with you and Noah, Aly and Elliott will be in the same pain.  I don't want that for them, I wish this on no one.

I will be 50 this summer.  We are going to Hawaii.  Aly will be 30 and Noah will turn 16 so it is a big year for birthdays, we need a celebration.  I will try not to let dad ruin it for me.  We just don't get along, hard to be in the same room with each other but we continue on because this family does not need anymore loss, because this family is all we really have.

He keeps waiting for me to change my mind, to want this to work, to make it better.  I won't, I can't, we flat lined a long time ago.  They say marriages rarely survive the loss of a child, I don't think it was cancer that made us fall apart I think we were already falling apart a long time ago.

The thing for me is that my marriage use to be so big to me, so important, it was a life of its own and I tried to save it so many times even when I didn't really want to, I did it because it was right.  Now it seems almost silly, I can't make sense of it, I can't remember a time when it felt good, when I felt happy in it.  Now it is something we must do for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with happiness.

The biggest thing in my life now are your brothers and sister.  It is what I am here for.  I find pleasure in art, a good book, a pretty day, fruit on our trees, a song but my heart is beating for my kids, it is my purpose, it gives my life meaning.

Elliott is so big, I am  in love with his face, his big brown eyes, the way he says "Mommy" none of you called me mommy, not sure why he does but I love it.  He wakes up grumpy, he falls asleep next to me, he loves fruit and green peas, being outside and soccer balls.  He melts my heart.

Noah is a teenager, he shaves, he has a deep voice, he is moody, has a messy room, still loves music, still says things that make me wonder who the hell he is and how I got lucky to have a son with such a beautiful soul.

Your sister is out on her own, we never see her, she texts she calls (once in a while)  she is enjoying her life, dating, making friends, I miss her.

The house changes more and more.  We just re-did the back bathroom, it had water damaged, took it down to the studs, removed everything you ever touched, the shower door I wrote you letters on in the steam went into a dumpster, it was hard to do.  I wrote you letters on the sheetrock before we painted.

The guest bathroom got a face lift.  I found a giclee at Target.  I walked down that isle three times, not sure why, then I saw it, a white horse, a pink sky...I said out loud, "Oh Stevie I love it" and I brought it home and decorated around it.  The walls are a creamy beige with an accent wall that looks like cocoa when you mix it with cake batter.  I bought peachy pink guess towels, lavender soap in a pretty pink container.  I changed out the cabinet and mirror, white, it looks pretty up against the brown.  I made a mosaic backsplash out of tiny glass and stone tiles.  It is very peaceful in there and even though it is all new(isn) I imagine you there, you would love it.

I am not my best person.  I am damaged, I am angry.  I am fat.  I am going through a mid-life crisis I think.  I am looking at my life differently.  I want change, I want to do better be better but for myself. I need to wake up and like me.  I have been so use to staying distracted I forgot about me.  My body is out of shape, it is flabby and bumpy, my skin is gross, my hair is dry, I am wrinkly.  I see photos and I don't see "me" in them anymore.  I need to be "me" again, or find me (cliche) if for no other reason than I need to show up better for these kids.  I don't want them to look back at this me.

I am feeling emotional.  I need to sit next to you rub your feet and talk...I need to hear your voice.

Promise me Stevie when my time comes you will be there, you will be the first person, promise that this isn't all there is that there is something else and you are there.

I am going to go to bed and try to sleep off some of this ache.

I love you.