WHAM! And I’m in it.
And then who knows? 02/05/2013
One minute vacuuming, the next I’m hyperventilating. It gets me at odd times, but suddenly I’m consumed with my 4 pound curly blonde haired, blue eyed life changer. I didn’t hold her until she was a week old, as she struggled a little at first. I never felt magic, it only felt right. My girl, my second chance at motherhood. My second child, my daughter. I am trying something new this year. The closer it gets, the more I realize I’m not ready for it. I’m never ready for it…
I have lived your twelve years for you. I have lived your years without you. I blinked, and you turned twelve. I breathed you in and I cried you out. You burn, a fire, in my heart. I see you every time I close my eyes. I have no question of the sweet young woman you would have been, because I have the sweet young girl that I had. I don’t need to wonder, because that’s where it hurts. I remember the sweet, playful, coy little girl you were and I can be content.
I can be. At least 360 other days of the year, I can be content. Now? Now, I’m sad. My heart. Is sad. I don’t have anything else in me right now, but tomorrow I’m going to do better. Tomorrow, we eat cake! We celebrate your day. We celebrate your entry. I love you on this night as an 11 year old. In the morning, you’ll be 12. I have to pretend to be ready.
Love until later,
It takes a village 10/20/2012
To get me through days like today. I had a slow start and apparently freaked a few people out by not answering calls and texts. I needed a little time. When I got to the point where I could look at all the texts, I cried. I knew once I looked, I would have to admit that today is the day. Today is the day I have to face and remember one of the scariest times of my life. And I’m glad I didn’t have to do it alone. I haven’t listened to any of my voice mail messages yet. I’m not ready.
Today, we veered off the path and visited other graves at the cemetery. This is something I do sometimes, but today we ventured through 3 sections of baby land. I think there are four baby lands at Mad’s cemetery. One area is divided into three sections, then there is one on the south side of the cemetery in the oldest section. The babies in that section are from a hundred or so years ago. So much history.
What I thought when I walked around, and what I pointed out to my best friend, was that any one of those babies in the far left section could have been us or a sibling. One of them was born the same year as my sister. You know what was cool though? The graves in baby land were as decorated as the rest of the graves. Meaning, people came to visit just as many babies/children as the adults spread throughout the cemetery. Although, I have to tell you, those who reside in baby land get the best grave bling. For the first time ever, I saw another grave with a cake on it. A little girl celebrated her fourth birthday and got a cake and sandals and tiaras. She got pinwheels. One child got a stuffed football, which is what started us venturing from just my girl. Some animal had taken apart the stuffed ball and it was everywhere. It was kind of cool. Some kids had scarecrows. Many had flowers or bears or trains or cars. Some had balloons. Wind chimes. Real flowers, fake flowers, pumpkins. These babies could have grown into someone my age. They could have had kids of their own. And here, their families still think about them. And you know they think about them often if they are putting seasonal things out for their kids. They are drawn to this place, even after 35 years or more. What does that say? That there will never be a time when you move on from missing what you had and missing what you could have had. That your lost loved ones aren’t really lost because you can find them right there in your heart any time you look for them.
Today did not feel like October 20th, 2003 did. Today, I did not collapse from a broken heart. My head didn’t whirl in confusion. I’ve spent most of this month in the yuckiest depression. I spent a lot of time ducking into rooms or stair wells so I could be alone with my pain. I turned the music up louder to make my memories be quiet for a while. The thing is that it never goes away. No matter how much I want it to, I’m always going to have these memories.
http://donatingtenderness.blogspot.com/search/label/Those%20Left%20Behind (she’s #51 at the bottom).
Love until later,
You know… 10/19/2012
You will sense my anger. Dont read this.
Just so we’re clear, most of the people I allow into my life are chosen carefully. Quite frankly, sometimes an asshole slips through and has their own agenda. Before one of you makes some completely idiotic comment to me about loving the children I have that are alive or about “moving on”, know that until you see the hole in your childs head that came from a bullet that was shot from the gun her own father held, you can bite your tongue. Really. Your words show your lack of many things including sensitivity to me and all of those who live this life as a reality. Also, common sense as well as the knowledge that no words are better than stupid words. If you think your words might be encouraging, be aware I am currently reliving and remembering every minute when I found out my daughter had been ripped from my life. Say nothing. It’s so much better than me having to deal with you in addition to this once a year suckfest.
This isn’t meant for most of you. Most of you can disregard and maybe I’ll speak to you tomorrow.
Tonight I remember my child who, nine years ago tonight, lived her last complete day on this earth. No one should have to say that, ever. Better to remember and proceed than to stop and forget.
Love until later,
It’s all relative 10/16/2012
I think it’s all about perspective. I spend so much time being a mom…always encouraging my kids to move faster, doing the dirty work, usually only getting a thank you when I remind them of their manners…but I would never ask for another thank you again if I could have one day with the babies I had to bury. Tomorrow marks nine years since I saw my little girl alive. Nine years since I watched her hobble away with that cast still on her leg. And yet I behave as an ungrateful mother to my living babes. Many moments of weakness. I need my strength for these two, even as I relive the minutes of those days from nine years ago. I hate these days because I want to shout, “I give up!” I guess if I’ve learned anything it’s that I don’t know how to give up. But. I’m feeling like I may be on pause for the next few days. Hopefully, being extra grateful. Keeping it in perspective.
I am certainly grateful for my Co-teacher who allowed me one big fat moment of weakness (early!) last week. I’m not sure who else would have let me own it, and handed me a tissue when I declared, “I just lost it.” It’s ok to not be the brave one sometimes, yeah?
Love until later,
As predicted 09/27/2012
A blog about it.
As I wrote last time, my favorite place to eat and celebrate is closing as of tomorrow. Today, a wonderful coincidence led me back there (a day earlier than I planned on being back and also a day after my last visit). My brother sent me a text message asking if I was working. He locked his keys in the house and needed a ride to work. I ended up picking him up after about three hours. I told him we’re going to Banura’s. Little did I know, history would be shared.
I could have sat and listened to Nihad talk for days. As he spoke of his parents, he taught me to always love my parents. Especially my mom. He spoke of his dying father calling out for his own mother. He told me to respect my mom. I believe my family does a good job expressing this to one another. He told me to hold on to the ones I love because money is only money. Things are only things.
He gave me words of gold. If only I had gold to give him.
And for once, the words feel the need to stop right there.
Love until later,
I’m a selfish girl. 09/26/2012
Forgive me for letting the cat out of the bag.
It started sometime around 1990. I really don’t remember when, but at some point this place and I were introduced. From then on, a relationship was built. The family who runs the place has watched me grow for somewhere around 22 years. I have watched them grow as well.
I can only describe their original location as dark. This reminds me that this is actually not the first time I have written about their restaurant. The time it really started to impact me was when I was in high school. A group of us became weekly regulars. Laura would go. Sometimes it would just be the two of us. She is no longer alive. I started going to this place pre-puberty. True dat. Two husbands. Four children. I can’t tell you how many first dates I had there. I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “When’s the wedding?!” when I walked in there with a high school boyfriend of a year or two. I can’t tell you how many second dates I had there. I can’t tell you how many friends I brought with me. I can’t tell you how many birthdays I had there. I can’t tell you how many celebrations I had there. I can’t tell you how many anniversaries were spent there. And, as of last Friday night, I can’t tell you how many tears I shed when I learned they are closing their restaurant (now in a different location).
I must be a selfish girl when I shed these tears, but I only did so out of the most love and respect a girl can build in roughly 22 years. I have no idea what it’s like to have a place like this and watch it succumb to an end. I have no idea. I can’t imagine it’s easy. What I do know is that I probably ate thousands of honey balls. I know that tonight I placed an order for old times sake, and the one making it said, “Oh, yeah, like you used to get.” I had years of phases where I wouldn’t deviate from my order. They would tease me when I changed it. So many birthdays spent there.
My biggest, fattest tears flow when I think of what this place holds for me. When I was married to the first one, I had my little baby boy. When my mom came to his funeral, she brought this flower that these men sent. That flower went right up on his tiny white casket and into the ground with him. When my little girl was alive, her favorite thing to eat there was spaghetti in pita bread. When I took my two living children, they stuffed their pita with spaghetti. They beg for honey balls. The first time one of my kids yelled out, “Opa!” was always memorable. My first set of children and my second set are connected through this place. The anniversaries of my children’s deaths have been spent there, as well as their birthdays.
I do not say these words to make my friends pain any worse, I really don’t. I know they are already dealing with thoughts of their own. I am flooded with memories that these men and their families have given me. It’s been a gift. Their gift to me. Their presence in my life. I am so incredibly thankful for all of the firsts and all of the relationships. I am thankful for the laughter. I am thankful they allowed me to lay down on their booths when my Crohn’s was so bad I couldn’t tolerate food but still wanted company. I am thankful they were there when I had the saddest heart a mom can have. Twice. And anniversaries since. I am thankful for the waiters and waitresses I grew to know and love over the past decades. I am thankful for cramming in booths. I am thankful that no matter how long it’s been (or if I come four times in a week), they know me by name. I am most definitely grateful for all of the honey balls.
Nihad and Imad (and all the rest, no doubt), thank you! Thank God for Facebook. Or Mark Zuckerberg. It’s whatever.
Love until later,