Love until later

all of it

And when I awoke… 10/19/2017

Filed under: Gah this is depressing — heidi4ever @ 8:21 pm

…I awoke with fear. I am afraid of tomorrow. I know what will happen because of what always happens. And as much as I say so often that I am in a different place, I am once again in a different place. I’m drowning right now and unable to speak it.

PTSD is no joke. One recent event sparked memories I didn’t know I was holding in there, and now so much is coming back to me. In flashes. I am reliving and reliving and when it happens I can’t make it unreal. I can’t wake up from reality.

Every year I tell this story hundreds of times. I distance myself from telling it to people aside from right now. This night. Tomorrow. Whenever I “normally” write this. Right now I’m in it. I am so deep in it. All year I can go on feeling stable and then I wake up and I have to be the voice for the Heidi who never asks for help. The trouble is that I never know exactly how this is going to go, despite knowing what always happens. It’s how I respond to it any particular year that has no pattern.

The loneliest day.

Madeline was born early by six weeks. She was a little 4 pound nugget of a baby. Tiny blonde curls. Bluuue eyes. When she was born, I was married to an abuser. He didn’t show this side quite as much early on, but after our son died things went so far out of the realm of “healthy”. I was so sick leading up to her birth.

One night when Maddie was 9 months old, she was going to stay with my mom and step dad. At the last minute, my husband came home and told me that we didn’t need to do that anymore, and that we could just drop her off in the morning with my mom if he still felt like it. It made no sense. But, he was controlling like that. I told him he didn’t have to go and I could just take her and we could have a little time with my mom. He didn’t like that.

I told him I wanted to call her to let her know. I feel like I did get to make that phone call, but so much of it is blurry. I remember snippets from this night.

I tried to make another call to my dad. I may or may not have made that call. I say it this way because he definitely ended up at my apartment.

But I also remember that I went toward the phone on the wall and it being ripped out and he broke that little clear plastic thing that connected it to the wall. Both ends of the cord. As though it mattered.

At one point he went out to my car and then came back in and said it would be ok for me to leave then. I actually tried and my car wouldn’t start.

At one point I went toward the other phone and he broke that cord, too.

I may have been threatened with his gun before. I don’t honestly remember. He definitely took that gun out and it was definitely pointed in our direction. Our. Me. And my 9 month old baby girl.

I felt all I could do was to convince him I was calm and staying. By then, he had somehow come across another phone cord and (maybe while dismantling my car) called 911. He told them I was mentally unstable.

They sent an ambulance. The paramedics came into my apartment and he laughed and tried to convince them of my insanity. I looked at them and told them I just wanted to get us to safety. I just wanted to leave.

My dad was there, but I feel like it was after the paramedics left. Maybe my mom showed up. Madeline ended up with her and John, and I went with my dad.

Neither of us died that night.

And I swear to God I would not have left had it not been for my baby girl and his reaction that night.

He cornered me back at my apartment one time after that night. I can’t even write it without feeling foolish…so I won’t. But we both left that night.

Alive, again. Another night.

He took Madeline from me. He physically took her and ran and I didn’t see her for a month. There may have even been longer stretches of time when I didn’t see her. But it was when he took her that I filed for divorce. He wouldn’t settle custody, and in our state, you cannot divorce until custody is settled.

Nearly two years later, the court ordered me to take the MMPI. You can look it up but it’s a personality test and what it tells the psychiatrist who gave it to me is what might be going on with me that would cause me to do things that my husband claimed I had done. The test was supposed to take four hours. It didn’t take me that long, but I had to come back for results and a session with the doctor. He sat me down and he asked me, “Why are you here?” I told him my husband made accusations against me and I just wanted my baby safe, but before I could finish my thought, he interrupted me to tell me nothing showed up of concern on my test and he didn’t understand why it had been ordered.

How do you explain crazy?

He tried every angle. The last time we sat down for court, a mediator came in. My attorney. His second attorney (the first one had quit). Guardian Ad Litem. Us. The Guardian Ad Litem came to a realization that day. I saw it cross her face, and she gave me a glance. I was an open book. Still.

Such a very long process.

Shortly after that, he was with his girlfriend and they had picked up Madeline. A car t-boned them on Madeline’s side. Her car seat was mangled. They absolutely do not come shaped that way and seeing it in a tangled mess brought me to my knees. His girlfriend was killed. He was injured. Madeline had a few stitches and a broken leg.

She was two years and 7 months old. She had a baby half sister named Isabella who was six months old at the time.

He went to his parents house for about a month. I took Madeline with me. I told him I wasn’t going to have it any other way. She needed as much normalcy as possible. He agreed. For the first time in a long time, we agreed.

He wanted to see her for the weekend, so I was fine dropping her off at his parents house where he was and where the baby was. I called to say goodnight to her, but when his mom answered, she told me they had gone home. She told me some of the “college girls” were staying there to help. Whatever that meant.

It was a Friday when I dropped her off. She got out of the car, excited to see her Grandma. She hobbled off, one leg still casted. On a mission, that girl. I called after her to tell her I loved her. She said, “I yuv you too, Mommy!”

Over the weekend, I wasn’t feeling great, and I was sleeping on and off on Monday. I woke up and sat outside around noon. I noticed there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. The air felt crisp. I remember closing my eyes and breathing it all in. I napped again later on and when I awoke, the phone was ringing.

My sister had seen something on the 6:00 news and wanted me to check it out. I said I was sure it was nothing because no one had called me, no one was at my door. No one. My dad had come home from work, but nothing out of the ordinary.

I called my husband’s house. The line was busy. So, I called his mom’s house. I left a message there. Then I called her cell phone. I asked her, “What’s going on?” She said she was at the coroners office.

And my heart died.

And the world ended.

I don’t remember if I said anything else before I hung up the phone. I was calling my sister back as I was racing down the hallway.

“He killed her! He killed her!” My sister in my ear and my dad standing in front of me with his mouth open. Both trying not to die themselves.

This is the moment. This is the moment that grief consumes you and makes you feel so lonely that you don’t care what happens next. I feel it in this very moment and I will feel it in tomorrow’s moments and Saturday I will get relief.

I don’t want this to be my story because it’s too much. But I so badly don’t want it to be your story that I will carry it all. But please don’t make me do it alone.

Today I was talking to some students and it was near the end of the day and I just needed something to put in them in that moment because there wasn’t a whole lot they wanted to hear. But I needed them to realize that moments are hard for each of us, and we all have a story. I have never seen a group of young men snap to attention when asked to straighten up their classroom quite like they did. They were taking care of me. Tonight, my son was talking to me and I finally told him I felt all chaotic and like I wasn’t doing a good job of taking care of my family tonight because I couldn’t focus or find direction at all. He looked at me, and heard me start to cry (I try so hard to not let that be what they see, lest it be all they remember when I’m gone). He said, “No. No. You know what?” He approached me and just hugged me and then began to list all of the things I was going to do next. Go to bed. Sit on the bed. Relax. Watch TV. Draw. Eat candy. He brought me a bag of candy and a box of crackers and the remote for my TV and a pen. Just in case. It lasted about as long as those students who helped me earlier, but by God, he was taking care of his mama.

I am so thankful for all of these babies that come into my life. No matter how bad they think they are, I know how precious they are.

I think I just realized I’m trying to save all the Madelines. Whoa.

I’m so sorry I didn’t save my Madeline or my Jeremiah from death. Jeremiah’s death wasn’t my fault (though my husband at the time often told people it was). He caught a virus and it ran its course. Madeline wasn’t killed at me. She was killed because he needed to have control.

Oh, I guess I didn’t finish.

What happened? He took a pillow and covered his 7 month old’s face and shot her, and took the same pillow and covered my daughter’s face and shot her, too. And then exploded his head all over the wall.

Why this day? Isabella’s grandparents wanted to see her and were awarded a few hours per week during which they could see their granddaughter just a few hours prior.

On this night I don’t know how to say it any differently.

The next morning, I awoke with four people in my bed. I’m pretty sure they held me all night long.

I am so loved. And I appreciate it so much.

But right now I want to go crawl in a hole.

I miss my baby.

It’s hard to not be the strong one. I feel like I should apologize for it, but I know that’s not logical.

Ugh.

Love until later,
Heidi
xoxox

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1 in 4. I am. 10/03/2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — heidi4ever @ 7:42 pm

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. And I am 1 in 4. The stories I could write are endless.

Me, on the phone with my dad. He asks how my baby is and I tell him I lost this one, too. My third miscarriage in as many years. I tell him the “whole story” about nurses and phone calls and so many blood tests and a stack 30 high of pregnancy dip sticks. He ends with, “Aw. Do you think you were?” “Think I was what?” I ask. “Pregnant,” he responds. “Dad, I just told you how closely they’ve been monitoring me. Blood tests every 48 hours since I found out.”

So I realize this happens to many people. Even those closest to me respond with skepticism. Because you know what will happen is I’ll have to tell you a few weeks or a month later that I’ve miscarried. Again. So, its unbelievable on your end and you wonder how daft I can be and what you don’t realize is how I must harden myself to any potential future joy.

I sat before an ultrasound not knowing whether my baby was going to be in there with a be as thing heart, or washed out in what I can only describe as a bloody massacre. I sat there thinking, “No. You do not exist because I do not deserve joy. I have not done well enough at whatever it is to deserve the opportunity that the 20 pregnant women in the room have been given.”

“How many children do you have?”

Holy innocent question! Yet how the hell do I answer it? Time has given me a standard answer that leaves the choice in the person asking the question. It goes, “Two living.” The rest is so complicated. Even for me.

Listening to an acquaintance tell another (in front of me) that she’s pregnant. The one friend runs up to her, all smiles. Laughter ensues. Jumping, even. At the time, I was pregnant. I received a blank stare as a reaction whenever I delivered updates of my pregnancy. Even the original news was received with, “I’m sorry,” rather than any form of joy my direction. Don’t worry, I give it to myself. I don’t allow myself to feel strongly when I should be overjoyed.

In 1999 I sat before a medical team 6 weeks after my infant son died. I still have this stack of papers where the team was showing me how it was my fault my son died. They had all of these articles to show me and explain why it was me who killed him. My husband at the time was on their side. My son died from a virus he caught from his father, my husband. I was tested not once but twice during pregnancy and both were negative. My husband at the time actually had obvious signs of the virus. I have photographs of him holding my son where it can be seen.

I have had people bully me out of message boards asking for proof-my story is so unbelievable that it is truly difficult to wrap your brain around it if you’re outside looking in.

That feeling of holding your breath until you see the heart beating on the sonogram, then break down in hysterics because you weren’t expecting that and are scared to death that it won’t make it either. Your progesterone was a FOUR! Under five isn’t viable. How can your bean come back from that?

Your body remembers the shape it needs to be to grow a human and you get there fast after so many pregnancies. You put on your maternity clothes to be told you are miscarrying once again.

If it ever works out, I’m not telling you until 1) she’s 5 years old or 2) I’m forced to.

It is trauma.

And I am 1 in 4.

Love until later,

Heidi

xoxox

 

“Dear God, make me a bird…” 02/19/2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — heidi4ever @ 9:49 pm

The past month has been a complete whirlwind. I have battled. I have fought. There are so many lonely fights, but I fought this one as a team.

I have to tell you something absolutely embarrassing. Long story longer: Batman and I have been trying to have a baby for…well, a few years now. It was because we were trying that in 2015 I was paying attention to my body and what it was doing and took a pregnancy test. It was positive and I wasn’t even late yet. No sooner had we called the parents when I began to spot and cramp and after a short amount of time it was done and in my hand I held two tiny creatures. A yin and yang. Smallest little…well…my babies.

In 2016, I was on top of it again and found out for the second time that I was pregnant. This time just a few days in, I woke up and something was horribly wrong. I went to the hospital later that day and it was gone. It was done.

I began this tangle well over a year prior, but something got me going on this one right around Christmas time. I was sitting at my drafting table working on it. I would cry into this piece. I would fall asleep on this piece.

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By the time I got to the fall of 2017, I was an expert at charting ovulation and peeing on sticks. So, I started peeing on those sticks far too early. One night I had my little stick and there were two lines there. I was so confused. It didn’t make any sense. As I said, it was too early. I sent my sister a message. I told her not to get excited because something wasn’t right, but I needed help making sense of it. She crossed her fingers and promised she wasn’t getting excited. It was an hour later when I realized it wasn’t a pregnancy test but an ovulation test. I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t say anything until the next morning. Derp.

So you can imagine when we got down to our third pregnancy, I had already decided to not tell the world until said child was about five years old. Thirty or so pregnancy tests later (yeah, yeah, I buy in bulk because 1. I’m insane and/or 2. Go through this and tell me you wouldn’t be the same), I was thinking maybe this was it. With caution, we lived another day. Then two, then weeks went by. I knew I was going to have to tell my kids because they were about to notice all of the appointments I was about to have. And because of that, I had to tell work people far sooner than what I wanted. It was so difficult to share this information as a medical concern rather than the joy that it should have been. But I couldn’t waste time.

I found my doctor (he only takes ob patients, and not just gyn so I hadn’t seen him since after I had Kidlet) but apparently needed a referral. Called a few places and found a doctor who could see me the next day. The lady who made my appointment insisted they were scheduling out several weeks. I stopped and said, “Look, here’s my situation: I have already lost a few and I’m just utterly terrified.” She wound up telling me she went through something so similar and her daughter is named Hope. As she was typing there had been a cancellation.

I saw that doctor and got my referral. Before I left the parking lot, I was on the phone to schedule with my same old ob/gyn. The same lady I spoke with when I first called (who told me I just needed a referral) decided that he wasn’t actually a doctor that people can see and I told her I got the referral like she said and asked her (again) for thoughts. She mentioned a place and I called and made an appointment. But I let them know that I had lost two and so they asked me to come in for bloodwork.

Meanwhile, I had an infusion coming up and my GI of course couldn’t see me for a hundred years, but the Physician’s Assistant could get me in immediately. Well, within a few days or a week.

The P.A. and I spoke of my biologic and other options and then we ran out of time. I had to go have labs drawn to make sure all was well.

My hcg (the pregnancy hormone) was looking good. My progesterone was looking good.

My daughter turned 17 this day. My Maddie. Funny, it was with my second pregnancy (with her) that I popped out of my regular clothes at only 6 weeks. I’ve had two other babies since then, and my pants were so uncomfortably tight. I ended up buying some maternity pants this day, despite having turned down some offers from those closest to me for the use of their pregato clothes, stating I was hoping to get through this one with all my regular clothes/leggings, and would just let the kid sleep in a drawer.

I went back in to speak with him again and things began moving forward. I was curious if Entyvio had been doing its job. So we checked. How about you don’t ask me how this is done and we all pretend that it’s just a routine and simple thing.

I was on the phone with my surgeon and GI’s office and running from lab to lab to lab. In two days, my port would come out through a surgery I would have while awake. I think just the idea that this thing is implanted in my chest and cath’s right into a major artery into my heart and the way in which it is removed is in a sterile procedure done while I am to be awake was just terrifying. Is. It IS terrifying.

The following day, I was blowing my nose and noticed it was bleeding. I had forgotten that part of pregnancy (for me anyway). My next trip to the bathroom was a scary one. It was that, “Wait…is that…blood?”

Now, there could be so many reasons for you to stop reading now. Perhaps you’ve never been through this. Maybe blood makes you feel gross. Perhaps you don’t want to know so much about me. In that case, you can stop reading now.

When it’s early, maybe it’s supposed to be a “normal” thing. I bled with both of my boys. With TBA I bled for something like 15 weeks and the amount was absolutely grotesque. But this was still a question of is it or is it not? I told Batman and I’m sure he struggled, but he didn’t know what to do. I knew what to watch for. I also knew that’s not what I was seeing.

The following day I knew something wasn’t good. I called my doctor and they said come in for an ultrasound, then they called me back and said never mind, just come in for bloodwork. It wasn’t the heaviest flow. It wasn’t a concerning bright red. I wasn’t passing tissue. I didn’t have cramping.

I had my port removed right afterward. They used so much to numb the port area that afterward, I knew I just needed to get my bra back on before I couldn’t bend that way any more. I wound up bruising all the way from my upper right breast to where my bra strap met the top of my right shoulder. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve been through, but my anxiety was through the roof.

But I made it.

The next morning, I made it through the first few hours. And then I went to the restroom and I knew I was in trouble. I stood up and made my way back to class with a very strange feeling. I stood up and left again and did not pass go, I went straight to call my doctor. The lady I spoke with told me my hcg actually looked really good. She told me the number and it was exactly where it should have been, but my progesterone had dropped. So did my heart. She asked me to come in for an ultrasound.

I made my way back to my co-workers and then I was out the door. I called my sister and as I was leaving her a message to please keep my kids, I felt this huge gush. My voice wavered and I had to stop and wait. I was half bent over in the parking lot at school, half in my car. Not sure what to do next. I didn’t want to break down until I knew. As if I didn’t already know. But not for sure, for sure. I texted my husfriend to meet me, put a blanket in the front seat of my car, and made my way to the doctor. I was wearing a long coat, but had no idea how bad my situation was.

So when I got to the doctor, I went straight up to the window and told the lady my name and before she could ask me to sit down, I said softly to her, “I have an ultrasound scheduled at 12:30 and I know I’m a little early but if there is somewhere you could put me, I am losing a lot of blood right now and this room is filled with pregnant women and their very young children and I don’t want to alarm them, but I am terrified to sit down.”

All I could think was that I needed to stay calm until I could get out of there.

The Nurse Practitioner stood by and made very short statements as the Ultrasound Technician offered more reassuring statements. “When was your LMP? No, don’t show her that. Yeah. Well. I don’t know what to say, really, but you’ve been through this before and it looks like you’re going through it again. I mean, you’re 38, you’re not 28…do you have any questions for me?”

“I want my husband.”

Blah blah, follow up hcg in a week, maybe a lot more blood and cramping…blah blah.

I wrapped myself in a chuck and made it to the elevator where Batman and I were going opposite directions. I called him and waited outside in the open air. He looked at me and all I could do was shake my head.

My other two m/c’s were caught so early that I barely rejoiced before they were gone. This one I felt. This one I believed.

I labored that night. I cramped and pushed and was up 7 times, just gushing all of those bits. Each and every time I wondered if that was the time I was flushing my baby down the toilet. Or bits of my baby. Or would I know it when I saw it? I would wipe and whisper, “Please don’t be my baby. Please don’t be my baby.” Of course, it was my baby. I don’t know when, but I lost five pounds that weekend. I would wake up completely drenched in sweat and could only hobble to the bathroom again.

A few days later, I got mad. Kidlet got the flu and I realized then that there is no maternity leave for a miscarriage. I bled for 12 days, I think. I went through over 100 pads. This might mean nothing when I say it to someone who has no idea just how much that is, but it terrified me and I’m sure if I had let on, it would scare even the Batmanest of Batmans. It hurt. It still does. It’s probably not done yet.

One day in all of it, Batman was just laying there watching me. He kept telling me I looked sad and I kept insisting I was not. I was trying to keep it in me because I didn’t want him to hurt and I thought that by me just trying to work through it on my own, I could save him from hurting. I needed that moment more than I’ve needed any moment with him since the one where he finally admitted out loud that he was in love with me, however many years ago. I spend so much time herding all the others through their lives that sometimes I just don’t deal with me.

I did have one other noteworthy conversation during this time about suffering. My step-dad kind of caught me off guard with it and I need to revisit that at another time because right now I am foggy.

My body is still feeling pregnant, but hcg is dropping. My abdomen shrunk back down to just regular fat 🙂 over the past few days, but the nausea and exhaustion are coming with greater rests in between. I wish I could say that I am less likely to cry, but right now I am just feeling thankful for every minute I got with this child (most definitely a boy as I couldn’t get off the tacos for a minute), and for every minute I got to do the parenting experiences with Batman. I had already ordered his Valentine’s Day presents when I miscarried. I decided to give them to him anyway. We needed that moment just as much as the one a day or two prior. And now I am going to go give him the rest of my moments for this day. I need all of the moments I can get, for it never feels like enough.

Love until later,
Heidi
xoxox

 

 

Stages 03/18/2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — heidi4ever @ 1:38 pm

First, I can’t believe I have a 17 year old. I mean…still letting that one sink in.

Next, I have always found behaviors to be interesting. Mine included. I have moved through stages of grief at different times. It’s possible I accepted Jeremiah’s death at an early time because I was forced into grieving the loss of Madeline. It’s possible that due to the nature of her death vs. his death, I struggle moving through at the same pace. I am so traumatized by some events that happened with my first husband that I still have anxiety and flashbacks that take over at times. It doesn’t happen very often, but occasionally there are triggers. I’m ok with it. I mean, not fun to go through it, but it’s not taking over my life.

I find myself at a different place this year. Physically I am living in a different city. This is new. But I’m ok. I’m actually ok. I don’t long to go to his cemetery because of who else has a stone nearby. Again, physically…I am a few states away from him. The more “days” I experience, the more I realize I have to give up “days” for other things. What I know is that nothing is more important to me than my family, and I have my husfriend and two of my kids with me. They are my home. It’s not about being near a place. It’s about being with what I’ve got. I am so happy with what I’ve got, which I think has propelled me into a new stage of life.

Not that I’ve ever really spent a whole lot of time being unhappy. I’ve had my moments. But now I have thoughts at the front of my mind that kind of overtake all of that which I have survived. Grief in the beginning is so raw. I know people who are surviving their first days and months of having lost a child and I don’t even know what to say to help another human survive those times. It sucks. It is hard. It’s hard to be the one left with memories, nothing more. But on the other hand, the longer I go without my kids, the harder it is to remember them. So in some ways, I envy that raw grief, and allow it whenever it chases me down.

I have to give a shout out to my husfriend, Batman. He has taught me that I deserve to be loved in the way I love my children and the way my family loves me. It’s an honest love and an unconditional love. I see him trying to figure me out. He yearns to learn me because I matter to him. And what he cannot figure out, he loves anyway. I love the love with which he showers me. He keeps me in the now and he walks with me, forward. He’s also good at standing still with me during those moments I cannot propel. I’ve never had a love which equals my love for my children. That’s pretty incredible, and everything to do with where I am. Where we are.

Seventeen years ago I experienced so many parental emotions all in one day. What I have on my mind today is how young I was to have to make the choices I had to on this day in 1999. I think I made the appropriate choice, but it didn’t feel like a choice at all. I had to sign the papers to remove my child from life support. I was 19 years old at the time. He was 11 days old. It was a whirlwind and I couldn’t keep up. I’m happy to no longer feel like I’m just trying to stay afloat.

Never getting over.

Moving through.

Love until later,
Heidi
xoxox

 

A picture is worth…? 02/06/2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — heidi4ever @ 10:06 pm

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Love until later,
Heidi
xoxo

 

Send forth the troops 10/20/2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — heidi4ever @ 7:29 pm

Oh, today. Crazy, crazy day. My day goes like this: Wake up at 5:30 a.m. First thoughts: OK, I got this. Go through morning routine. Next thoughts: OK, I can do this. Not the worst day. I got this. Read Facebook. OK, I can’t do this anymore. Start nudging Batman. “Wake up, I’ve been alone too long.” Hugs and love. Phew. Close one. Step outside.

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So there’s that. Thank you for my morning. I’m lucky enough to have another. Made it almost to work. Actually, I made it down the street and turned left. It was waiting for the one stoplight I have in my commute that got me. Why? Down time. Ugh. Drive some more. Realized I have mastered the art of sobbing silently until just before the tears fall, so they dry back up and no one ever knows. Made it to work. Pretty sure I zoned out half the day. Caught myself twice in the classroom, and several more times before I lost any eye moisture in front of these people I don’t know. I kept realizing it, too. I don’t know them. They don’t know me. I have been blessed to work with a great group of ladies, but for some reason I am shy on the feels. Keep it in makes more sense. Don’t let them know you’re vulnerable, Heidi! God forbid…

They asked me throughout the day how I was. They were great. Those who didn’t know what to say said nothing. Those who also didn’t know what to say but felt they needed to do something would nudge or poke or hug or catch me alone and just say, “Sup?” It couldn’t have been better. I only felt mildly idiotic when I was asked about my bracelet and had to explain it’s Madeline’s hair which I put in a tube, sealed with another tube, and several bandaids in Madeline’s favorite characters. I wear it on my wrist every year on these days, and usually wear my t-shirt which screams “Madeline’s Mommy” across my back and has her tiny dates on the front. I wear in support, but not today. Today, I knew I’d be standing alone, and it would be too much to explain to too many newbs.

5Kidlet sat in my classroom first thing, eating her rice krispie treat she sneaked early from her lunch box. I swear I make them delicious, but her tooth fell out, nonetheless. It was her first loss at school, and she was stoked to get a tooth shaped box from the health aide. I love a first on a day that feels like lasts.

And the day rolled on, and the pictures rolled in. My army went to the cemetery because I no longer live nearby. How much do my friends and family love me? Holy Pete, so much. My army fought the battle for me. Or with me, from afar. They carried my load and they went in and they gave what they could. And I love them. And those who couldn’t go thought of this sweet little girl, killed by one of the very people she loved the most in the world. And I squeezed my living kids a little tighter, and I hugged them a little longer. And I told them I feel blue. Because I do. And it’s OK. Tomorrow won’t be so blue, I know that much.10876

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I arrived home to this from my sister and brother in law and nephew…

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Which was unexpected and lovely. My sister asked about my day and I told her it sucked in some ways but not really because of “this”, so at least there’s that. My army checks in because they know that sometimes I just need that breath of familiarity. I need to know I’m not alone. It feels the army grows, but the ring of people who directly knew her feels so very small. The whole army is precious to me. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t pick most of you out of a line up, but I absolutely know you’re there.

I sit and take off my bracelet so I can type. I imagine her the way she was, because the future doesn’t exist where she is concerned. I remember her hair. Those curls. Those blue eyes my children are all blessed with. I try so hard to remember her smell, but it’s been lost. I try so very hard to remember those arms wrapped around my neck, or the feel of her tiny body in my arms. I can’t. I try to remember the sound of her voice, but save for a few rare videos, my memory doesn’t stretch that far back anymore. I sadly say these things, and simultaneously march forward knowing it is OK and it is probably normal, though no one ever admits any of it. I sadly march when she cannot, and yet I march because I am strong and I live for me and I live for her and I live for Kidlet and I live for The Big Awesome and I live for Batman and I live for my inner ring and I live for my army. I live fully. So did she.

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I am so grateful tonight. I am grateful for such a full life, both mine and hers.

You are my #1 girl. My free, innocent, perfect little girl. I love you to the moon and back again.

MVC-017S

Love until later,
Mama
xoxox

 

This is Me. 10/19/2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — heidi4ever @ 6:01 pm

I’m thinking of the years’ newest readers. I’ve been on hiatus from writing, but not necessarily from doing. I feel as though I am an open book. I was reading recently about people who create two or more different social media accounts. One is real and one is what they hide behind. It’s what they want to be. I have an extremely difficult time relating to that, as I feel I am very open. What you see is what you get. However, I am learning that is not the case. I can’t work into conversation a lot of things about me. And in a world where one prefers to define oneself, here I go:

I am tactile. What you think of as “soft” leaves me scratching furiously. Music speaks to me, but I rarely know the words to an entire song. I prefer creative hearing over regular listening, but I get you. My passion is art. It changes to the extent that I flit between the type of art faster than you can keep up. I study people and judge you all. Just kidding about that last part. Maybe. I wonder if I will ever be able to turn off the need to constantly assess everyone I meet. I think deep and research often so that I know my shit. I prefer a fun atmosphere. I cannot stand how we are all so self absorbed, and yet I sit here in my own tiny world thinking only of what races through my brain this night. I relate to you. All of you. I have humor. I was born into it and know not life without it. I like to wear black. Always. I try hard to add not black to my wardrobe, but it’s only for you that I do so. So many canvases are blank and white. I am a canvas. Adding-constantly adding. I have fun with my hair and with my clothes and with my sandals and even my fingernails. I like unique but not in a “look at me!” sort of way. I believe in something bigger than me, and that you are it. I love my family. I have children. A lot. I had 4 healthy births and I have two living children. I recently miscarried two tiny babies in an emotional whirlwind. I work with children with special needs because I love their minds. I am a daughter. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a sister. I am a cousin. I am a niece. I am able to define me better than anyone, most likely. And tonight I feel lost.

Twelve (gah, twelve!) years ago I went to bed not feeling so great. I awoke on the morning of October 20th, 2003 to find a bright, crisp autumn day. I remember meditating outside, feeling encouraged. I try to move myself back to that feeling tonight, and see it applied in my life. I fly forward through the days, and sometimes don’t know how I got where I am, though I know I’ve taken everything in as I’ve gone because I don’t know how to live without noticing almost everything. It’s Me.

My little girl was going about her day at home with her dad and her 7 month old half sister. Her sister’s mom had died in a car accident the month before, and her dad was injured. This was the first time she had been back at home with just her dad and sister since this fatality. Her sister’s grandparents had gained visitation that very morning, allowing them to see their granddaughter for something like an hour or two per week. My estranged husband had a difficult time giving up control. He learned that they had won this visitation and decided it was the worst possible thing. He decided he needed to show his control and took his gun upstairs where he shot his infant daughter, killing her. He brought his gun downstairs where he shot my daughter in the head, over her eye, killing her instantly. The S.W.A.T team says Kangaroo Jack was just ending on the TV when they arrived. Then, he stood by the front door where he used the same gun to take his own life. This is the basic story, though it feels so much deeper than the story I have learned to retell as though I have not been scarred to the depths of my spirit by living it.

I have scars. You have scars. Sometimes they consume us. Sometimes they are on the outside. Sometimes they are deep and denial is all you see, though you’d never know it. Sometimes it’s you. Sometimes you see through it. Sometimes you don’t notice it and you can live a “normal” life. And sometimes. Sometimes you find the hope. Sometimes there is intense guilt because you’ve found happiness. Sometimes the flashbacks are so strong, the panic is no longer able to stay silent. It can make you not breathe. It can make you dizzy. It can feel so so so lonely. My voice wears out. I lose energy just by remembering. I gasp. I sob. I let it have me. Sometimes comes not often after a while. It no longer feels raw in quite the same way. I can function. I can thrive.

Here is this, though: my life is good. My life is so flipping unbelievably amazing. It doesn’t feel bad. It doesn’t feel like you need to feel sorry for me. It feels right. My heart is so full of love. My head is full of memories that are unique to me and my life. I guess what I’ve done is I’ve survived.

Knowing that, and having said that…well, it’s pretty awful to be in this mama’s heart right now. I have two kids out in the living room doing their sibling thing and I should have four. Or even six. I don’t know how I will get through the next 24 hours, and yet I know that I most likely will. I just don’t want to, because I know how it goes. I know how the day drags and each minute is a flashback of that original day. I don’t wish that day on anyone, and yet I am glad this is my life.

I miss her arms wrapped around my neck in the most innocent of hugs. I miss her crazy quirks (like vomiting every time she saw her own poop). I miss how sweet she was to her baby dolls, and how she could dress up in a pillow case and feel beautiful. I miss her being amazed at something like a bird or a sticker. I miss the way she said the letter “L”, watching my lips and tongue and teeth and trying so hard to imitate. I miss kissing her goodnight with a kiss to her right cheek, then her left, then a huge fat kiss with her head flung back, dramatically saying, “Dah-ling!” I miss her taking time out of her toddler world to notice things about me, like what color I was wearing. I miss her putting my bra on her head and thinking it was hilarious as a hat. I miss her doing my hair in 500 tiny butterfly clips, upside down. I miss what would have been. I miss the 14 year old girl I would have had. I miss the hormonal teenage fights we never experienced. I miss the future. How is that possible?

Tomorrow I will get up and I will go to work. I will do it because I want to try, and not because someone is making me. For now, I will go be with The Big Awesome and the Kidlet and Batman and then I will gorge myself on gelato because it will help. It will. Really. The Me I know is convinced of that.

Tomorrow it will be a challenge to get through the day. I will wear my waterproof mascara and will cry when you ask me how I am because it is not fun to admit when I am not OK or anywhere near OK. I will be remembering what I had and dreaming of what I don’t have. All the while, so grateful for what I’ve got.

My girl. My Madeline.

Love until later,
Mama
xoxox

 

 
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