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.
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.
Kidlet 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.
I arrived home to this from my sister and brother in law and nephew…
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.
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.
Love until later,