Monday, February 20, 2012

Watch your Pews

I'm fine a lot of the time now. I go long stretches without crying or feeling overwhelmingly sad. I do miss her.
A lot.

But I feel a great peace about her and the knowledge that we will be together again someday.

I've been finding ways to keep busy though. Every door in my house needs to be painted so that's been SO fun. The monkeys are, of course, all consuming with peace treaties that need negotiating and the literal entire gallon, of spilled milk (the morning after I mopped the floor), to clean up. And at our house we DO sometimes cry over spilled milk.

This weekend my brother blessed his new little baby boy (born about 3 weeks before Gracie). I felt no apprehension about it. Seriously. None at all.

Sunday morning went something like this. I got up, the boys had colds so I was going by myself. I woke up a little late so I was rushed, James spilled an entire gallon of milk on the floor, tears ensued, stress levels rose, but I got out the door and on the road.

I arrived at the church about 20 minutes early. I searched for my family and my sister-n-laws family and couldn't find them  so I went ahead and reserved two huge long pews towards the front. I felt so proud for being early and productive. I shooed people away looking for seats. I was saving them for MY family. WE were important. MY brother was blessing HIS baby today. I relished in the quiet and peace without my circus. And the time passed. And passed.

And finally it was five til so I texted my brother and said, "where are you? I have two rows saved!"

he texted me back and said "we're all here... where are you?"

At the wrong church apparently.

I was so embarrassed I grabbed all my things that were strewn across the two rows and ran out. It was fine it was just embarrassing.
*(my brother has decided to call this pew terrorism. He thinks we should show up at random churches, save a handful of prime pews and then abandon them right before the service starts. I think it could catch on, no?)

Anyway. I booked it to the correct church and got there barely in time. I was flustered. My brother got up to give the blessing. I tried to settle myself after rushing there. I bowed my head and closed my eyes and he started speaking and I started crying. Like serious crying.

Here's the thing. It wasn't like I could feel it coming. There was absolutely no warning. I wasn't apprehensive. I didn't feel the tears threatening to come. My throat didn't tighten up. NOTHING.

I was fine and a split second later I was not. Like a slap in the face.

I concealed myself the best I could and when he was done excused myself to use the restroom. I made it into the bathroom, into the stall, locked the door and lost my mind. I had to keep it quiet for the first few moments while a lady finished washing her hands and the second the door clicked I cried.

It's a fine balance because I am so so happy for my brother and their healthy little baby. He is darling and I love him. I love holding him. It fills the little hole in my arms.

But I guess, it's still hard. By the way I lost it, I apparently wasn't aware of just how fragile I still am but I guess I am.

Church is hard in general. Lots of little babies. Lots of people asking you how you are. You are close to the spirit and I think that makes your heart tender. It also didn't help that in that particular meeting a man got up and spoke about his new little baby girl born with a heart problem. He described watching the oxygen monitor, watching it decrease little by little and it just brought back such a flood of memories. Vivid vivid memories.

When I got home, I explained to Kendall how shocked I was that I went from zero to 160 emotionally and of course, as Kendall usually is, he wasn't surprised. He said that he thinks surviving something like this leaves physical wounds but also spiritual ones. And that I can see the physical ones and monitor the progress and see when I am healed, but the spiritual ones are little bit trickier. And someday, the spiritual ones will heal too, but there will always be a scar.

He's probably right.


Monday, February 13, 2012

I am Pariah.

Or at least I feel like one. It's like I am in this semi-existence. Half-in, half-out. Wanting to resume business as usual but also not.

Harrison's Valentine's party was today. My attending it hadn't given me a second thought until I pulled up to the doors. This is a place where everyone knows what happened, but I don't really know anyone there. As if trying to make small talk isn't hard enough.

I considered not going and then I realized I had his Valentine's so I had no choice. I walked in and everyone said "Hi!" and I mean "HI!!!!!" Too much. They knew it. I knew it, but no one knew how to de-awkwardize the situation so they all fell into small groups of twos and threes and chatted.

I kind of went over to Harrison and hovered, attempted to jump into a conversation which came to a stop when I came over and I eventually wandered back to Harrison. I sat on his tiny little chair and made him sit on my lap.

He was like a human shield. I acted really engaged in what he was doing and saying. And then they pulled him out of the room to play some game. So I turned to one of his little friends and acted really engaged in what HE was doing and saying.

And I've come to realize that it is much easier for me to socialize with four and five year olds. I am starting to feel much better about my plan to teach preschool in the fall. One of the little girls who had previously been OBSESSED with the fact that I was pregnant came over and said, "Is the baby out of your tummy?" I said, "Yes." She looked me up and down and said, "Okay" and started talking about Rapunzel.

Now that's the kind of conversation I can handle.

I know I never posted part two of the Funeral but I am just not in..."that place", I guess. Right now, it feels better to keep things tucked away. I think I am in a place where I don't want to relive it over and over in my mind. But sometime I will be. I'm sure of that.

My friend and amazing photographer Toni Elmer ( sent me the rest of the pictures and I this is one that I love.

Signing out.