Sunday, May 29, 2011

This Mad Crazy Lady!!

The crazy lady is back. More like the mad crazy lady. Mad at my kids and mad a Pete!!  Which seems stupid. how can you be mad at a dead guy. He is lucky he is not here. I am .His kids and I are here. doing what? trying to live our lives without him. How are we doing Pete?
  I made the drive to Batavia with three kids. It was great!! No really, the drive part was fine. And the picnic was good too. Unfortunately it rained the whole time. It was really nice to see everyone. But it was really hard too. Cause there we all were just standing around waiting for Pete to come bustling in through the door and he never did. He never does!!
  It's the coming home back to the house and knowing that he is not here to greet us. Still!! I wonder how long it will be that I will keep waiting for him to be there. I want to shout to myself. Idiot he is not here. He hasn't been for almost 19 months now. Why would he be here now. Its the frustration of not being able to deal. to just deal with everything. The kids need me and I need to just sit in the corner and cry and shout until I feel better. But then I don't want the kids to look at me and be scared. Right now I am thankful the big ones are in bed. Yet mad at the little one cause he is pulling my hair. I can either be mad at him or I can write about what I am really mad about. I am mad that I am still here and PEte is not. I can't change it, I can't go back. I can't undo it. I can't do anything. It feels very helpless at times. It's these helpless moments that make me want to just run down the street screaming my head off. Will I feel better? I don't know. Will it bring Pete back. NO! So why would I feel better. I don't know.
  I am mad at the world tonight. Mad, mad. Mad. And Mad that I can't do a single thing. I can't take some pill to feel happy again. I could drink it away. But then I would have a hangover and be mad that I have a hangover and then will remember why I have the hangover and therefore it comes back to just being mad. So why go through the whole drink it away. It doesn't help. Nothing does when I am in the mad state.
  So what should I do? I don't know. I guess write out my frustrations to share them with you instead of taking them out on the harmless bystanders. Like A,P, and CL. I know it is not their fault either. I just don't seem to have the patience to handle all their emotions and the "coming home" emotions that they feel as well. I get tired of being the "strong one" all the time. Be strong for them, be strong for those around me. To be calm, act like the world is my oyster. Well it's not. And today I don't want to be strong I want to be mad. even though it seems  counterproductive. Again whats the point. And yet I can't help but be mad!
  So I guess, I will go and put my cranky baby to sleep. Feeling mad at the whole process. Yet knowing tomorrow is a "new" day, thank goodness. Pete still won't be here. But we will.  We will keep going like we always do. Mad or not, We will make it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Facing the music "feels" extra Crazy!

Do you ever feel that you are carrying the world? I don't feel that I am carrying the whole world, I just mean that I am carrying my world.  I always try my best to look at the whole picture. To see things from all perspectives. However there still seems to be a few things that I have yet to face. The two that I can think of off the top of my head are:  What to do with Pete's truck and going "home" to Illinois.  The problem with the truck is that even though I have one of Pete's friends who would gladly take it, I just don't know how I feel about seeing it driving around Indianapolis without him in it. It just feels weird. Maybe that means it's just not time yet. I go back and forth on this. Sometimes I think. "OK, I am ready, lets be done with it." Plus I know Pete would have wanted it to be used if someone is in need of transportation. The other times. I feel like its one of those things, that was so him.  It's like all of his model cars they are so him.  Now granted I don't want his truck sitting in my driveway, and I don't really want to physically see it. But I just can't seem to "let it go."
  The other major one is going home. I know, I need to do it. And I feel the pressure big time to do it. But I just can't face it yet!  I don't know how to tell his parents that. I so feel grateful for the driving they do to come here. And I know it must be so hard for them to come here. To his house to see the kids and everything with out him physically here. How hard and odd it must feel to them. I just feel stuck. At what point do I just push myself to get over "it" and just do it? Will I ever "feel" ready, unless I just go there. I don't know. But It feels so, so , hard. At times I almost feel like a child. I want to stomp my foot and yell "NO, I won't do it" And then run to my room and shut the door. As if that would do any good. And I don't usually take the cowards way out anyone. However I sometimes wonder if that's what they think. When they keep asking me to come home.  I struggle with this so much. I love his family. It's not that I don't want to see them. Or be with them. There are so many memories tied into being there. In Pete's house. His home that he grew up in. So many trips there with Pete. I mean we used to go at least once a month. Sometimes it would be a couple months before we could get back. But it always felt like a second home to me.
   It was today after I got off the phone with his parents that I remembered something major and yet crazy. One year I think it was 3 years ago around Thanksgiving. The plan was we were going to go to his house the weekend before for a bridal shower or baby shower and then He was going to drive back and the kids and I would stay in IL. Since the next weekend was going to be Thanksgiving. So then on Wednesday he would just drive back, and we would all have Turkey day with his parents. However when it was time for him to get ready to go, I told him "You cant go." he said "Why?" I said I just have a feeling that something bad is going to happen. That you won't be safe. You can't leave today." I mean I was adamant! And he knew about my crazy intuition. I remember calling a friend on the phone talking with her the day before he left and I kept saying "He can't go. But, I know he has to go back to work. What am I going to do."  She told me that it was OK. That maybe it was just a warning for him to be extra  careful on the way home. Pete and I talked about it and he said he would be extra careful. That he would call me the instant he got home. I gave him a big hug and told him to be so careful. And he left. He did call me the instant he got home.     I think of this now. And remember. Pete passed away in November on the 21st. three days before Thanksgiving. Just three years after I had "that" feeling.
   Everything in IL is Pete. The room we slept in. The places we went. It's his childhood home. It feel like walking back in time. The music is loud and I can't seem to face it. I finally feel that I am somewhere slightly steady. My fear of going back feels shaky. I know, I know. The only way to get over your fear is to do it. To face that loud music and just turn down the volume. No, I don't feel that it would kill me. It's just music, right? But Pete is so real there. So, so, crazy real. Every time I think of being in his home I think of all the happy times and it's another moment of feeling like If I could just touch him. In my memories he is right there. Just reach Kathryn, Reach...I stretch and stretch and it's just never enough. Why damnit!!! I know the kids want to go back. I know they do. They have been talking about it. it's like every moment, every car ride, every conversation every gas stop, every bite to eat. Its all right there. I just don't know how to do it without him. I am living right? I am living without him. I am raising our children without him, I strive to keep going and make it and stay strong and clean the house and keep everyone fed and clothed and healthy and happy. Balance the finances, make dinner, get to ballet class. just keep living. Isn't that enough? Cant I just do the living for right now?
   Does not wanting to go back make me weak? Like I have failed Pete in some way? I don't know. I mean part of me wonders if Pete and I were married but had no kids would they want me to come visit so much? I am not saying they don't love me, or that they don't like me in some way. It;s just sometimes I wonder these things. Not right or wrong really... I do miss the family. All his aunts and uncles. Being together eating such amazing food. laughing, loving, and  being together. I want A, P and CL to know that. I want them to know them. All of their family. To know their roots, their foundation. I guess maybe what it comes down to is that going back without him feels so real. So cut and dry. He is dead. There is nothing you or anyone can do about it. Like facing the truth so loudly!! This is your life, Kathryn Barajas. Now what?
  I don't know. Maybe it doesn't have to be that hard. It just feels that hard. like the walls are closing in and I have to make the decision. And if I don't I am going to get squished. How much longer? I am sure they wonder that too. Yesterday it was 18 months. 18!! Since Pete has passed. Is that long enough to not be "home?"  I mean they have even offered to come down here, and drive me back there. So I wouldn't have to worry about driving with three kids by myself. Thats a lot of driving on their part!! And I am so, so grateful. Is it the fact that it's been 18 months? I seem to have really struggled this time. I mean why would 18 months be harder than say 17 months.  To me it feels monumental.  Like really 18 months. I know, that in some ways it is just a number signifying time passing. But still it seems like so much and so little too.
   I don't know, I don't know, I just don't know. I feel crazy. Who has the answers? Pete? It's one more moment, It's one more thing to hurdle. Whats it feel like on the other side? Can I even see that far. If I picture everything being splendid. Then it will be, and there was no reason to worry. Why the struggle? This was my second home for God-sakes.  I should do it for the kids, right? I should do it for me. for us, for Pete. But when, I don't know. For now, I ask God's help. To give me strength to keep going, to face the music and find the joy. To know that I survived yet another very crazy moment in this journey. However I don't know when, But I will. And It will be great! And maybe I will drive Pete's truck to it's new home. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Too Crazy?

Is there such a thing as "too Crazy?" Too many thoughts, too many. memories, just too many... Yet another "Memory " came and went. Mothers Day. Seriously?  It doesn't ever seem to be about Mothers. Because really the Mothers, end up doing all the work. It's all the preparing, to make sure that other "Mothers" have a nice time. And you know that all those" Mothers" had to get their families ready to go.  To Mothers day lunch, brunch,  Dinner. You name it. But it was the" Mothers" that held the family in check, to make sure that everyone got to where they were supposed to be. With that said. There are moments though usually throughout the day that we "Mothers" get a moment of gratitude. Weather it's through the beautiful smile that our child gives us. With a big hug, yelling " Happy Mothers Day!!" or  a wonderful brother in law who works so hard to share his "talent" with his in-law mothers, and sisters, and Grandmothers. He cooked a magnificent meal for the mothers. He of course being the shy one that he is, would never accept applause or being fussed over for delighting us "Mothers" in a lovely dinner. Especially one that didn't consist of something ending in "nuggets" or "sticks" or even "n-cheese!"
  There were many moment though for me throughout the day that I remembered past Mothers Days.  Yes, I still did the getting ready of husband and kids. But what I missed were the wonderful things that Pete would do. Make me breakfast,  help the kids make cards for Mommy. He would let me sleep just a bit longer... He would manage the kids while I put my  makeup on  in peace.  It was these little things that I remembered. And missed... Along with that fact that were it not for Pete, I wouldn't have Aryanna, Petey, and Chase Leo.  A few days before I was at my daughters school and her class had a "Mothers Day Tea". She and her classmates put on a little show for us. With songs and dancing and even a story. Of course I cried. Not only because she was my daughter. But b/c she was getting so big, and how he would have loved to physically have seen her. It was also realizing that no matter how much I tried to smooth over or even over look Mothers Day. I tried my best in my mind not to make a big deal out of it. It felt easier that way. But what it came down to, was that no matter how much I tried to pretend that it wasn't really coming up, It still was. And I would have to face it.  To my kids it wasn't a big deal. They wouldn't know the significance of that day. Petey is 4 and CL being a whole 15 months. They don't know that on this day we celebrate the Mommies.  It may sound selfish but to them it was any other day. It was Pete who would have made it "Mommy Day".
  On Saturday a friend dropped off some stuff for the kids. telling me that it was some stuff for A,P and CL that they had talked about. She told me to have Aryanna call her when she got home from her play-date so they could talk. Aryanna was such a big girl. She talked on the phone. And told Petey, not to "tell" Mommy about the surprise. It was very exciting to see Aryanna in that take charge role. Doing such a "big" girl thing.  On Sunday, I did have to remind her that she had a surprise for Mommy. And her eyes lit up and she was so excited!! I can tell you that I am so grateful to my friend for asking the kids, and helping them, get me a little s something. I know that Pete was proud and happy that she did that too. Really, that was how Pete was. He would have gone and taken the kids to get me just a little something that was from them. Like little pieces of their personality. By having her do that with them made me feel like it wasn't just another day. and to know that to Aryanna it wasn't just another day either. How big she is getting. How much I know that Pete is so so proud of her!!
  Even still I continued not to think about the day. I enjoyed my time with the kids. We watched cartoons together. and then later it was off to my dads for the gourmet dinner made by my brother in law. So I had those things to look forward to. Sort of fill in the gaps. Where I felt them to be empty. However it was today that the tears started to fall. The memories hit me in the gut. That feeling again of "remembering" how things were. How past events had been and felt. How if only he had lived.. Those moments of feeling him so close that if I could just reach out far enough to touch his face.. but its always too far. I am lucky though that I can feel his "presence" so close to me. That even though he is not Physically here in this house. he still is.. I know, Too crazy right?
  I was talking to a girlfriend of mine who has experienced loss herself. And she said that for her, she tries to  "Live a life that has a positive impact." She says "I try to make the most of my times here. Always trying to keep in mind, that He didn't get to. It brings me peace to have experiences for him so to speak. That when milestones come and go, I am sad that he can't be here for them, but I am glad that I can live them for him." To hear her say this put things in a new perspective for me. My thing recently has been to take all the beautiful things that he taught me about myself, about life, about being a mother. And roll them into a ball and carry it with me. Trying to mold it into me. Which I can still do. and will do. But to take the way she finds peace and add it to mine... Maybe, just maybe it won't be "too Crazy." It won't feel so Crazy.  It's unfortunate that she and I have both had such a big loss at such young times in our lives. And yet a blessing. How can so many things, be so bittersweet?
   I know I can't solve all of my grief and all of my kids grief overnight. How I wish I could. Aryanna has been asking so many questions about Daddy. I think for her, she is needing to remember. Needing to physically be able to remember them happening. Not just a story that she heard. I hate to think that My kids will ever forget him. I like to think that with their "Elephant memories" they won't. But so often I have been told that they will. I don't want them too. I want them to forget those moments when I told them that daddy wasn't coming home. to forget all the insane that happened after he passed, before the baby was born. After the baby was born. those first few weeks... I know, I worry too much. Yet it is these thoughts that have been plaguing me. Again, too many thoughts, too many memories..and not enough sleep. The lack of sleep combined with the sinus infection that I have makes everything seem so..well, crazy is the only way to put it. Sometimes it's these moments that the world feels as though it is standing still. I guess really its just that my world feels as though it is standing still. Wondering again if it is passing me by. My hope is that it isn't. That it is just these few crazy moments that time stops.
   So the world will go on spinning. I will get up in the morning and put one foot in front of the other. Realizing that "life" is better. I will find the joy in my children's laughter. I will raise my eyes to the sky, nod my head, and say "Thanks Roo, Roo."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Whats with those Crazy Milestones?

Today has been an emotional roller coaster. One minute I was yelling, the next I was crying. Then happy and laughing and finally back to yelling and now crying. Today is Petey's fourth birthday. I look at my son, his fathers exact replica and I weep. So proud of my little man and so sad that his daddy is not here to physically see it! I remember four years ago today. I was so happy. I was also so nervous. I was raised with all women and what was I going to do with a boy. But once I held him in my arms I knew it didn't matter. I loved him. I think back to those first few moments and I remember the way Pete held Petey so close. He was so proud to have a son. His son. Why God? Just Why? And really does it matter. He is not here and I am. I know, I know, I am so blessed to have three beautiful children that have their Daddy's blood running through them. But still.
  My heart is heavy tonight. I am sad. I sat on the floor or Aryanna's room tonight as we sang prayers. and the one song that Pete always liked to sing popped into my head. I had stopped singing it b/c it was just to hard. But I thought, "tonight, I will sing it for Petey". I made it half way through and started to cry. I couldn't finish. I sat and held Chase Leo on my lap and rocked him. I felt like In those moments I was going through my own private hell. Made just for me. I needed Chase Leo's little body close to my heart. So I could feel his sweet baby skin next to mine. Aryanna, and Petey, had fallen asleep. So they couldn't hear my silent tears. I kept thinking how sad I was that Pete never got to hold Chase Leo. In his big strong arms. How today he didn't get to marvel at his big little Petey. I sit and I wonder, What am I doing?...
  I have been struggling with Petey. He needs his Daddy. Damnit he needs his Daddy!!!  I know part of Petey's behavior is being four, but at times I feel like I lack in so many ways. It's hard to be a Daddy to a little boy when you are just the Mommy. I need Pete to help me. I feel that maybe the reason Petey is so head strong is my fault. Things just fell apart after Pete passed. I mean Petey was only 2 and a half!  What does he remember of his Mommy... So many things that I let slide. Because I didn't have the energy to argue. I just didn't know how to do it any other way. and Now am I paying for it? Is it just Petey?  I don't know. I keep having these feelings that if Pete was here he would have all the answers? That he would do it better? But would he have the answers? Could he do it better?
  I don't know. Are these thoughts normal? rational? I know that I havent' slept well in too many nights. Chase Leo is getting tow teeth in, therefore not sleeping. So Mommy is not sleeping. Is it lack of sleep. On top of that Last Tuesday was our would have been anniversary. It would have been 8 years.   To many milestones all in a row. April 21st was 17 months since Pete has passed. April 26th our would have been anniversary. May 2, Petey's birthday. and finally May 9 Mothers Day.  Sometimes it's too much. How do I just keep going.
  I just keep thinking if I can just get through another night. Get up in the morning. And hopefully one of these morning Aryanna will be on time for school. I trudge on. What choice is there. another day, another time out, another load of laundry, endless bills to pay, and more worries upon worries. Plus the big one how much am I really messing up my kids. I don't feel that I give them enough of my undivided attention. I am always in four otheter places,  And still I wonder if Pete was here with me would he do it better?  Would Aryanna still be late for school? Would the bills still pile up? Would Petey still be so argumentative? Would Aryanna still be so anxious? would I? And what of Chase Leo, He at least would know his Daddy.  What of these thoughts.. lack of sleep? Missing Pete? or just too many milestones in a row? Maybe all of them. Or maybe yet another way of grieving. I don't know.
   I know that in this moment I am not supposed to have all the answers. But I want them. I want to know that I am not doing it wrong. That Pete wold not do it better. Is that selfish?  That in this moment I am doing the best that I can. However I feel that that best is just not enough.. With this day the way it went, was maybe not the "best" fourth birthday that he could have had. between Mommy's many crying spells. My hope is that he will remember his new bike, his train cake, and his new Thomas movie. But Petey being Petey, and as sensitive as he is. Nothing gets by him.... And yet again. I wonder "Would Pete do it better"/
   The answer is still the same.. "I don't know."  I guess that I just have to chalk it up to being yet another "Crazy Milestone" another moments or moments that I survived. That in this day there was laughter, there was silliness. To remember the kids and I were surrounded in people who love us, and care for us. Who may not always understand  why I am the way I am. Or why I think the way I do. I hope that in the years, and Birthdays to come. That my tears will be less. That if the tears do fall.. it will be accepted and loved and kissed away. That on Petey's next birthday I can look to the heavens and Thank Pete for the wonderful gift that he gave me. This life. However not perfect. But Crazy, just the way it is supposed to be.