Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A space to let out the Crazy's

I am irritable so watch out!!
   I know that people are trying to be kind and ask me how I am and how the kids are. But At some point I just really want to be honest. The next time someone asks how I am I might just give them an earful. Everything these days is about being so PC. But, sometimes I really want to answer questions like "so, how are the kids doing?" with. "How do you think they are?" or even. "Well it's been 20 months and it's finally sinking in that there Daddy lives in heaven."  How is that for an answer. I know, that is not the best answer. Or The question I get from people who haven't lost a spouse, parent, or child that frustrates me the most.  Is their opinion on how kids grieve. Thinking that if I keep bringing it up they will never get over it. It makes me want to shout! Or even when people say "Well kids are so resilient, you know, they probably won't remember this time in their lives." Really? I want to answer "How do you know?" Or even say something like "Well, that is a possibility, but they remember now, They hurt now. They miss their Daddy now."  It's questions like this, or questions that lead to this, are just irritating to me. I know that some people are trying to be "helpful" or inquisitive about it, but sometimes I feel people don't think  through the whole question before tasking. Granted I know that I have said some pretty dumb things. And I know that I still do. I say dumb things to people who have just lost someone who has recently passed. So one would think, that I wouldn't be so irritable about "said questions" but I am. It must be the day.
   I feel like I don't have time to answer annoying questions. I sometimes don't feel that I have the time or the patience to answer my own children. I know that is really sad. But honestly.. I get so frustrated with the people around me. I don't have a quiet spot and it seems that Mommy doesn't always get a time out just because she needs one. Its as though for parents we are always putting our kids in time out for bad behavior, however there is no time out chair for Mommy, Why is that?  Even if I tell my children stay right here Mommy is going to get the mail. They all want to follow me outside. It's like I am speaking and words are coming out of my mouth but they can't hear me, or comprehend them. I just can't take it!
  When kids are little they get their own room. or a place that they know is just for them. And they get to go and play in their room. And we as parents try so hard to make it a place where they can feel free to be themselves, to create, and imagine. But when it comes to "Mommy's room" no matter how hard I try it still is not, just mine. Because what happens when the kids have a bad dream, or the laundry needs to be folded? It goes into Mommy's room. Everything goes into Mommy's room. Kids, clothes, books. crap that I don't know what to do with, Toys are all shapes and sizes all end up in Mommy's room. I stand in the middle of the room and go "What happened to Mommy's space?" But that just it. As a parent it seems there isn't a space for our "stuff." We move out our stuff to make room for more kid stuff. Sometimes it's a necessity, but a lot of the time it is not.  Lots of times when I get to these points of "just don't talk to me or ask me one more question that I don't know the answer to. Or ye,t another answer to a question you have asked me a 100 times already." I want a small space that is just mine. A space that is just mine, all mine!
 One space, where the kids can't get to. One place, where the only one who has a key to enter, is me. If it gets messy it's because I made it that way. Not because it is full of clothes that are all too small for my son. Or trains in the middle of the floor just waiting to be stepped on with my bare feet in the middle of the night!!  How many of us as parents want that but don't ever get that?
  I guess I get so frustrated and irritable that I just want to shake everyone and everything off. As if to say "Back away from the Crazy Lady!"  I don't want to ask any more questions to myself, I don't want anyone to ask me anything. I want at times to just sit and think of nothing. No worries, no anxiety, no fears, and even no Pete. Nothing to cloud my head. I want to see each situation as it comes with clear eyes, and mind. Not with all the fog that goes with it. All the questions I get tired of asking myself only to reply to myself with more questions that usually sound like 'I wonder when I will stop asking myself that"  Mostly the big one that I keep asking regularly is "If Pete was here, I wouldn't be in this situation." Then the question after that is "When will I stop asking myself this question, and realize this is my life now."  The problem, I know this is my life now. I know it, and yet I don't know it. It's like it still hasn't settled into my bones. Which to me seems baffling as if to ask myself " You have spent 600 days, 14,400 hours without Pete, how could you not know?"  I don't know. The question still remains "This is my life now? Really?"
  I am not saying this is a bad life. I am blessed I have three beautiful children, a nice home. Loving family and good friends. I know that I am safe, and am surrounded in people who love me and want me to heal and have a happy life. Its just that even though I know all of these things. There is still a chunk that is missing. Yes, my heart is learning to heal. And Yes, I am tons stronger than I ever thought possible. It's just not how I pictured it to go. But that's life. I know that. It's reality. I know that too. Sometimes it seems like too much to swallow. Too many questions. Like being in a big noisy room and I am in the middle with everyone talking to me at once. The irritability. The stuff on the inside, the stuff on the outside. The negative and fearful thinking, the constant worry from friends and family that I am not taking care of myself. And my reply is "Well no, when would I have time." But is it time, or is it fear?  Along with the same question from close friends "If you don't take care of yourself., then you can't take care of your kids well either" " A happy healthy Mommy, is happy, healthy, children."  To that I say "Well...., maybe"
  I have three kids who have all been fed dinner, are bathed and all sleeping peacefully in their beds. I know, that they know,  they are loved so very much. Mommy may be a bit crazy but A,P and CL know how to laugh, they know joy, they know how to love, they know they are loved. They also know things that I wish I could change and I can't. I can't take their hurt away. I know this. And I do agree that kids are reliant in some ways. But they do know how it feels to miss their Daddy so much. But they are lucky too, because they also know how much their Daddy loves them.
 . . I Do hope that You if you are a parent make time to find your "little space" that is just yours. That next time you ask someone how they are, that you truly do want to know. But please don't be offended if you find the person may dodge the question.  Life is Crazy, people are crazy, and reality is crazy.   It seems though that if we all were just a bit gentler with ourselves, and with each other. Maybe there wouldn't be as much craziness. Who knows maybe there would be, But at least it would be crazy, with a touch of class.

Monday, June 20, 2011

a Crazy "Fathers Day"...

Lets just say, I survived it. I made it through another Fathers Day without Pete. However in some ways this feels like the first one. It's like last year, I don't remember much. I was still so numbed out in so many ways. It's this year that all the holidays, anniversaries, birthday, etc. are the ones I really feel fully.  Today felt a little like dooms day. Even though I know, that I am so blessed to have had Pete. Without him I wouldn't have three beautiful children. Along with 6 very happy years. But still it is what it is. Another "crazy" monumental moment without him.
  All the families that that have their husbands and kids together.  Those families who have the uncles and grandpa's over for that special "Dad's cookout".  Today I had this overwhelming urge to shout out, "What about the children who are fatherless?"  What about them?"  Yes, they can still wish their grandfathers and their uncles Happy Fathers day. But is it has hard for them to say, as it is for me? It's almost like the words get stuck in my throat and I wish I didn't have to speak. Although, I am so grateful for the uncles, grandparents, and such. In my family they are good "fathers". It's feeling that sad and awful realization I can't say it to my husband. My kids can't say it to their Daddy. Their Truly amazing Daddy.
  I wanted to do something with the kids that would honor Pete today. A friend suggested we do something he liked to do. Like bake a cake, or go out to eat at one of his favorite restaurants. Both of those of course felt too hard. But an idea came to me. When Pete and I were engaged and then even after we got married. If we were asked to bring something to a gathering or party we brought "Taffy Apple Pizza", its very tasty. So I thought why not make that for Pete today. It's a happy memory and it would make me feel good to share it with them. To share something about Daddy, before he was daddy. So we went to the store got all the ingredients and came home. However once home, I thought "I can't do this." I can't make this without him".  I don't want to go in my house and have to make something that I know he likes.  He is not even here to eat it! I got the kids out of the car and unlocked the front door. I came back outside and sat on the side of the car. CL was still asleep, in his carseat.  I just sat there. Thinking all these thoughts . I felt immobilized. I held my phone in my hand and txt my younger sister. I asked her if she could get away for 30 minutes. That there was a project I wanted to do with the kids but couldn't seem to get out of the car to do it.
  Thankfully she came over. With tears running down my face we walked into the house and started getting the ingredients and such together. The kids helped stir, and put this or that into a bowl. I told them how this was one of Daddy's favorite sweet treats. Once the cookie part was in the oven. I looked at my sister and said Thank you, I needed to do this for the kids and for myself, but I couldn't;t seem to get started. Thank you for being with me. For helping me get through this. She smiled and gave me a big hug and went back to my Dad's to finish helping with preparations. After she left the cookie was done and the kids and I assembled it. We had done it. With a little help, some tears, and a little push from those who love us.    We took it with us to the cookout and everyone had a piece. It was nice to be able to share a little bit of "Pete" with everyone.
   The party was nice and the food was good. The kids were all tired out and sweaty and in desperate need of a bath. As I was driving home I remembered something my sister had said about when CL was a baby. She said How when she used to stay and spend the night at my house on Wednesday nights she and I would stay up and eat peanut M&M's. I had totally forgotten that. It was like that feeling of "How could I forget something so important" But I did. I had to reach back and remember us doing that. Like a file thats at the back of the drawer. But it went back to me saying earlier about how its the second year where things are so totally real. People aren't kidding when they say the second year is harder. Well, yeah. Your awake now, your out of your coma. It's feeling that loss like a ton of bricks. No, I mean really feeling it. Yes, I felt it before. The loss, the hurt, the excruciating pain that I never want to feel again.  However it's this year, this second year, that I feel the sadness. The sad for my children. The sad for myself. The sad of what Pete is missing. Physically missing! It's that feeling where my hear hurts and is so sad my core wants to just turn inward and hide. It's a little like being lonly in a room full of people.
  I felt as I drove home that I was back to that not wanting to go home to no one. To open the door and no one is inside waiting. That frustration and overwhelming sense that I just don't have the patience to keep moving forward. The other worst feeling is having absolutely no patience for even listening to my kids telly me a funny story.  I love their little voices and the ideas they come up with, but, it's in these moments that I can't listen, I cant reason, I cant be rational. My first action is to get frustrated an yell. I know, great example I am setting.  In some ways I know it is just my minds way of saying "Look Lady you have had enough for today."
  However if I could just stand back, I would see that Pete's spirit is with us. That he and God are guiding us along. To help me put one foot in front of the other. To pursue, to go onward and upward.  We survived it. Another Fathers day. The kids talked about Daddy and they said they missed him. But they also seemed happy to have the "Special" desert we made just for him. Weather they ate it or not, it was something that was a part of him. Maybe it will be a new tradition for us for "Fathers Day".
   For now I feel happy that the kids had fun. I feel thankful for my sister for coming to my rescue to help push me forward. I am grateful that we did it. We made something for Pete. In making it I remembered a fun time in our lives, in that the kids learned a little something new about their Daddy. And the amazing and fun man that he was.  Happy Fathers Day Roo, you are/were the best Daddy to our children. We are all so lucky and grateful for the times and the Fathers Days that we got to spend with you.