Monday, November 28, 2011

My Craziness and my own Secret Garden...

Sometimes  when I think it can't get any crazier... it does. I thought that I had made it through the big two year anniversary OK. However  the 21st was harder than I thought it would be. I guess I didn't keep myself busy enough. It seemed like the memories of that day, two years ago came in waves. I would remember something that I had forgotten. And the more I tried to think of something else happy, like say our honeymoon. The more often I found myself in his hospital room in my mind's eye. Eventually I stopped trying to change the scenario and just let the memories flow. I guess that's what they needed to do anyway. I found myself still being angry about certain parts of the day. And still remembering the last moments I had with him. Along with other crazy thoughts like "Well he would have died in two hours from now."  Morbid.. I know. Still I couldn't help but think it. I couldn't wait for that day to be over. I was so happy when bedtime rolled around. I got the kids in bed and then went straight to bed myself. Just hoping to sleep the rest of the night away. It didn't work that way. Of course! Instead CL woke up around midnight and was so restless, that I eventually put him in bed with me. Where he continued to kick me in the stomach and the head. I couldn't seem to get comfortable and when I did finally fall asleep I had nightmares. I woke up at four am hoping it was time to get up for the day. But, It wasn't. So back to sleep. More tossing and turning, more nightmares and more being kicked in the eye by my two year old. Needless to say when at last the alarm went off at 7:30am I was more than happy to get up! At last I had made it to Tuesday! It was now the 22nd and the 21st was over!
  Then Thanksgiving hit. I am very blessed it went so much better this year. The kids were not as insane. I was very happy to be with my family. And yet, it still felt like something was missing. I reminded everyone about the blood drive on Saturday in honor of Pete and hoped I would see them there. I said "Even if you can't donate just come out and say Hi!"  My in laws came into town on Friday afternoon. My mother in law had planned to help with the kids so that I could be at the blood drive. It was being held at the Fisher Y from 11-4pm on Saturday. Saturday morning rolled around and off we went to the blood drive. Had a great turn out got 23 pints of blood. could have had 33 pints but 10 people couldn't give for different reasons. Including me, I started to but the vein moved and the blood stopped flowing. But I still have the bruise to show for it. :) It was hard at first being there around all the blood and such. Again with the memories, I can remember all the blood that went into Pete, along with all the blood that came out of him as well. Which was why it was so important for me to have this blood drive in honor of him. Because while it didn't save his life it did prolong it. And for that I am forever grateful! It was nice to see all the people that came by and friends who showed their support.  After the blood drive I had a friend and her family from out of town come over for dinner. She and her husband used to live down the street from us. They would hang out with Pete and me in the driveway after the kids were in bed. Along with a good friend of Pete's and his wife and their little boy. There were 10 kids in my house along with 8 adults. It was crazy to say the least, yet fun too!
   Sunday came and my in laws had to go home. Which is always hard on all of us. It seems we just get used to having them in the house, along with the extra help, then it's time for them to go home. Aryanna doesn't like Good-byes. But she has gotten better. She at least will hug them when they leave. It wan't until Sunday after dinner did everything from the past few days hit me. I started to cry and have continued to cry today as well.  So many emotions on the surface. So many memories, and yet new beginnings. Leaving part of what feels like my "old life" and entering a new life. A part of my life I didn't know would ever exist again. The letting go, and embracing what's beautiful and right in front of me. Trying to hold onto a bit of the past and bring it with me too.  I know Pete will always be with me in spirit, and in my heart. He is not physically present. Which makes me feel in some ways like I am leaving him behind. But am I really? I am not forgetting him, I am moving forward, right? I don't think moving on is the right word. Pete is a part of who I am, so no matter how far ahead I move he will be with me in some way. Not only do I have three children who look like him, I was forever changed by him being in my life. He laid the foundation for what was to come. Yet why in so many moments in these past few days and weeks do I feel that I am saying good bye again?
    I feel like I am finally starting to see and feel the warmth of light, love and laughter. Like from the musical "The Secret Garden" When Mary finally finds the door to the secret garden, and we see her open the door and there is this beautiful brilliant light shining from the other side. And she says "I've found it, I found the door to the garden!" That's me. I feel as if I am finding a new door to my very own garden. I still have everything from before I found the door, but now I am stepping into that brilliant light. Feeling new breath in my lungs. Yet with new breath also comes new fear. And new fear sometimes causes moments of hesitations. And those hesitations could leave me standing at the door, just peeking in through the keyhole. I don't want to just peek in through the keyhole. I want to fling that door wide open and take Aryanna, Petey, and Chase Leo galloping through it, with joy and laughter.  Still I do find myself in some ways holding onto the key to that door. Putting the key into the lock and slowly and carefully turning it. hearing the click as the door unlocks. With my hand on the door,I glance over my shoulder and back to the door, slowly turning the doorknob but fear keeps me from just opening it.
    Why does fear do that? This is what I have lived for.  To find this key, to find this door. We, the kids and I have suffered, and cried, and at times been shattered into fragments of who we once were as a family. Now here we are. Gaining strength, finding our joy, and bringing laughter back into our way of everyday living. But its' me that fears and questions "am I leaving him behind?" I know with everything I have that, that is NOT what he would have wanted. For us to just stand at the edge of brilliance. If I know that, then why the tears, the fears,and the worry?  I can guess that it's another way to move through grief. To move through the loss of something so great. He and I and the kids once were such a beautiful garden. And like the musical when Lilly died so did her garden. There was no one to love it, water it, feed it, and play in it. Now there is Mary, and she has come to play in the garden and make it beautiful, all again. The way the garden once was. Beautiful and healing. Which is what Pete would have wanted. He would have wanted the kids and I to play in this wonderful garden. To be healed, to love, to laugh and remember the beauty of his essence inside this beautiful garden.
    For now,  in this moment, I stand here with my hand on the doorknob. I just need to find the courage to open the door. To see all the beauty that Pete see's. And know in my heart, that he may not be physically holding my hand, but I can feel the brush of his wings, as we gallop through the door.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Crazy " if only.." thought.

Too many things about this month seem to be haunting me. The two year anniversary seems to be looming. It seems that I have already worked through the other dates and "crazy thinking."  Like for example on the 26th of October I thought "Well it's been two years since he went into the hospital..."  How many years will that date come around that I will think that thought..
   Much has happened within the past month. Lots of change but all good things. And all things that are helping the kids and I move forward. I feel that I am in a place I never thought I would be in. I feel that I have at this point much happiness in my life.  How strange it seems that 23 months ago I never thought I could have happy again. Or even have any idea of what that might look like.  However I still have so many flashbacks that at times I forget to breathe and still the same thought comes to me "If only..." Silly really in some ways, and yet it still catches me off guard. Like today, I woke up late and everything just kept going downhill. I caught myself at dinner thinking back to times when Pete was home for dinner. And how much it has changed. And yet still it is better than it was say the first few months without him.  The kids and I don't just sit around and stare at each other waiting for him to come home now. I finally have started cooking actual food again. While it may have taken me two years to do it, I at least have started.
   It was in that brief moment that I visited the past this evening did I think "if only..." Which of course never gets me anywhere other than sad. I know whats wrong with being sad? Nothing. It's just the way Sad goes about it. As if Sad is waiting around the corner as I come barreling around it; does it jump out and yell "BOO!" As if to say "Surprise, I'm back!"  The only thing to do is embrace Sad, and accept it's unexpected visit. After the kids were in bed and asleep I wondered out into the garage. I couldn't figure out why the garage door was cracked. So I opened the garage door and shut the door to the house to have a "look around." While I know this may not have been the smartest idea, in case something was hiding out there... but maybe it was just that the door didn't get shut tight. Who knows. Anyway! I went outside and walked over to Pete's workbench. I saw a drawer I hadn't seen there before. I opened it and inside was something of his I had never seen. His prayer book and his rosary. When he was growing up he was Catholic. He went to a Catholic school for elementary and Jr. High. I opened it and found out when he had his first communion. I found a note his teacher had written to him. Two cards that had saints on them. A bag that had a rosary and a cross in it. Along with a medal of sorts that said Bless our Baby.
   I picked each one up and turned them over in my hands. I thought about him as a little boy. Which made me think of Petey. Since he is the exact replica of his father. The medal is what got me. Bless our baby. Before he was mine he was someone's baby. Why did I just figure this out now.. I don't know. The thought of holding my Petey as a baby and what My mother in law see's when she thinks of my Pete as a baby. While even though Petey is only four the things I want for him is to be happy, healthy, and have a long life. Those are probably the things that my mother in law wanted for her baby boy too. It makes me come back to the "If only..."  Along with the things I didn't get to know about him. The things I can't ask him. I can't ask him if he was excited  when he received his prayer book. I can't ask him if he remembers if he his family had a party for him. Sure I can ask his mom. but I want it from his memory. I was not raised Catholic so I don't know the history or ceremonies.  The questions I can't ask but wonder about, is what makes me feel so crazy. And wonder in some ways Why this man? Or even why this little boy, that lived inside of Pete the man?
    I know, I know, The answer is still not going to change the reality. It is what it is. However it's in these moments that I find something I didn't see before, like a movie I have watched over and over and yet still I see something I missed. The memories that I have played over in my mind of us together. Of our life together. I have played them so often I would think that I wouldn't have missed something.  Yet why is it, I can't for the life of me remember the sound of his voice. Only if I think real hard about it can I hear it in my head again. I never thought I could forget something like that. Or even something as simple as his kiss. A wife would never forget that. It make me wonder, is that the minds way of healing? So that as certain things fade you  make room for more things that you are ready to re live and re learn. Or even more memories to come? Yet always, always, remembering how you felt when being in his arms. I don't know the symbolism of it all and maybe I am not supposed to know right now...
   I forever remember how happy I was. And How grateful I am now to have felt that. To have loved him and to have been loved with such intensity. I am sure that Sad will continue to make unexpected visits and I am sure that I will see more and more of Sad as this months and the holidays draw closer. But I also know that I am finally feeling warmth in my heart. And laughter in my house. My only thought would be "If only... he were here to see it.