The one full of pain

The days seem to all flow together...

I am afraid to fall asleep, because I am afraid to see my husband leaning over me, telling me he is gone.  Thinking he had a bad dream and made a mistake.

All I can feel is that moment when I walked into my kitchen and seeing Carmie.  Knowing it was true.  Bending over because all the air left my chest.  Grabbing Carmie and Bobby, the three of us gasping and shaking in the dark. 

Sitting in the garage smoking cigarettes, waiting.  Waiting and waiting while mom and dad when to my sister, an hour and a half away. 

The air was electric. Ringing in my ears.  Up all night, in the garage. Smoke after smoke.  Prayer after prayer.

Leaving with Carmie, to go wait for their return.

The worst moment, the worst moment of my life was my sister's face when she got out of the van.

Seared in my memory forever. In all our memories.

The day all our hearts shattered.  Three weeks ago.  Three lifetimes ago, three minutes ago.  It all feels the same.  We carry on because we must.  We carry on because it's what right. 

Someday she'll be ok.  She'll never be the same, but she'll be better.  Because she is amazing.  She is strong, she will, because Christian would want to her. 

We all will, as she heals we will heal.  The rawness of her pain haunts me.  The grief stops me cold sometimes.  Doing dishes, dressing the kids. I feel my heart quicken, my breath gets shallow...a panic comes over me, mingled with immeasurable pain and grief. 

And I know, my grief is nothing, is a drop, compared to the pain my sister feels. 

Our pain is twofold, once for him, once for her. 

Tonight my heart is heavy.

And the world keeps spinning...

I have entered the stage where one starts to try to find balance in their day. 

I have to be ok with feeling ok, finding bits of joy and clutching them to me. Moments where sun is streaming in the windows and bouncing off Ellie's hair. And its shining like her eyes.  And it's a gift, to have such beauty still.  Even though nothing feels right, for a moment it does.  To take a nap with Noah, and feel his body curled into my back, where I can close my eyes and see Christians face, but yet be able to fall asleep and find some rest.

I cooked dinner Friday night with tears streaming down my face, because the day was so beautiful.  It was cool, and sunny, and the sky was blue.  The season is changing... I wept and Bob did the dishes. My grief rolled off of me in waves, so he just let me be.

I worry about my sister.  I hate seeing her like this.  I have nothing to offer her, and I can't stand it.  I feel really helpless.  I want to protect her, to shield her from her grief.  To make her smile. All I can do is be there when she needs me.

Today I filled my day with baking and cooking.  I can't make the pain go away, I can't stop grieving, but for a few minutes everyday I can dance with my babies. I can soothe my pain with their smiles.  I can bake, and I can write, and I can play with the kids. 

After I posted the other day about how I was left the shitty message on Facebook, I woke up in the morning with the "friend" having unfriended me and blocked me.  I guess i'm supposed to be sad or something, but i'm not. She's a champion at being sanctimonious. She has no idea what I feel like inside. Someday her world will be flipped violently, and then she'll be lost, and someone she loved will be an arrogant asshole to her and she'll know how she made me feel. And then maybe she'll feel regret, and maybe she'll finally fucking get it.  And that's the last i'll ever mention her.

I know this post is all disjointed, but so is my brain.  One foot in front of the other...

Through a child's eyes

Grief, and love through a seven year old eyes.

Unprompted, my niece started drawing at my parent's house yesterday. She loves her Uncle, and with that love gave us a memory we will cherish forever.  Aren't they beautiful?

We are Family

I'm sitting here on this nice cool evening with a fan propped in the window, curtains open, everyone nestled in their bed.  I am checking up on some of my favorite FB pages, and catching up on some blog posts. 

It looks normal, but it doesn't feel normal. 

We all have to work on a new normal. Well, a new crazy, if you know my family...

But, that's what's getting us all through this, each other.  My family, we are what you'd call inseparable.  Where one is, the other is soon to follow.  You don't ask, you assume...dammit. 

And right now, we are bent, but we are not broken.  We are going to get our girl through this, come hell or high water.  She is amazing, by the way.  Totally, completely, amazing.  She is also the "Golden Child" but that's a post for another day.

We have a long, winding road ahead of us.  A road we've never been down.  So we fumble a bit, say the wrong thing occasionally...a lot...but we're going to figure this out.  We're going to laugh, cry, pray, eat, yell, cry some more, yell louder (if that's possible) and draw a map to where we have to go.

And we're going to do it together, with Faith, with love in our hearts, with great memories, and with the laughter that makes us who we are. 

We are Family.

...and i'm still the craziest....

Time for Reflection

I've read so many stories and blog posts today about 9/11.  It's amazing how everyone remembers what they were doing and how they felt that day. 

Me?  I was in beauty school trying to wrap a perm onto a mannequins head.  It came on the radio...

What I remember the most about that day is a few of the women panicking. They had children, and they left to go get them from school.

I didn't understand that fear, the fear that made them run out of the building and to their family, until I had one of my own.  Now I know.

The tragedy from 10 years ago, and the tragedy from two weeks ago make me hold my babies tighter, speak a little softer, cuddle a little longer.  

I sit here with thanks for what I've been blessed with.

I have a lot of prayers to say tonight. 

What memory is most vivid to you from 9/11?

Love and Peace.

Working towards normal

I want to send out a big thank you to all the kind thoughts and comments my bloggy friends. Also, thanks for sticking around through my intermittent posting and commenting on your blogs.

I'm trying to navigate the rough waters of grief with my sister and family, and to hear a kind word from you guys always brightens my day!

I decided last night to work really hard to get out of my depressive funk. I did pretty good today. Got the kids and I dressed, cleaned the kitchen, made three good meals, and made a free form apple pie spur of the moment.  I laughed and played with my kiddos. Just tried to stay busy. I feel like I kicked today's ass, in a good way.  Anyone who has battled depression knows how hard it is to just do normal, everyday things. 

I have so much I want to blog about, but I can't seem to get it out.  I get to restless and jumpy when I try to write.  Sooooo, this is all for tonight.  Once again, thanks for the kind thoughts and prayers.  I truly appreciate them.

Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith.
 -Author Unknown

Life, Interrupted

Living with depression becomes, after awhile, something like wearing a heavy, old coat.  After awhile, it's almost like it's wearing you.

Before last Saturday, when our dear boy died, my depression  was paying me an unwelcome visit.

So, what happens to your depression when someone you love dies? I tried to ignore it.  Nothing I was feeling can be compared to what my dear sister is dealing with.  Tamping it down, pretending it's not there, and trying to be strong can only work for so long. 

Today I have smashed into the brick wall. It's like trying to blink with mud in your eyes. 

On top of my old familiar coat of crap, I now am wearing one made of guilt.  Who am I to rattle around my house, restless and scattered while my sister deals with the unimaginable?  Another layer for feeling like shit that i'm feeling like shit.  Throw one more on top for keeping my husband and children at arms length.  Can we have another layer of guilt for being able to go from zero to screech as fast as lightening?  Then top that off with the heaviest layer, grief. 

It's getting heavy in here.  The weight of trying not to feel bad while feeling bad and then feeling guilty for feeling bad because I shouldn't make any of this about what i'm feeling is becoming a burden I can't bear.

Deep breath.

So, now I have to figure out how to slog through this without making a fool of myself. 

I wish, oh how I wish, I had all the right words.  I said the right thing at the right time.  I didn't crumple under pressure. 

I wish I could tell her before I was treated for my anxiety I paced the house for hours, days, months, years, picturing my husband passing away.  How I would bite my knuckles and scream silently.  How I have no idea what it actually feels like to be her, but I can imagine it, because I did imagine it for a long time. 

But, that is no comfort to her.  Nothing will comfort her.  And that is part of this incredible pain I carry, for her, for his family, for our family...

There is so much we all have to work through.  I just hope I don't muck it up too much, for her sake.

For Christian

It's been a week I have no words for right now.  As you guys saw, my dear brother in law passed away.  This last week has been spent with my family, as we've been helping each other through the grieving process.  And my sister, she has been amazingly strong, I am in awe of her.  But that is a post for another day.  Tonight I'm going to share with you what I wrote (and my brother read) for our sweet boy's eulogy: 

I am sitting here trying to write about all the things Christian was. But, all I can think about are the things he’ll never be, the dreams that will never come true.

But I hear this whisper in my ear saying, celebrate me.

Christian had many titles, Son, brother, husband, brother in law, friend, uncle, nephew. He was so many things to so many people, it’s impossible to list.

He was a son. I can’t say if he was well behaved when he was young, but from what I have seen these last few years, I doubt it. But, I can imagine being angry with him was difficult when he flashed that wide, beautiful smile.

Speaking of that smile- it was often so contagious. There are countless times that Christian could bring a whole room to a roar of laughter almost instantly. He had such a goofy, fun-loving personality that anyone who spent any time with him couldn’t help but love him. And he loved his family and friends just as much as they loved him. Christian was lucky enough to have Mike as a best friend and the gift of their friendship is a bond that will never be broken.

He loved to farm. To be so young and to know what you wanted to do the rest of your life is such a gift. He wanted to be like his Father, and he was. Strong, kind, hardworking. He loved the land, and it was a part of him.

He loved my sister. He loved her so much he waited for her, pestered her, and finally got her to go on a date. He knew who the love of his life was, even if it took a little while for him to get her on the same page. The day they got married, Christian cried. You could feel how much he loved her, how much their love changed each other. It was a moment I cherish. He loved her with every bit of himself, in his soul. There were hundreds of people there, and all he saw was her. That is a pure, innocent, forever kind of love.

If there is anything Christian would want Stacey to remember, I believe the song Lullaby, says it all.

Good night my angel time to close your eyes
And save these questions for another day
I think I know what you've been asking me
I think you know what I've been trying to say

I promised I would never leave you
And you should always know
Where ever you may go
No matter where you are
I never will be far away

Good night my angel now it's time to sleep
And still so many things I want to say
Remember all the songs you sang for me
When we went sailing on an emerald bay

And like a boat out on the ocean
I'm rocking you to sleep
The water's dark and deep
Inside this ancient heart
You'll always be a part of me

Goodnight my angel now it's time to dream
And dream how wonderful your life will be
Someday your child will cry and if you sing this lullaby
Then in your heart there will always be a part of me

Someday we'll all be gone
But lullabies go on and on
They never die that's how you and I will be

Christian- we love you and you will always be in our hearts.