Sorry Not Sorry

When it comes to computer/techy stuff, I leave a lot to be desired… I was just going through some of the saved links I have on FB and remembered this one of Natalie singing. I’ve tried to save it to my computer or email it to myself… but even my 13 year old doesn’t know what to do! So, here’s me, trying to preserve memory lane. I especially like this video because of the kiss at the beginning.

Love you, Nat 

My Christmas Miracle…and Michael Jackson!

I expected this Christmas would be hard. Almost unbearable, even. But it’s just one day. I can make it through one more day, that’s what I told myself.

For some reason, I’d compartmentalized my grief to just Christmas day. I don’t know why I thought I’d be “fine” until Christmas day but it doesn’t really matter.

It started on the 19th. Monday. The seven month mark since Natalie’s passing. I went to sleep with a sense of dread that Sunday night and when I got up Monday morning… I felt broken.

I’m pretty sure I was late to work, it’s hard to drive while crying. I probably should have pulled over but I kept trying to talk myself into being okay. “It’s just another day” I told myself. I have work to do, I have things that need my attention and while I do honor my grief, now is not the time. I thought it was a fairly decent pep talk…

Pulled into the parking lot, tried to swallow past the lump in my throat and went inside.

I walked around back and saw dad standing there. I quickly fell apart. “Just breathe” he said as I buried my face in his sleeve and tried to stuff what emotion was overflowing back into this cracked chalice.

Later that night I called my mom. Everyone was having a horrible day. It’s because it’s the 19, I decided. Tomorrow would be better.

Ha! Nope. Tuesday was worse and Wednesday worse than that. The Christmas music, the decorations, the light displays, the gifts… she loved it all and I felt like I was dying.

Yep, holidays are hard but THIS? WTF was this? I had this image in my head of a cartoon Goofy. He was at the top of a mountain, skiing. He went downhill so fast… off a cliff, I think.

“EEEEEHHHHHOOOOOOOOWWWWWW”

Natalie and I loved that part! It was a cartoon. Goofy was, goofy and we didn’t have to see him lying lifeless in the snow after that surely fatal jump.

Monday was the top of the mountain and December 24th was the drop off. It just sped towards disaster.

I expected Christmas eve would be hard. I couldn’t really fathom the kind of hell that this has been. Each day took another hit, punch, kick, scratch, chunk out of me…

I slept most of Saturday day.

Saturday night, as we halfheartedly opened gifts with forced smiles, we all expected Nat to come barging in, as she did, arms full of gifts and eyes full of life.

I can see her as I write this. Arms outstretched, ready for embrace. An unconquerable spirit… Voice just as powerful as the day she was born…

Anyway.

Christmas day I felt like I’d been in a boxing match. And lost, badly. I didn’t want to do gifts again. I didn’t want to get out of bed again. I wanted to be Grinchy and left alone. My tooth hurt, my body ached, my spirit was fractured.

And I have a daughter. A daughter that was in part, named after Natalie.

So I dragged myself out of bed. Popped more Tylenol and cracked my last Mt. Dew.

“How about some music” Tayla asked.

“Sure”

I don’t know what station she had it on but it was music from the 1920’s. I gave her a thumbs up and she passed out the gifts.

After everything had been unwrapped and “ooohhhed” and “ahhhed” over… Tayla went to her room and immersed herself in her drawing.

She left her phone though. Her phone playing the 20’s music. I didn’t mind, I liked it but it quickly faded to the background of my consciousness as I turned my attention to other things.

I don’t remember my exact thoughts, only that they were about Natalie. WHERE was she? I still haven’t fully grasped the fact that she’s gone…

And that’s when it happened.

This station we’d been listening to, this old time-y radio station started playing The Jackson 5. Michael Jackson. Oh how she loved Michael! She even had a MJ DOLL. And what song was playing?

I’ll Be There

You and I must make a pact
We must bring salvation back
Where there is love, I’ll be there (I’ll be there)
I’ll reach out my hand to you
I’ll have faith in all you do
Just call my name and I’ll be there (I’ll be there)
I’ll be there to comfort you
Build my world of dreams around you
I’m so glad that I found you
I’ll be there with a love that’s strong
I’ll be your strength
I’ll keep holdin’ on (holdin’ on)
Yes I will, yes I will
Let me fill your heart with joy and laughter
Togetherness, girl, is all I’m after
Whenever you need me, I’ll be there (I’ll be there)
I’ll be there to protect you (yeah baby)
With unselfish love that respects you
Just call my name, I’ll be there (I’ll be there)
I’ll be there to comfort you
Build my world of dreams around you
I’m so glad that I found you
I’ll be there with a love that’s strong
I’ll be your strength
I’ll keep holdin’ on
Ooh ooh ooh
Yes I will (holdin’ on, holdin’ on)
Yes I will
Don’t you know baby I’ll be there
I’ll be there I’ll be there
Just call my name, I’ll be there (I’ll be there)
Just look over your shoulders honey, ooh!
I’ll be there, I’ll be there,
Whenever you need me, I’ll be there (I’ll be there)
Don’t you know baby
I’ll be there, I’ll be there
Just call my name, I’ll be there (I’ll be there)
Oh oh oh oh I’ll be there, I’ll be there

“Let me fill your heart with joy and laughter”. That’s the message I keep getting. That’s the part of the song that caught my attention.

I started to cry out of happiness and sadness.

I’ve been thinking all along that I wasn’t going to make New Year’s resolutions but I’m starting to rethink that. Nothing major but maybe keeping a “joy journal” or a gratitude list… something to remind me that she wants me to be happy. She’s here and wants to help.

It feels like an insurmountable task but one that I must at least try.

Merry Christmas

Here We Go Again

Today my moms Christmas card came in the mail, along with her annual poem. Every year I look forward to this special piece of mail and peace of mind. Except this year. As soon as I opened the folded paper and saw the title, I inhaled sharply and dropped it on the bed. I can’t do this right now, I thought.

Then Tayla came in the room and asked if she could read it. I said sure and I watched her mouth the words she read. Midway through she stops and says “good word. Grandma’s a really good poet”.

“Do you want me to read it to you?”

I though no but said yes.

“In Remembrance of Our Beloved Natalie

Seasons come and seasons go.

Through them all, this I know… without you they have lost their flare.

Enthusiasm no longer adds your touch to the fall leaves.

I grieve as I watch them fade.

Holiday preparations missing the lust for all the musts you insisted we do.

Family rituals are now fractured and have lost their potency.

Where are you mu daughter, my love, as you watch us from above?

Our family so missing your bolder than life magic.

Tragic memories fill this holiday season with attempts to fill places that you have left empty.

Where and how do we begin to partake in the parade of holiday toasts and cheer

when for us, the family and friends that love you so, it feels like a charade?

I am afraid for it’s only six months since you left us yet it feels like an eternity.

This Thanksgiving while we count our blessings, the greatest one will be all the laughter and uniquely Natalie antics that you brought to the table.

At Christmas while through sentimental tears I wrap the presents and remember how much YOU loved to give; I hope you hear us call your name and know that for us this holiday will never be the same.

All that we can do is look at you in a picture frame.

The greatest present we could have ever received would be your presence.

Perhaps in that world that we cannot see; you will pray with us.

And in our mutual praise of Christ’s birthday… in that sense… you will be.”

 

Every time I read it…

Back on August 31st, I went to an Overdose Awareness Vigil. People talked, shared their stories, provided education and at the end we all held lit candles and watched a slideshow of all the loved ones lost this year. Before the event, there was music and a playlist. It was an awesome list but it got deleted off of my phone. I’m trying to find it again and while searching the net for it, found a page “International Overdose Awareness Day”. The web address is: Overdose Day

While exploring the site, I was attracted to the tributes page. Some were short and sweet, others detailed and heartfelt. There were two stories/tributes that really struck me and I wanted to share them with you.

“To all those who walked the hard miles but did not make it. You’re never forgotten.”

The first story is about 26 year old Kyle Fisher-Hertz. It is the fourth story down on the Tributes page.

The second one is about Ryan Frye, his is the sixth story down.

Tributes

In addition to Ryan’s story, there is a link to his mom’s blog and how she is grieving and going on living- without Ryan. I think it’s exceptional. I’ll post the link here: Ryan

There is also a poem written by his brother Joe, read it here: Broke the Mold

I wish there wasn’t so much heartbreak…

 

Eternity

“Roses are red, violets are red, the garden is on fire and you’re in hell”, I don’t remember where I read that but it seems to fit how I’m feeling, so there.

Monday marked seven months since Natalie passed. Since Monday, the days have gotten progressively worse. The pain more acute. The joy more elusive… The memories, ever present and devoid of her presence.

Monday, Shar sent me this… poem? She wrote something, though she swears it was dictated to her by God or angels or Natalie… Whatever little resistance I had to crying was shattered.

“You and Natalie had all of her life and nearly all of yours together, over 30 years. You grew up in this world together, creating memories that built the world around you both. People say you need to move on and it tears you apart to think that you need to or should. I believe that when we “move on” from something, it means we are ready to move past it and why would you want or need to move past your sister? Instead of moving on, you just need to keep moving. She is still apart of your life and all around you. You can find her in your family, you can find her essence in the wall and the atmosphere of the places you spent time at with each other. Every morning you embrace her in your heart and again when you lay down at night. Move through life experiencing it with enough love and happiness for both of you, so when the day comes and it’s time to reunite with her in Heaven, you can share all of it with her so she can feel like she continued to live through your heart.”

*Not so quietly sobbing*

This pain, it feels like a venomous snake bite. The only one who can extract the poison is Father Time. Even after he’s absorbed what toxins he can, we both know he won’t get it all. It spreads too far, too fast. There will be days like today where I’ll wish the snake that bit me would just swallow me whole. Or that I would become ravished by a fever and a sickness, lose touch with reality.

(On a side note, I did some actual research for this post… out of the annual 7,000 venomous snake bite, only 6 have been fatal. Also, don’t try to suck the poison out or slash the would open to “bleed” it. It moves faster into the bloodstream than a Hoover can clean a carpet.)

*Fair Warning*Photos of Snakes Below*

 

princess-laya-snake-western-diamondback
This is a Western Diamondhead snake but I like to think of it as the Princess Leia snake.

yawning-snakeThis snake just looks like he’s yawning…

suprised-snakeAnd this one, she looks like she just got out of the shower and someone caught her in her towel!

ana-snakeThis guy looks like he gets picked on at the playground a lot… or even snakes are forced to conform to another impossible beauty standard for women.

Sorry, this post is kinda all over the place but that’s where I am!