Me Time

It’s been a rough couple of days. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of losing Noah and today marks 11 months since Natalie passed.

Yesterday morning I woke up with tears in my eyes and reached for “Noah” (the reborn doll) and held him. I rocked him and rubbed his back while tears silently slipped away.

I looked over at Don, still in a dead sleep and I rested Noah on his chest, trying to remember what it looked like when Tayla was that tiny…

I indulged in my grief for a few more minutes and then got ready to start the day.

I had an appointment with the endocrinology department to follow up on my diabetes.

The nurse took me back to a room and asked if I wanted to have my A1c drawn. (The A1c is a blood test that measures what percent of glucose, or sugar has bonded to your blood cells. It changes every 3 months and I was told if I got it down to seven percent before I got pregnant, it would be like I wasn’t diabetic at all.)

“It’s only been three weeks” I told the nurse.

“So do you want to skip it? Shey said to leave it up to you…”

I thought about it for a moment before replying.

“I HAVE been kicking tons of ass these past three weeks, let’s check it!”

Why I volunteered to have myself poked again when I know damn well I have to do it to myself seven more times throughout the day is beyond me.

She pricked my finger and took my meter to download all the information and told me Shey would be with me shortly.

A couple of minutes later, she knocked on the door as she walked into the room.

“Did she tell you?” Shey asked

“Tell me what?”

“Your A1c, it changes and in what takes people three months to do, you have done in three weeks. You have dropped an entire percentage point! You need to find something really nice to do for yourself… this is great work. Some women get pedicures, others get flowers…”

I cut her off.

“I can have flowers or I can have cats” I told her.

Later that night I went to my group, it was good to be around people even though I didn’t feel very social. Sometimes anything is better than being alone with my thoughts.

“One down, one to go” I thought as I readied for bed.

I woke up this morning thinking about her. It was a thought I’m pretty sure I’ve had before, but this morning I felt it.

“God, I am so lucky to have had Nat in my life. Such a phenomenal person… I’m so thankful to have had what time I did with her.”

I actually did a double take, you know, to see who the fuck was thinking these almost foreign words… then, as cheesy as it sounds? I felt my heart smile. I felt at peace. It lasted only a minute as the flood of other memories came frantically on top of one another, all fighting for their 15 minutes but I did wonder how much of it had to do with the A.R.T therapy.

On top of it being the 11 month anniversary, it’s a damn dreary day… so, I decided what I wanted to do for myself and thought it also was something Nat would like too.

I went back to Empire Beauty School and had my hair done. I also listened to The Steve Miller Band, The Joker, and heard Nat sing along like she used to do-

“Cause I’m a picker, I’m a grinner
I’m a lover, and I’m a sinner
I play my music in the sun
I’m a joker, I’m a smoker
I’m a midnight toker
I sure don’t want to hurt no one”

“Well don’t you worry, don’t worry, no don’t worry mama
Cause I’m right here at home”

Sometimes when I think about her too much, I want to just hurry up through life and be done with it so I can be with her again… and as much as I miss her and how much it hurts, another song comes to mind…

See You Again.

Why did I just do that to myself?!?!? If you have kleenex nearby and want a good cry, check out the video above. It has the lyrics posted that that’s what broke me. Momentarily.

So, what did I do with my hair? Oddly enough, I was excited to get it back to my “normal”, natural, boring (no crazy colors) color with a few highlights. Again, they did a fantastic job! Really happy with the results!

shareFromBeautyPlus

Not the greatest pic but good enough, dammit. And good enough is kinda what I’ve been going for… so… NAILED IT.

The Beginning of the End?

I was getting ready to finish the blog post I started last night and it just hit me. Out of nowhere, like a ninja, grief attacked.

I was going to write about politics, so maybe it’s not so bad I was derailed… but a photo of Natalie stopped me.

Since the expo ended on the 15th, I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop…

 

It had been getting close. I had a few close call with crying fits but hadn’t really been able to let it out and I don’t know why.

I do know what pushed me over the edge though…

We The Kings have a song called Sad Song and it tore my heart in more than half…

*This video is NSF, unless you don’t mind ending up a puddle on the office floor*

Maybe I should’ve had the warning above the link… sorry.

It’s just that everything hurts all over again. Again and again.

I thought that once the expo was over, I could go back to meditating. It’s a new thing for me, at least it was. I’d felt calmer, more centered and most importantly, closer to Natalie. But, the expo ended and… I. feel. like. shit.

Physically I don’t feel good. Part of that is my Grave’s disease (couldn’t they have come up with a name not so… dismal?) is kicking in again. That means I’m dealing with exhaustion, an intolerance to heat and irritability (no shit). On top of that, depression is settling into my bones. The past several days it’s been almost impossible to get out of bed. I’ve made it to work, the one shift I’ve had so far this week. I’ve gone to my therapy group and not much else. I didn’t do my volunteering that I usually do on Wednesdays. I haven’t answered the phone or email. I just feel so heavy.

I kinda feel the equivalent of drunk. Like, sloppy drunk. Praying to God from inside the toilet bowl, trying to hold your hair back without moving any other body part for fear of vomiting… Once you do start puking, you just lay down on the cool tile floor and wait for the next wave of nausea to peak.

I lay in bed, my head propped up against the wooden headboard and wait for the next tsunami of tears to sweep me away. After the hysteria subsides, I fall into a light sleep with my eyes swollen shut and my throat dry and scratchy until the next little trigger starts the cycle again.

Like an alcoholic, I have to take this one day at a time. Remind myself that through is the only way out, when I beg God to tell me how long this is going to last. How much more do I have to endure? How many more hours and days will I walk around with a piece of myself missing…

While looking for an image to go along with this post, I came across this poem… it’s slightly modified to fit this particular situation.

I’ll Meet You In the Light

I know that you can’t see me, but trust me I’m right here.
Although I’m up in heaven, my love for you stays near.

So often I see you crying, many times you call my name.
I want so much to touch your face and ease some of your pain.

I wish that I could make you see that Heaven indeed is real.
If you could see me run and play, how much better you would feel.

But our loving God has promised me that when the time is right,
You’ll step out of the darkness and meet me in the light.

Written by Maureen Bauer

 

WTF?

Lately, I feel like I could start every post with that title. Hell, every conversation even.

But today included a serious WTF moment.

It’s not often you can pinpoint the exact moment when the shit hits the fan… but for me today, it was 1:58 pm.

I was on hwy 77 South, just starting to cross the bridge and it came out of nowhere. “IT’S THURSDAY! IT’S BEEN 6 WEEKS SINCE NATALIE DIED!

I felt ill. How could I forget? I mean, the past five weeks, I’ve dreaded each Thursday. I usually started on Sunday night or Monday morning and it would grow with each passing hour. By Wednesday, I was trying to hide out in my bed for as long as possible. And for what? To avoid thinking about THAT DAY? That doesn’t work so well. I spend almost as much time/energy/effort on trying to avoid thinking about Thursdays  as I do on actual grieving!

Last night, watching the home videos, I don’t know. I don’t know if that was such a good idea. It was almost like watching the impossible. The past came back to life. Grandma and Grandpa Scott at Christmas… hearing their voices, hearing grandma say my name again, such a double edged sword.

This time period was way before Justin was born and I don’t think I ever realized how much we depended on each other for … everything. Sharing, loving, trading, goofing off, teamwork… And I realized I never thanked her. I mean, we told each other we loved each other but we veterans (of sorts) who served together in life’s unavoidable war. I don’t think she knew how much our shared experience and the individual ways we dealt with it meant to me. I don’t think I knew how much it meant to me.

I pulled over to wipe my eyes and clear my head. I took a deep breath and saw her at two years old. Four years old. Pre-teen, with braces and a mouth guard. Those ridiculously high teased bangs and premature makeup. I saw her grow and mature. Get swept up in friends. In boys. In drugs.

My heart started to race. “I have to call her. I need to talk to her right now!”

I pulled up the keypad on my phone and realized she wouldn’t answer.

Where was her phone, anyway? Still at the police station? In a baggy, locked in an evidence box? Did the phone company take it back?

“Fuck! I have to see her, where is she?”

The Rolodex of memories flip to our first house. The second house on Hidden Oaks Drive. The last house. Her apartment. The skyline. How long was I staring at those buildings six weeks ago? Oh Jesus. She’s gone. I see the casket. The flames. Ashes. The urn…

Oh my God, she’s gone.

In my mind, I run to her empty apartment. I break down the door. I search frantically for her, but of course, she’s not there.

Just some clothes and makeup. More shoes than any human could possibly wear in a lifetime.

I resume my freak out in the car. Crying and screaming. Damn, I was so hoping to be done with the screaming….

FullSizeRender

 

 

Happy Mother Fucker’s Day

11164048_10152400461157465_1904901294415371537_n

What an emotional, cataclysmic, clusterfuck today was.

It started when I woke up and went downhill from there. I hadn’t gotten Don a father’s day card and the only place open at 4:30 am was Walmart. My grudge against them isn’t nearly as strong as it used to be, it’s just that every employee there, you can tell- doesn’t want to be there. No one EVER asks me if I need help. On the rare occasions I DO need help (the kind they can provide) I have to hire a Sherpa to guide me through every fucking isle until we find a blue vest brave enough to stop, listen and point me in the direction of pencil boxes! I digress… for now.

So I’m at Walmart, in the card isle. I see all these colors and exclamation points, Number 1 Dad cards… and my heart falls into my shoes. I swallowed hard and reminded myself I was in public (like THAT ever stopped me from doing anything) and I took a couple of deep breaths.

Then I saw THE ONE. It was of (presumably a girl) in a white dress. She was on her tummy with her knees bent and feet crossed at the ankles. The photo was of this kid was from just below the shoulders down, you couldn’t even see her head. I imagined it was stuck in a book somewhere or perhaps a color by number page… What stopped me, what paused me, the thing that made me deaf, dumb and mute were the little red cowgirl boots.

Natalie’s red boots. The ones she wore to every contest and every talent show in her very first days of singing. She LOVED those boots. They were so her. Her own personal style of ruby red slippers. They brought her “home” to the stage, to the spotlight, where she was born to be.

I felt the tears, warm from my eyes, make their way down my cheeks. My jaw started to tremble as I thought of my father who is experiencing his first Father’s Day after losing a child. I thought of my husband, who should be celebrating twice as much today, for the son he never got to meet… interesting side note, if you ever feel crowded in a Walmart isle? Start crying and watch people slowly back away…

I got the other things I needed and then stood on the front step for almost five minutes, wondering why the hell the escalator wasn’t moving…

I listened to some songs that Natalie had recorded, that I hadn’t heard before. Her voice sounded… stronger, clearer and I involuntarily started to shake my head in disbelief. “How can she be gone? LISTEN to this! All this talent, all this potential… I KNOW her. THIS is her life. She wouldn’t risk it all… for a fleeting high.”

But that’s the thing. I don’t think she saw it as taking a risk. She was cocky, (she’d be the first to tell you) she *knew her limits. But her limits reset after treatment. She even wrote a paper on relapse prevention! Tailored to her! Was she so arrogant that she wasn’t even listening to herself? I don’t know. I’ll never know.

EVERY fiber, molecule, atom, etc. KNOWS this was an accident.

Sometimes that’s a blessing, sometimes it’s torture.

It could have been worse. A lot worse. She didn’t want to leave. She wasn’t ready. I read and heard some of her journal entries… She was happy. Enjoying the “little” things in life that we come to find are the big things. I know at lease one of her former selves would’ve laughed their ass off at Natalie coming to appreciate something as simple as being able to bring a drink into the group room. Getting to wear her own clothes. A passage in a book. I was so excited for her. It renewed my own excitement of sobriety. I am happy it wasn’t an intentional thing, an accident.

Another part of me wants to shake her and scream “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?” An accident? There’s no such thing! It was careless. Reckless. How could you RISK not only your life but of those around you? What a fucking waste…

I feel myself getting caught up in the emotion again…

After I got home, I did some stuff around the house. Hanging curtains, pictures, finding spaces for all the various pots and pans… Then it was time to sort the laundry. I sat on the floor, surrounded by clothes and something caught my eye. It was one of her shirts. Her smile, her smell, her voice, her warmth all came flooding back. Before I knew what hit me, I was curled up in a ball. I rocked. And cried. And sobbed. And swore. I told whoever would listen, so Don and Tayla, that everyone was lying to me. She’s NOT gone. She CAN’T be gone! What am I supposed to do without her? With this giant, gaping hole that only she could fill?

“It’s not fair!” I cried. “She gets to be up there with my baby and grandma and I want her baaaaaack!”

Tayla had come in and sat down next to me on the floor. She had one hand on my back and in her most reassuring voice said “it’s ok mom. You’ll get to see them so… You’ll get to see them some day.”

I caught that. She almost said soon. She almost gave me permission.

I asked her for some Kleenex and calmed down. She got up to leave but I grabbed her hand. “Hey. Just because I’m sad and I miss them, that doesn’t mean… I mean, I want to be here with you and dad. I love you both so much.”

I have to wonder at times how much psychological damage I’m doing to that girl… I’m sure I’ll find out one of these Mother’s Days…