It has already been 100 days since time stopped for me, when Brando left this earth. Those hundred days have done little for my disbelief that this is the life I have to live. I will pull into my driveway and be overcome with emotion at the thought of Brandon never being in this house, again. I still cannot believe it's possible.
A hundred days that I've lived with half of my heart gone. Something I never imagined would be possible. I look back at some of my blog posts and wonder, especially on the ones where I seem sane and normal, if there's not something really wrong with me. Am I still in deep shock, am I going to look back at this time and wonder who that person was? I wonder this because I do not understand, even knowing God and understanding grace, how I haven't just collapsed in a heap...and stayed there...sobbing my eyes out, every single second of the last 8, 640, 000 seconds (yes, that many). You just keep living, like it or not, but it doesn't seem rational to allow life to make you keep living when your child is gone. I should be fighting it every step of the way. That's what my heart says. My mind understands that it cannot be that way. I imagine someday, mind and heart will be on the same page, although it's a day that will surprise me, since it's yet to happen in my life. Ever.
The other night, the girl and I were sitting at a restaurant talking about eye color, when Brandon's was mentioned. He had the most unique eye color and the most beautiful, long, curly eyelashes. Sitting there, I realized that I'd never get to see those eyes, up close and personal, until I meet him in Heaven, and instantly tears welled up in my eyes. What I would give to see those eyes, even with anger in them or sadness or his pupils dilated for some Godforsaken reason or any sort of way, just to be able to look into them, to touch him, to hug him, to talk to him one more time. God, I miss him so, so much. I still physically ache for him.
One hundred days of tears, with no end on the horizon. My friend who lost her husband said she cried every day for eight months, though, so I guess it doesn't seem crazy to be at the 100 day mark. Most of the time, I try hard to keep it together because I'm afraid if I start crying, I won't stop and it's just not practical to walk around this earth crying constantly. I'm actually able to wear makeup now, something I couldn't do for the longest time because I knew I'd have it cried all over my face and clothes within an hour. I still have to be mom and attempt to give my girl some semblance of normalcy, although I honestly have no idea what normal means. I doubt I'll ever understand normal the way most people mean normal. It's not even possible to have what I thought was normal and I still don't want a new normal, I want my old one back, with my boy. I keep saying, "I hate new normal," and I do. I can't get it to go away.
A hundred days of going back and forth with the inner voices that battle constantly. "You didn't do enough. You're a horrible mother. God gave you this beautiful gift that you cared for poorly. If only you'd done something else, something different, he'd still be here. You should've made him go to church more often." The gracious voice rarely wins the argument, but it tries. "You loved him with all you have, he knew that. You tried the best you could, the best you knew how. Brandon had free will. He's in heaven, it's good that you raised him in the church." This dialogue, or some form of it, goes through my head on a daily basis, if not more frequently. I can't understand how to reconcile the fact that Brandon dying was preventable, yet it wasn't, or how I cannot be responsible for him being gone, when I was the one responsible for him.
Praying is still a similar conflict. I prayed for Brandon constantly and I had others pray for him, lots and lots of others. Still, he is gone. So, do my prayers matter or is everything already decided and I'm merely talking to talk? In the same breath, I ask God why this has to be my lot in life and apologize for not being a better mom, for allowing Brandon to die. Sometimes, I'm afraid to pray, afraid that when I ask for something, I'll be given the opposite or God will take the other half of my heart. Still, I practice believing God for his goodness and reminding myself that it rains on the just and unjust and that, while I may feel picked on and abandoned, it's a huge blessing that Brandon sits with the Father and that I will get to see him, again, regardless of what has happened on this earth. I won't lie, it's hard. Trusting in His sovereignty and knowing that it'll all be ok because God has already been there is so very hard, when you know that He was with your son in his final moments and didn't let him stay.
**The paragraph directly above this was one of those moments, written before the third paragraph from the top, when I had a moment of talking to myself about trusting the truth I know. That third paragraph, where I question the sanity of such a thought, was written five days later. It's bad when the dialogue in your head starts arguing with itself in a public forum.