Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 18 - Thanks for the Memories

On Facebook, for the month of November, I post 30 days of thanks as my status. I knew this November was going to be a real challenge, but I committed myself to really digging deep and reminding myself that, yes, I do have much to be thankful for.

Today, November 18th, 2013, is six months without the greatest boy ever. Six months and one day ago I'd have never believed that, were this to happen, I'd still be alive six months later. If you've ever lost a child, or even someone you love, you will understand when I say, you are certain that the earth will swallow you whole from the pain. I was certain of that before Brandon died and I maintained that certainty after he died. Maybe I just hoped really hard that I wouldn't make it, I'm not sure. I do know that I fully understand not being able to think even one day ahead of where you're at. It will crush you.

Today, I am choosing to be thankful for the memories that I have. It's a very difficult thanks, believe it or not. Having your mind intact is a mixed bag; with the memories come the tears, the anguish, the hole in your life that you're aware of. I have cried every day for the last six months. The tears, blessedly, do not fall with the same frequency or volume, but they are always right there, just under the surface. I still recoil at the memory of the phone call that changed my life and the wailing that followed for weeks after. Those memories are absolute torture, for lack of a better, stronger word for the pain they cause. I wonder, sometimes, how much easier it might be if my memory just stopped working. However, I know that having 19 years of memories around my boy is a huge blessing. No one else had *our* memories, no one else spent as many days on this earth with that boy as I did and thank God that I am aware of what I had all those years. I can look at pictures and, although that usually brings the tears, I can remember the day or that time of our lives and all the feelings that go with it. The memories are there and I can get lost in them for however long I choose. Someday, those memories will bring smiles and happiness, instead of having to mop away the tears.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Avoiding the 18th and the Turkey

I have, as usual, been terribly undisciplined with my writing. It dredges up so many tears that it's just easier to stay away. I still have several posts waiting to be published and tons of voice recordings I have yet to transfer to the typed word. So, I figured that since I felt like it would be ok to type a few words, I'd take advantage of it. The added benefit is that it means I probably will not blog on the 18th, which is OK with me because the 18th continues to be a profoundly sad day every month. The 17th is usually just as hard, if not harder, as my body and mind prepare for the date in the background, without me even being aware.

I had a really bad week, the week before last. I can't remember if I blogged, but I was struggling terribly, every single day, and felt like I was just getting sucked deeper and deeper into the griefsand (quicksand for the griever). I know you aren't supposed to struggle in quicksand, even though it's against your natural instincts, and I couldn't figure out if that was the problem with the griefsand. I was starting to get really scared about the future because of how sad I felt every second and how many tears I cried. I still fall into a state of total disbelief and I'll tell ya, the understanding that it is real settling into your bones can suck the life right out of you and yet that fight or flight instinct kicks in and you realize you're flailing your arms to try and catch your footing. The voices in my head were thoroughly confused about which side of the tape to play. Side A(lright), "You are ok. O....K." and the other side is, "You are a horrible mom who didn't do enough, why didn't you do things differently," and all the conversations that go along with side B(ad side). Thank God and I REALLY mean thank God that I have a side A, but when they're flipping over several times within a five minute period it can be a little unsettling.

To make matters worse, I wasn't sleeping. For about two weeks, I was sleeping for no more than five hours, waking up as early as 5:30 am on some days, just wandering around the house. My sleeping pills weren't working and my normal morning pills that make me drowsy enough to need a nap were acting like placebos. I think I got some things done that needed to be done, at least for the first ten days, but then the energy just went and the emotions got stronger. The last three days I have slept an embarrassing number of hours. Seriously. If I told you how many hours, I'd end up getting phone calls from doctors offering to see me pro bono, I'm sure of it. No, I wasn't manic and this isn't a depressive cycle (well, no more depressed than I ought to be), I have just always had crazy sleep habits and to say they've gotten worse the last few years, understandably the last six months, would be a huge understatement.

I came to the conclusion that I just cannot do Thanksgiving. It was just going to be me and my daughter and I cannot go there. She got invited to Leavenworth, which she loves, and I invited myself to Reno, where I have friends that I love, but I will have plenty of time just to myself, too, as tons of people still overwhelm me a bit. I will be where Thanksgiving won't be an issue, I can just pretend it away this year. November is not a happy month for me, anyway, so I'm just trying to get through in one piece. However that has to happen is a-ok.

The other thing I'm going to do is start writing a book. Not because I think I can write a book, because I know nothing about doing such a thing, but an author friend and I talked about it and the short story is that it's an act of faith in what God will write the ending to be. My testimony has a big, ugly, unfinished ending and so I'll just start at the beginning and trust God to put the bow on it. One thing I'm sure of is that it's going to be THE most extravagant bow ever...mark my words.