Monday, January 24, 2011

What If's

12 Gore Globe
Okay, as is my usual, I have done nothing about getting some, but I will do something about it soon.

Tonight I'm having one of those anxious evenings. I can't figure out what is making me anxious. I keep having this nagging feeling like I should go somewhere, but I have no where to go. Anyway, I have a child at home, so it's not like I can be out having a good time.

It's often evenings like this that I end up just needing a good cry, which is likely how tonight will culminate. I think my grief just gets built up, and for the past few days, I haven't given in to it. I kept myself busy all weekend with purchasing, and putting together, inexpensive patio furniture. It was actually quite an adventure. Target was having a sale, and I found these cool white metal chairs that had nice clean modern lines. I paired them with some sand colored cushions, and bought four small matching side tables, and put them together to create an outdoor coffee table. Now, for some reason, each of the local stores purchased only two such chairs in white, so I was using my GPS to find all the local Target Stores, and went from store to store to make a complete set. My kids thought I was nuts, and whatever I saved in the price, I likely spent in gas, but it was something that gave my weekend purpose. I enjoyed it.

Just a minute ago my 12 year old started walking over with open arms to give me a hug, then turned away at the last minute, trying to be funny. I groaned so loud that he came back for a real hug. I hugged him so tight, and planted a big kiss on his cheek. I told him that I really need regular hugs, as they just don't come my way much anymore. He smiled, and gave me another.

Then I made the mistake of calling my 17 year old to see how his day was going. He began by complaining about how the staff at his program were giving him consequences for things that were not fair. Quickly he began saying that he was just going to move back home. I explained that moving home was no longer an option, as he has proven over and over again that he does not want to listen to me, and is unable to be safe. That went over real well. Suddenly it wasn't the staff's fault, it was mine. While it was an unpleasant exchange, and my blood pressure has just shot through the roof, it is a reminder about why he no longer is at home. My role now is to see that he has the best treatment, but also that my younger son, and I, can live our daily lives feeling safe. This is not an easy thing to do, as in my daily fantasies, I still wish for a time when my older son is "normal," and we are all able to live together harmoniously.

It all brings me back to those times when I allow myself to think about all the what if's.

What if my kids were not born with all these problems?

What if my husband Michael hadn't died so young?

What if I was living the good life?

What if?

This is all pointless of course. "What if's" won't change anything. I know that I have to learn to find happiness with what I have, and with what I find in the future. It's a real struggle, but this is the way I'm trying to live. I refuse to allow myself to wallow in the past. I have to be stern with myself. I have to tell myself to feel the pain of letting go, grieve my loss, and be mindful of moving forward as I do this.

I am going to get through this. Even if it kills me. Okay, a bit dramatic.

My son just came by with another hug. Lucky me.


  1. Those inexplicably "anxious times" used to be more frequent a year ago. In my case, I think they were because the alone-ness of dealing with life seemed almost overwhelming at times. These days, I don't seem to experience that feeling so much even though I am still very much alone. A good friend and I have discussed how we think the human condition is really meant to be, and have come to the conclusion that we were really meant to be more tribal, and that being two and then one, probably isn't a normal state for humans. It's pretty much an invention of modern times. Unfortunately, it sets us up for the great likelihood that we will, at some point, be left alone to struggle onwards. For just about anyone, that seems a somewhat scary or overwhelming state of being.

  2. Dan - I wish we could have a hug right now :-(

    I think that we don't need to let go of our past, but we do need to let go of the future that we had planned. It is a huge step to imagine a future for ourselves to start with, then to actually start to tentatively plan in our minds ... leading to us choosing one or more plans and turning them into reality. For me, Australia was a turning point ... it showed me there could a life/a future for me. And I decided to explore that future. Slowly, then explored more seriously ... house prices etc. This year I will take the first steps - allowing my BIL to finish the house renovations, ... the practical (painful and thus avoided) stuff.

    Bev has a good point. We were tribal, we changed. Which is why fear is such a strong emotion in the first months, because we know - on a primal level - that we are less safe ... we are fewer in headcount. A huge loss, such as we have suffered reminds us that we are animals as well as corporate soldiers.

    I love you Dan and I think your son is beautiful for showing you his affection in such a lovely way. We NEED hugs and contact xxx

  3. the turmoil that living with grief every day stirs inside us can be insane. i hate it. i am sorry your older son is having such a rough time, thereby making it difficult for you. but you know he is where he needs to be right now and is safe. your younger son giving you hugs is a blessing. seeing your need for affection and giving it freely, one of the good things about being a parent.

    i wish for calmer times for you, both inside your soul and outside your body. i hope you find what you need to make each day a little better. a little better. just something to say, "okay, today was okay." i think of you often and keep you in my prayers. i wish you peace.