Today was a day of opposites. Of highs and lows.
This morning I woke up. And missed her still. A continuation of the longing I felt last night. I strapped on my shoes and went for a run. It wasn’t a good run though. It was slow and hot ..
As I ran I realized how powerless I have felt through out all of this. Powerless to stop her from dying. Powerless to stop her from being in pain.. powerless to bring her back.
.. and now. Powerless to remember her the way I want to.
I dont get it. I feel horrible about it. Even ashamed about it.
My memories of her feel so flat. So two dimensional. Like a photograph. Not the way I want them to be. I want them to be real. I want to remember what it felt like to hold .. the weight of her.. . in my arms. It doesn’t even have to be the healthy soft weight she had for most of her years… Right now I would be satisfied with the skeletal form I felt in those final days.
Just something with depth.
But my arms don’t remember.
I want to have the memory of the way her hair felt when I braided it.. or the way her lashes felt when she gave me butterfly kisses.
My hands can’t…and my face doesn’t.
So much of this journey my power has been taken from me. I cannot believe the way I remember her is another example of that. This has shocked me.
I haven’t written about it because it scares me so much. And I am horrified by it. If I write it.. it makes it real. But it is real. Right now anyways… my sincere hope is that this is temporary. That I will again remember the feel of her hand in mine.
A complete memory.
When I came home I saw my car in the street. Under our beloved cherry blossom tree…covered in them..and knew it was time.
The day she died we tried to get into the car and I just couldn’t. Its probably the worst break down I have had to date.. When we opened up the doors and I saw her seat… knowing she would never occupy it again…I just crumbled. I have so many visions of her during radiation getting buckled in by whoever was with us that day as the Charlotte cuddler. I remember getting her into her seat to go see Frozen. She was so excited. I remember how she used to be able to buckle herself and her brothers in…before the tumor stole that from her…With all the traveling back and forth from Stanford Jennifer and I had made so many recent memories in my car.
My mind doesnt really let me remember too much before her birthday. Before the day we learned some cancers are terminal upon diagnosis. I am guessing its another one of my natural safety mechanisms.
So we avoided my car. Moved the carseats into Tonys.
Today was different. Tony had already taken out her booster seat. So now its just a empty space… her space. But I was more prepared for the visual reality of that.
I love my car. I always so desperately wanted to be a minivan mom…
I got my keys and pulled it into the driveway. I took a lot of pictures. I am doing a good job of remembering to take pictures before I clean or change things. I know I expose myself and my deepest grief through this blog….but its on my terms and it still feels safe.
Today in my driveway cleaning out the car… I felt so exposed.
I found shoes.. and hairbands..and stuffed animals. I found her school pictures. The 8×10 that she wrote to us on the back..
.. .bags we used for when she was sick…and a receipt for the medicine that was supposed to help her not hurt so badly. Morphine for my 6yr old. I remembered getting those meds the first time and being so shocked that things would get that painful for her. It didn’t seem possible. But it was.. so very quickly.
I cried. A lot. Sobbed actually. I felt so vulnerable.. out in the driveway
..living my grief in the open.
Just when I finished the kids came out to find me. Jonathan came into the car and just stared at something. I’m not sure what.. I didn’t take everything of hers out. I wanted pieces of her to remain, it just felt right. I am not sure what it is that grabbed him. He turned around and told me he missed sissy. I clutched him… held him like a baby and told him I did too. I cried, hating this change thrust upon us and wishing I could find a way to make sense of all of this for him..
For them actually. Nicholas is starting to question. Trying to sort out in his little 2 yr old mind where sissy is and when she will be coming back. He is starting to put things aside for her. He wanted me to take her pinkie out of my bed so she could come get it.
Jennifer adored Nicholas. She was always so proud of him and he always me her smile.
Today in my minivan he wanted to put sissy’s seat back.
We came in and ate some and played some. I felt emptied. So much emotion cleaned me out.
.. which is good because that digging into the low allowed space for the high of tonight.
Our little town… our amazing and strong little town…came together for us. A fundraiser for our family…and our cause was thrown for us tonight. We knew very few people that attended. We had never met the people that put it on. These were all strangers that care. ..
Good people doing good things.
I read every blog comment. I hear you say how much of an impact we make. And how much we mean. But to see it…to touch it. It was a honor. Nobody has to read this blog…you chose to. I cannot seem to find the words to express how much it means to me.
Especially now that we all already know the ending…The main character died pretty early in the story didn’t she? I thought most people would fall off after that..after that anticipation was exhausted. Tonight I got to see in living color that people are still standing with us.
We had planned on camping this weekend. But the thought of this event kept popping up. Somehow we both felt drawn to it…trusted in its safety for us.
Tonight was incredible. Our first time being a part of this kind of event. I am so glad we went. It energized me on the non-profit. On the difference we want to make. And who we want to do it for. Its the only way I can accurately demonstrate my gratitude.
I promise to give back all that is being given to us. From everybody enveloping us. Those we know…or met tonight… or support from afar… .
Those speaking her name.
I sit here now. Reliving the highs and lows of the day… And just for a moment.. my memories of her are a little bit different a little more rounded.. a little less flat… Just a little…
I can’t say why. Was it feeling that low or being lifted to my high..?
. . I don’t know and I don’t care..I just want to look through my pictures of her..
because I know soon I will sleep a night of dreams without her.. and awake to a new day..
.. without her.
Again powerless to control my memories of her. So for now. I will gladly take it.