Thursday, December 31, 2015

Let’s Start Over, Okay?

It's the last day of 2015.  This post will not be a detailed year-end review, but rather an impressionist view, in no particular order.

Our Tuesday group continues to be an important part of my life.  We joined together bonded by grief.  We stay together through understanding, caring and love.

I ventured out of my comfort zone and joined a group of women who meet three times a week in order to enhance our health through exercise.   Although I have been part of our community for nearly 14 years, I have been hesitant to participate in any of the activities.
At our last session, the woman who leads us had us form a circle.  And, while we squatted, and lifted we each took a turn relating expressions of  gratitude.  Most of the women were thankful, of course,  for their families.  I am too, of course.
When it was my turn, though, I  said I was happy that "After 14 years, I discovered this wonderful group of the nicest ladies."

My favorite time was our family vacation in Ocean City.   I think of the wrap around front porch and I smile.

There were too many losses.   I understand.  My heart breaks for you.

Two "young and in love" weddings.

Ross had a bit of a health scare which resulted in a trip to the emergency room.  He's okay.  He's good.

Oh my, Bella is so tall now.  Beautiful, yes she is.

That little one, Jax, he is a day brightener, yes he is.

Those four boys chasing each other from room to room.  Like stepping stones, one next to the other. Yet, each one so different.  Each one so unique.  Yes, they are.

Although I did not attend my fiftieth high school reunion, I was surprised when a few weeks after the reunion I received an invitation to a luncheon.  An opportunity to reconnect with a group of high school classmates.  True to myself, I wasn't keen on going to the luncheon.  Actually, I was quite anxious about going.  In fact, I called the night before to cancel.  But I had a strong uncanny inclination that I should  go.
It felt like a fierce tugging on my arm, a whisper over my shoulder, "Come on... come."
You were right, I did have a good time.  They are the nicest ladies, yep. You were right, sometimes it's good to step out of my comfort zone.

I happily knitted, a lot.    I made a scarf and hat for you.  Get better, okay?  

Two birthday shawls and another scarf or two along with a mermaid afghan is how I finished out the year.

My heel still hurts.  I went to the doctor.  He gave me a shot.  He said it wasn't going to hurt.  It did.  It didn't help.   I go back next week.

On Christmas Day Ross and I made sauce, meatballs and lasagna.

We celebrated Christmas on Sunday, December 27.
Everyone was here.  That would be Jen, Derek, Bella, Ryan and Jackson, Anne and Domani, Jimmy, Tara, Kenny and Ty.
Our house was suddenly wide awake filled with brilliant life lights.

I miss Joe.  He should be here too.  Yes, he should.     My heart hurts.

These past few weeks the weather has been unusually warm.   The temperatures have been above normal.  A few days in December have been in the 70's.  We have also had many days of rain.

Today is the first day in awhile that the sun has peeked out a little.

We took down our Christmas decorations today.  Strangely,  I felt uncomfortable with so much Christmas around.  I feel more like myself now that everything is back the way it was before.

Is it silly that after all these years of life, knowing what I know, having the experiences I've had I still wish for things like happiness and healthy, peaceful times for you?

I suppose that's what's known as hope.

So,  we start over, once again.

Happy Healthy Peaceful 2016.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

It’s Okay, Joe

December 5, 2015

My son Joe passed away four years ago today.
As I always do on this day, I find my way into the darkened space of my heart.  It is where my pain and anger has burrowed in.  It is deep and cleverly hidden.  Most of the time.  But not today.  Today I find it, grab hold of it and pull it out.
Yesterday was the four-year anniversary of Joe's last day here, with us.  I have flashing visual memories of the day.
I recall those of us who loved Joe wandering in and out of the room.  The room where he would find his final rest.  Or perhaps it was me.  Yes, it was me.  I was the wanderer.
My memories of that day are surreal.  I feel confused.  What is going on?  I don't understand what's happening.   I want to pick him up and carry him away from that room.  I want to take him away from death.
I close my eyes and I hear the day.  The football game is playing on the TV in the room where Joe lay, unconscious.  It's loud.   Unconsciously, I find myself putting my hands over my ears.  It should be quiet.  Joe was quiet.
The hospice nurse was sitting on the other bed in the room.  Right next to Joe.  She told me to talk to him.  "He can hear you," she said.
I was irrationally puzzled.  How can he hear me?  It's so loud in here. 
But I tell him, "It's okay Joe.  It's okay."
I'm not sure what I meant by that.   But it's what a mother says, you know.  It's what a mother says.
This one day is the day of my son' death.   There is no joy in this day.
But this day, this death day, was not the life of Joe.  Tomorrow I will remember the beautiful life that was my Joe.