Thursday, June 24, 2010

Irrational anger and blind rage.....Which stage of the grieving process would that be?

I keep trying to forget this day.  After all, it is one tiny speck in the span of his life.  I keep trying to forget the 3 years prior to this day, too.  I don't want to remember the cancer that tortured him.  Anger rises when I realize that I'm dwelling on his pain and illness.  His life was so much more than that.  He had 76 years of joy, love, family, friends, and good memories.  Why does my mind insist on holding these other memories?

I got an e-mail this week from my brother.  

"Everyone remember that Saturday is 5 years since Dad passed."

And suddenly....there it is again.  The knot in my stomach.  The lump in my throat.  The shaking in my hands.  The anger.  Not at my brother.  The Siblings and I often send e-mails back and forth about Dad....smiling and remembering and laughing.  We celebrated his birthday in this way.  E-mail memories.  It only makes perfect sense that my brother would send out this a way to spark more memories.  More laughing and remembering.  He had no knowledge of my anger and, most certainly, he didn't send the message as a way to open the wound again.

I want to yell at someone.  Or hit something.  STOP REMINDING ME.  I know.....every. single. day. I know that he's not here.   I WANT MY FATHER BACK.  It's so damn unfair.  My arms and legs feel like lead....I don't want to move.  I want my bed to swallow me up.  I don't want to be a mom today.  I want to cry until my head hurts in the hopes that it will be enough and that I'll never have to cry again.  The simple act of taking a breath seems like too much work right now.  

I can't breathe.....

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

The last time I saw my dad was Father's Day weekend in 2005.  He was in the hospital.  My mother called me on Friday morning and asked me to come home because he was getting sicker by the minute.  I flew into North Dakota on Friday night.  We went to the hospital on Saturday morning and I remember silently wishing that it could be over.  It was painfully obvious that he would never get better.  The cancer had defeated his body and I just wanted his suffering to end....even though a peaceful end for him would mark a painful beginning for me.

His end came the following weekend.

My beginning came in the form of a funeral.....a funeral full of well-meaning people who were desperate to say something helpful.  Or at the very least, they didn't want to say anything that would be insensitive or hurtful.  And yet.....

"He's in a better place."

Really?  That's really what you think?  That's the story that helps you sleep at night?  Okay.  Well luckily, we live in America and you're entitled to your opinion.  But please, for the sake of my sanity, don't bring that theory over here.  Don't you tell me for one second that my father is in a better place.  There is no better place for him than right here....with his family and friends.  He should be here....traveling with his wife and celebrating their 50+ years together.  He should be watching his "Pete" graduate from high school.  He should be counting the days until we are all home together this summer.  He should be holding my daughter on his lap and sharing his cereal with her, just like he did with my boys when they were little.  Don't you dare tell me that there is a better place than that.  And don't you dare get preachy with me when my heart is breaking in half.  It's just so damn unfair.

Oh god...I can't breathe.....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Love....

Benjamin:  "I didn't get you a gift, Daddy."

Nick:  "That's okay."

Ben:  "I just made you that picture at school."

Nick:  "And that's exactly what I wanted, Buddy."

Happy Father's Day....We all love you to the moon and back.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

A crown made by Alexa to accompany a breakfast fit for a king....

A real man isn't afraid to walk around with an Abby Cadabby wand in his back pocket.....

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Accidental Racist

Tonight I served watermelon for dessert....the seedless kind.  Except there's always seeds.....the white kind.  And sometimes you find other seeds....the black kind.  I've explained to my kids that the little white seeds are soft and okay to eat.  They should use a fork to pick out the black ones.

So I was only listening with half an ear while my girls discussed their watermelon and the seeds.  And then I heard this from 3-year-old Rachel:

"I don't like the blacks.  Only the whites are good."

As I nearly choked on my own watermelon, all I could think was, "I'm so glad we're not out in public right now."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Either I need to buy a belt OR make sure I'm wearing clean underwear at ALL times

Depending on the time of day and how much salt I've recently consumed, my weight can fluctuate pretty wildly.  Lately, however, I've noticed it sloooowwwlllyyy creeping down!  When I weighed myself yesterday morning, I discovered that I'm in a "new decade".  Let me explain.

You don't seriously think I'll be posting my weight on this here blog, do you?  No way, man.  Instead, I'll refer to my weight in decades.  In other words, let's say that my starting weight were in the 130s (ya know...when pigs fly) and I lost enough weight to put me into the 120s (ya know....when pigs fly AND when hell freezes over).  I would simply say that I'm in a new decade.  But I'll make a deal with you.  If pigs fly, hell freezes over, and I get down to the 130s or 120s.....THEN I'll share the good news with you.  Of course, that might be tough to do because achieving that weight would require the amputation of some limbs and, naturally, I'd give up my arms first because, HELLO, I need to walk and would not be able to part with my legs.

I know what you're thinking....."Sweet MOSES this girl can ramble on."

Anyway.  After stepping on the scale and picking my jaw up off the ground....I put on my favorite capris and went about my business.  Except that I spent most of the day yanking my pants back up.  And at one point, I realized that I could pull the pants down WITHOUT unbuttoning and unzipping them.  Hmm...that could be embarrassing, no?

I sure wish I could take all the credit for this.  That would be so COOL.  I'd love to ramble on and on about blah blah exercise blah blah fruits yada yada veggies blah blah stopped drinking soda.


All the credit goes to a new medication I started which has left me with a craptastic appetite.  I eat about half the breakfast that I used to, nibble my way through the rest of the day, and eat a child-size portion of my supper.  I'm just not hungry.

Now if I could shake this soda habit, I'd have the body of Jillian Michaels by the 4th of July.

BWAAAHAAAHAAA!!  Whew...I can't even say that with a straight face!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 1st.....14 years later

 Now you will feel no rain, for each of you
will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you
will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no loneliness for you.
Now you are two persons,
but there is only one life before you.

Go now to your dwelling place,
to enter into the days of your togetherness,
And may your days be good and long together.
--Apache Prayer

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

In September of 1995, my husband's brother got married.  Nick was a best man and I was a bridesmaid.  Our own wedding was still 9 months away, but most of the planning had already been done.

They were married in a beautiful little garden ceremony...surrounded by family and friends and gorgeous flowers and perfect weather.  We stood near the bride and groom...listening to the officiant's words.  At one point, I was glancing down at my flowers when I heard, "Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter to the other."

I looked up.

Then I heard, "Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other."

Nick's eye caught mine and we smiled....

When we picked out our wedding invitations, we found a very simple one that we both loved.  The paper was the same off-white as my dress and had an Apache Prayer printed in small gold letters on the front.  We had never heard of this prayer before.  (Glancing through the Giant Book of Cheesy Invitations was an exercise in seemed that every invite was covered in over-played cliches or too-cutesy pictures or bible verses.  And, hello?  Those things are SO not us.)  So I nearly did cartwheels when we found one that seemed to fit us so well and had this simple yet profound inscription.

And now, here we were, listening to the very same prayer being read at this wedding.  I couldn't help but laugh.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


Dear Husband,

14 years already?  I'm stunned...amazed...happy...proud.  Can you believe how young we were?  I was only 22 and you were 27.  There was so much I didn't know about marriage...and about life in general.

I didn't know that "for better" would bring us the births of 4 amazingly perfect babies and a sweet little house in the suburbs.

I didn't know that "for worse" would bring us the loss of our fathers and a year-long battle with postpartum depression.

I didn't know that "in sickness" would give us BOTH strep throat on Thanksgiving weekend, thus squashing any and all plans that we had.

I didn't know that "in health" would become more precious every day as we watched some of our family members suffer through illnesses.

I didn't know that "forsaking all others" would be the easiest thing I've ever done....because I only want you by my side.

I didn't know that we would spend many anniversaries at home....surrounded by our little ones.  Changing their diapers, feeding them bottles, drying their tears, giving them baths, and snuggling with their sleepy,  jammie-clad bodies.

I also didn't know that that would be fine with me.

But right now, 14 years later, I do know that I wouldn't change a thing.
You have all of my love...
Miles and miles...
The Wife