Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

I wonder how our memories will change over time. David and I holding hands walking back to Charlie's gravesite, city folk trying to park their cars on our land and scraping bottom, people smoking Camel Light cigarettes everywhere and Adaline running around like she was at the biggest party of her life.

Will I remember all the details of the day of Charlie's funeral and his burial 10 years from now? It seems like it. It seems like one of those moments, frozen in my head forever like getting my first chocolate dipped ice cream cone, the day I got my first kiss, or the day my Aunt Emmy died. At her funeral I was spinning and spinning in my dress because it twirled around. My dad hugged my mom. I was 4, they were divorced, and I'd never known them to touch. I remember the seat of the church pew was crushed red velvet, and the hymnals were black with gold letters and the flowers ontop of her casket were gladiolas. It must've been spring. We ate fried chicken afterwards and then my dad tried to make me take a nap, but I didn't want to so I pretended that the girls on my quilt were my friends and we chatted instead.

I wonder if I'll remember that at the end of the night sitting around the bonfire after burying him, humor divulged into talk about sausage roasting- and not the edible kind. I remember laying in the grass and looking at the stars and being mad at David for being able to laugh. I'm so glad he was able to laugh. Somebody had to. So many friends were there, so many people from all around our lives that hadn't come together like that in years. In a way, it was beautiful. Tragic, but so beautiful to see how many people were there for us.

Most all of those people are still around, and we are so blessed to have them in our lives. Many of them were people we have reconnected with after losing contact for years. Many of them are fairly new friends, but amazing nonetheless. Most of them are family by choice, not by blood.

Our blood family has been so amazing throughout this whole process. They have helped us out, watched Adaline, not said anything about how many nights we drank ourselves into oblivion because we didnt know what else to do, and have been a great emotional support network.

I buried my son three months ago today. All of his things are packed away in a nice little box, his autopsy report has come, all the thank you notes have been sent out, and it's over. It's all over on the outside, and the process of healing on the inside is in rapid progress. Things are moving along at quite a rapid pace, thankfully.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Three months down, the rest of my life to go

At this very moment, 7 pm, three months ago today I was standing around my aunt's kitchen island making chit chat with my mother-in-law and her best friend while pretending to nibble on some raw broccoli. My body had never felt as uncomfortable as it did that day. Charlie had been dead for almost 12 hours. My mother in law had driven down from Indiana to my hometown in Alabama to escort us back home to Kentucky. I remember the moment that she pulled up in the driveway and I realized that I would have to leave him in Alabama with the coroner while we went home to make arrangements. Back in my cousin's bedroom, now the guest room, with a white quilt that had little sewn circles on it that I fiddled with nervously.

Oh, life is so different than it was back then. Way back then, three months ago. It could be three decades ago to me some days, and some days just three hours. But if there is one thing I know, it is that life is drastically different than it was three months and one day ago. Also drastically different than three months ago to the moment. I'm not curled up in a fetal position fiddling with a quilt with sore eyeballs and and a frog in my throat, and the worst headache of my life.

For that matter, life is drastically different than it was two months ago, May 10th. I was menstruating and a hysterical mess. My cycle had finally returned after a year of absence, and aside from the emotional wreckage of losing a son, I was very unhappy about my physical being. I wouldn't have been in that condition if my son was alive. I'd have still been nursing. It just wasn't fair. It wasn't fair at all. I was rage-y and a complete wreck. There are still days that I want to throw things, days that I want to stomp my feet and shake my fists and scream to the top of my lungs, "It's not fair, goddammit, its just not fair!" but that isn't every day anymore. Just Tuesdays :)

I went to sleep last night remembering the very last night I fell asleep with Charlie. He was so beautiful.  I woke up this morning knowing it was July 10th, and from the moment I woke, I knew that it was the three month anniversary of Charlie's death. But I've thought about other things as well. I haven't left the house all day today, and I can't say I'm in any real condition to do so, but life is better than it was then. There is some hope that we will be a happy family again. That this event will not be who I am for the rest of my life. I won't just be "that lady whose son died." Part of me feels guilty for wanting more than that, but part of me knows that it's not healthy to focus so much on him that I miss out on everything else that is going on.

This is the first time the anniversary of his death has fallen on a Tuesday, the day of the week that he died. This also means that it will be the first Friday 13th since he passed away. We had to bury him that day, and while Im not superstitious about it, I know that for the rest of our lives every time it is Friday the 13th we won't watch scary movies or think it's cute. We will remember the scariest thing we ever went through. I'm such a nut for dates- I remember almost everyone's birthday and anniversary. It's just a habit, but it's one that I know won't go away. 

I'm sure that some of you (if anyone is even reading) noticed that I changed the blog up a bit. Originally, it was a temporary project assigned to me by my therapist. I think I'll keep it up- but I needed something a bit more personal.