B stayed home with me today to work on getting the desk finished. I had thought to slap some melamine on craft cubes but B would have none of it. And, as usual, he's right. So, he's been beavering away, cutting wood for support and trim. I've been moving things upstairs little piles at a time. I'm getting SO excited I'm ready to move in!
As is fairly typical for us, B and I wound up bickering a bit about the desk and how to make it perfect. As I was fixing lunch with a mantle of righteous indignation firmly on my shoulders, I could hear Hannah saying, "Guys, guys, GUYS! What seems to be the wee little problem here??" Yes, my sweet precious Monkey spoke like that and when she sensed things were getting tense, she would say this to make us stop and think. So, there was her sweet voice sounding in my head and I went to Brien's shop to apologize for being an ass. He was totally right and I was being stubborn and pig-headed (and I wonder where Lil got it...).
While he was working upstairs or in the shop, and while Lil was napping, I was blog hopping. I visit Sumi, Sheye and Stephanie daily to check on them. We are all members of this horrible club,Sheye at over a year, me approaching a year, Sumi four months and Stephanie's loss is still so very fresh. I read what they write and ache for them and for us. They are where I have been and in some cases, still am.
Stephanie was writing about "normal" and what is normal now versus before. I've been down that road and my "normal" now is so different from what I had a year ago. Sumi was talking about her loss and how she knows Jenna was there and she misses her so keenly, and yet, it's almost as if she was never there at all.
This got me thinking--lots. Hannah is everywhere in this house, simply everywhere! Every time I think I've found all the traces of her, I find yet something new--a hair doodle and hair brush full of her hair, new "decorations" on a wall, a scrap of paper hidden away that she had sketched and written on. Her presence is so here, and yet, her absence is so profound there are days I wonder if I just dreamt her. I'm living in this surreal reality. No parents should ever experience this, and yet we do, all the time.
Sumi also wrote about kissing little items that had some association with her sweet Jenna and that too resonated with me. We put photos of Han along the stairs, and most nights, I'll stop, caress her face or kiss a cheek and say, "Good night, Monkey. I love you!" I miss her with such a terrible fierceness I can't begin to describe it.
And, then, there's Stephanie, so fresh into the loss of her precious Camille. The funeral was this past weekend and now family are beginning to leave. I rememer the terror of an empty house. What did they mean they were all going home? They were all going back to their "normal" lives with their precious families still intact, and I was left with this gaping hole, this emptiness where I once had a gregarious, noisy Monkey. I was nervous and scared on the one hand, and yet, on the other hand, I knew I had get back into some semblance of a routine. I knew the healing couldn't truly begin until it was just Brien, Lil and me, our new little family of three. Oh, the agony, pain and terror of those days, when I couldn't think past the next minute because I would have the most excruciating panic attacks otherwise.
Meanwhile, in one of her recent posts, Sheye wrote about seeing an acupuncturist to trigger memories of her sweet Ava. She said she was afraid that as her delightful Ivy grew older, the memories she had of Ava would be supplanted by Ivy and what she was doing. I knew exactly what she was saying. One of my greatest fears (other than Hannah won't be remembered, for that is what EVERY mother truly wants, for her baby to be remembered) is that I'll one day forget Hannah's rumbly belly laugh, the size of her big ole blue peepers, her crazy double-jointed "belbows", that I won't be able to "hear" her voice any longer. This child lived in me for nine months and with me for almost six years. She was a part of me (still is) and I'm terrified I'll forget.
My heart is so full of love for Sheye, Sumi and Stephanie (and any other parents who have lost children) and I hurt so deeply for them. I remember Sister Rose once told me I would have even greater compassion for mothers and fathers who lost children because I had been there myself and I knew what it was like. She's right. She's absolutely right. I so desperately wish NONE of us were on this journey. I haven't had a down yo in quite some time (for which I'm eternally grateful), which also made me think.
This grieving, it really is a process. In the beginning I could barely make myself get out of bed in the morning. I chose to honor Hannah and to LIVE, but it was so so hard. I initially measured the passing of each day. Then, I would say, "It's been one week. It's been two weeks." Pretty soon, I was marking the passage of months. I was proud of myself for being able to make plans for the next day, then, to look ahead a week. Pretty soon, I was looking out a month, two months. There was such unbearable pain I was having more down yos than up. Gradually, so gradually I didn't even realize it was happening, the pain was lessening. I didn't consciously realize I was having more up yos than down, that I was no longer marking month anniversaries. Time, and life, whether we wish them to or not, move onward quite steadily.
Am I suggesting I'm out of the woods? Am I suggesting I'll never have another down yo? Nope, not by a long shot. Am I saying I'm in a pretty good place, right now, at this moment? Yes. Yes I am. Do I still catch my breath with slight twinge to my chest even this second as I sit here thinking of all I'm missing with the Monkey? Absolutely. This process, this journey is long and arduous, but right now, my path is pretty level.
I really did mean to post them last night...you know what they say about good intentions. :sigh:
1. Brien. What a man. He took a day off of work to be with us and work on my desk. I don't know many guys who would do that. Thank you so much, Sweetie for putting up with my stupidity and for being wonderful.
2. Lily has had NO accidents today. Whoopie!!!!!
3. My beautiful Monkey Studios will be put together within the next few days. WOOOOO HOOOO!
4. The butterfly Lil pointed out today, a beautiful swallowtail that lit on the swing and then fluttered on by.
5. Gift cards.
6. My Belle & Boo prints are framed and absolutely GORGEOUS!! I'll take pics and post them when they're hanging in MS.