Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Today is my brother’s birthday.

Today is my brother’s birthday.

I play with words like play doh in my mind lately…. is that the right way to say it now?
“Is?” or “Was?”
The longer that I roll it out, and press it back into a ball, and roll it out, and squeeze it... the more I come to the conclusion that of course the right way to say it is “is.”

I laughed noticing my older sister obligatory “assistance” with blowing out the candles.
AKA trying to hog the lime light.

Today I want to sit and come to some sort of conclusion, or at least have a moment of something or other. But it’s really loud in here. Kids don’t leave you to sit quietly.
Someone told me that’s better --- grieving while "they keep you busy." I’m fairly certain that’s not something they are saying from an experiential place --- just saying anything to put a positive spin it on. (It’s ok to let there be only sad, because it’s sad.)
     Right now, while I’m trying to think, one baby is teething and sad, one kid is asking me about “sticky stuff to make a snowman” (there is no snow, and boogers were just the last topic of conversation) and another one is asking me “Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?” She’s asked this more than once in the past weeks, she just likes mulling it over. (I’ve always hated that question -- it annoys me. I grew up being told it was a vegetable, and then some smart-people-that-be all of a sudden informed us we were wrong -- it’s a fruit. I’ve not cared to call it anything since. Besides how annoying the concept of “what it is” is, that whole question is like a flash back to childhood -- and all flash backs right now give me whiplash.) And before I can answer with some kind of something, the question floats away into some very loud repetitive song of nonsense.

My kids play funeral and talk death in their make believe and kid-to-kid conversations now. Of course they do, they’ve gone to two funerals in the span of about four months. On a logical, mental level I think it’s perfectly fine and healthy for them to do that, they are making sense out of things. I’m not going to step in and change that. On an emotional level, it can hit me in the face like a baseball bat when I’m least expecting it.
Sometimes what they say is very profound and beautiful. Sometimes what they say is just plain nonsense. But no matter what they say, I’m never ready for it. Punches in a tired gut.

Honestly, even just watching them all interact with each other is a bit like lemon juice on my cuts. They are who I used to be, only I’m not any more.

None of that is their fault. It just is life.

Suddenly in certain moments, I’m now my own mom --- as I cradle their faces, I’m her holding us.

My breath will catch in my throat. There is no where to go in that. Try to stop it. I’m me. I’m me, holding my own kids, looking at the idea that the future is unknown. Is that better? Does it matter if it’s better? It just is life.

Every day is riddled with flash backs I didn’t ask for. 
I think this might be my favorite picture of us.
No one even remembered what we were laughing at so hard, but we laughed like that for a long time that day.

Some days are quieter. But some days are very busy inside. And no matter what -- those couple times at night, while I nurse the baby and it’s dark but I’m not ready for bed myself yet -- those are always the memory-moments that take advantage of the still darkness I’m captive to, and those moments pull out the bigger memories that make me want to weep. But weeping wakes up sleeping babies.
“Come on Lydia -- you know if you wake him up you’ll feel even worse, because then you’ll be doing double duty.” My chest shakes and heaves while holding back the flood -- baby stirs as his world trembles. After I can calm my breathing, small less healing tears just quietly fall, emotions tucked away. He nourishes and sleeps. I get up, not really knowing what to do now. I closed the window so he could be ok, so I could make it through. Will I ever be ok? 

When we were kids my parents went out on a date (pretty much) every single Friday night. We would get great baby-sitters and frozen pizza and watch TGIF on ABC. It was THE BEST. 
Netflix keeps showing me that I can watch “Fuller House.” I want to SO bad. But I am not ready for how homesick that will make me. I watched the trailer and that alone was like letting someone ring my heart out like a wet dish rag.

Last night (while nursing the baby, of course) I finally pieced together the last things we said to each other. (My memory is all out of order and very confused, so the easiest concepts take weeks to line up.) I’d thought through the same thoughts already since his death. I’ve been over them like a rosary. But this was the first time I realized they were officially the last things. And I could put a date on them. And  that felt bad.
I’m not unhappy about the words themselves. But last words are awkward just in that they are final -- final in a way I’ve never felt before -- officially final. 

So today is his birthday. And I can’t do anything much about it. Good or bad. It just is.

I can mentally, logically appreciate this is his first birthday in heaven, and all the good there. (Like I can’t try to blow his candles out for him ;) he gets his own show. ) But I can’t feel it. I just feel sad.

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