I feel like I should write something. It feels like by not doing so I am letting myself down. I’ve never figured out who it is that stands over me in my head with these expectations. I don’t think of myself as a driven person. I think of myself as one of those little solar lights out there on the deck. When there is energy to be had I can shine. When there is not the couch looks real good.
Every day is slightly cracked or has a chip in it. I am sure that they did all along. I just overlooked it. I see all the cracks, all the the chips and the smiles on people’s faces that never reach their eyes.
So, I think I need to fast from the news for a while, and probably Facebook too. Lots of static, noise that gets in to my head and is confusing while not helping anything.
It has been raining so much and I think my mood is as soggy as all out doors.
But we took a vacation to the beach. It was the week of my birthday. I didn’t post anything about it while we were on vacation because it was quiet and fairly uneventful. It was hot at the beach. I am not a sun person so I avoided the hottest parts of the day. It was a South Carolina beach and the efforts that began in 1948 by the Corp of Engineers to battle beach erosion have not succeeded nor have they ever worked. The beach stays in a constant winter profile – steeply slanted from what should be dunes with a very very narrow beach. It is hard to walk on. The groins they put out at a right angle every 100 yards or so make it impossible to enjoy a walk at low tide.
Our friends joined us at the beach for a few days. That helped. Having other people to talk to and to hear the undercurrent hum of the every day challenges of someone else’s life makes you feel less anxious.
The triumph in my mind was that we made it through the week. We actually packed it up and drove to a destination and stayed in a place that was not so far away that we could not have made it home in a day. We cooked meals and we read books and we walked the neighborhoods when the heat abated a little. We talked to our daughter on the phone and I think both my husband and I both kept track of every nuance that we would like to tell our son about. Especially the nesting osprey’s and the sharp-shinned hawk that skimmed through the live oak trees.
But it was my third birthday since our son died. My own private anniversary without my mother or my son. My mom used to call me before her dementia got so bad that she forgot my birthday altogether. She would say – “forty-nine years ago today, it was just you and me kid!”. I remember when I called her on my birthday when I was in Maine with my son years ago. That was the first year she forgot it was my birthday and I did not remind her.
You have to be careful how you deal out these memories. I give them space, but if I allow them to they will drown out all the voices in the day. The daily voices become a hum like a television with the volume turned down – you can see the action and you can hear that they are talking – but you don’t know what the heck is going on and furthermore you don’t care.
This time of year I celebrate my birthday, my sisters celebrate theirs, my daughter, my late mother, my late mother-in-law. July and September bracket it with the anniversary of the death of my son in July and my mother in September. And the daylight is diminishing with each day.
I am trying not to diminish with it. I stay busy till sorrow wrestles me down and I have to sit and weep for a while.
I took the dogs to the groomer yesterday and our 13 year old black pomeranian got a new cut. She comes to me when I am weeping. She can’t jump up easily so she puts her paw on my feet and looks at me. I pick her up and she snuggles me. She doesn’t seem to mind how long it takes for me to recover. She is very patient with my sorrow. I don’t know that you can ever wring it all out of yourself or that it is worth trying.
I think it is worth trying to be patient with yourself, however. It is always worth trying.
P.S. Dear Son. I miss you. Forever, Mom.
Sounds like you made the best of your birthday. Best wishes and hugs to you.
I don’t know that I’ll ever “celebrate” my birthday again, it doesn’t seem right when my son doesn’t have any more birthdays.
I know what you mean when you note various things that you would have liked to have shared with your son, things that he would have enjoyed. You realize in those moments that there is nowhere to turn with those thoughts/experiences/photos that you want to share. It’s always a reminder of their absence.
Your dog is adorable. What a nice soft, warm pillow! I don’t think there will ever be a time without tears. There is no limit to your love, so there will always be tears. I just think we’ll learn to manage them better as time goes on. In fact, I think this gets harder in some ways as more time passes. We are farther removed from our children and their lives become more distant. Honestly, this thought terrifies me. Somehow, we have to learn to live with this terrible reality.