How much you are missed

How much you are missed

There are still days that I still can’t quite believe that you are not longer physically in my life.  How can this have happened? Three years,plus, doesn’t seem long enough, and other times it seems like that a century has passed. Why the difference, you probably wondering, as I often do. Those days that seem endless…..those days are dreaded. They pass with agonizing slowness, all the while images, and thoughts of you fill my mind, heart and soul.

How can you not be there when I come home. Greeting me with a soul soothing hug, a smile on your face, as I suggest that you and I go lay down with the cat, in your room or mine. Doesn’t matter,  because I which. That’s one of the many things that I miss the most.

I loved you unconditionally while you were here with me physically, and I will continue to love you unconditionally for the rest of my life here on earth.

Then, when I get to Heaven, I will continue to love you unconditionally for the rest of eternity.

 

Jennifer

My day and night will always start and end with her sweet image on my mind, and her name upon my lips. How has so much time passed, yet most of the time it still feels like yesterday.

Am I to be forever haunted by how she looked at the hospital? Will I forever feel the coldness slowly seep its way up her fingers? I remember so clearly holding her hand, our fingers interlaced, then gradually through my shock and grief, I could feel her fingertips growing colder, and colder.

Yet I still held her hand. As if, by holding her hand I was holding onto her, denying death, clinging to her hand. Like a cosmic battle over who would win her in the end.

But you can’t battle death, for it will always win. After the coroner came, she asked us to step out of the room for a little while. And so I let go of my daughter’s hand.

Only to find upon our return, to have a last look, give a kiss to her soft lips. And the very last thing, to hold her hand one last time….but time had made changes to her in the time that we were away, because when I went to hold her hand one more time, I found that her hand had closed in on itself, as if making a fist.

Rigourmortis had claimed her hand, and now I would never hold my daughter’s hand again in my lifetime. Now I can only wait, for time to hurry past, and age Tony and I ever so much more quickly. For I long to once again hold my child’s hand.

A new year, and a new commitment

I am making a new commitment to myself and to my blog. I need to get back into writing again. I’ve used the excuse of not being comfortable with WordPress, as a reason why I haven’t been writing. But in all the time that I have spent away from my blog I have dome nothing to further educate myself with WordPress. That’s all going to change.

It has been a rough time for me personally in the time that I have been away from myblog. There has been many changes in my life since I last wrote anything. As part of my new commitment to my blog I am going to be going through these changes with you. Trust me when I say that my life has changed drastically in the time that I have been away. And I would like to begin by telling you about the most traumatic changes that has taken place.

So please look for my next post, as I reintroduce myself to those that have read my blog from the beginning, and introduce myself to hopefully the new readers of my blog.

And as always, I dedicate my blog and everything that I write to my beloved daughter Jennifer. For without her there would be no blog.

The past and the future

Haven’t written in a very long time, as while there have been many changes in my/our lives,  I sometimes don’t know if I am coming or going. In my most recent posts I told you all about our packing up our lives, and moving in temporarily with a friend of ours. We moved in with him at the beginning of March, and the plan was that we put all of our staff into storage for about a month, and to stay with him until we found a new place to live.

For the first couple of weeks we really didn’t do too much, you see on the day we were moving it was raining and as Tony was carrying something downstairs he missed a step, or slipped because of the rain. Anyways, we were both scared to death that he had ‘re-injured his back. He finished with what he was doing, and then he took a small desk that we had gotten for Jennifer for her school work and took it to the trash. (It was just a cheap little desk that my friend Joanne and I had finally found, after searching all kinds of places, like goodwill, and a bunch of other used furniture stores.)

So then he came upstairs and went into our bedroom, and sat on the floor. He just kept saying that he thinks he hurt his back again, and what were we going to do. He was so stressed, more so than I have seen in a while. Over and over he just kept asking me what are we going to do if his back is screwed up again.

He was physically and emotionally exhausted, and overwhelmed, and now this. So I closed the door to our bedroom, and finished rolling up his pant legs so that I could see what had happened when he fell. Both of his knees looked like roadways, all skinned up and bleeding a little, one of his ankle bones, (you know the one that sticks out) was scraped up, and so was one of his elbows. I told him to lay down for about a half an hour, got him a couple of those reusable frozen blue gel packs, put one on his back and the other on his shoulder because he said that hurt to.

I left him alone after I found one of our fleece jackets that he could use as a pillow. You see, we had already taken the bed and other furniture out of our bedroom, so he had to lay on the floor.

When I went to check on him about 15 minutes later, and he had gone from the sitting position, leaning up against the wall, to the upper half of his body laying down, and his legs still out in front of him. Like he had just toppled over to one side. And he was sound asleep. I let him be, and went back to where Barb and I had been working…in Jennifer’s room.

I had been working on her room for quite a while, actually since very early that morning. When Tony and Barb went to go and pick up the moving truck that morning, I started on her room. I was glad for the silence and the privacy. When we had told our friends in our support group that we had given our notice, and would be probably not be able to come to the group meetings, I had a few offers of help with Jennifer’s room, but I politely declined.

When she was born I was the one who set up her room, well everything but the painting of the walls because Tony didn’t want me around the paint fumes. For the first few months of her life, she slept in our room, in a beautiful wooden cradle that my Auntie Nicky had loaned to us. I don’t remember who in the family made the cradle, but it’s two ends had big hearts on the top, and they had made it so it rocked.

Anyways, as I was saying, I was the one who set up her room, along with Tony, so we should be the ones who pack it up. And so that’s what we did. Tony took down every single poster and picture that was on her wall. I left him alone to do this, as I knew that he would linger over each and every one of them. Jennifer was really into music, and she and her Daddy liked a lot of the same kind. Plus, and this is the really heartbreaking part, he said that she was the last one to touch them, so he had to be the only one to touch them. So he lovingly, carefully took down each one, and he had one of those cardboard cylinders that you can put rolled up posters and such in. In it was an autographed poster of Nadia Comaneci that Barb had gotten for him, and that’s where he put all of Jennifer’s posters and pictures that used to be on her walls.

Well, I think that’s enough for now. I had promised myself that I would get back to blogging when we got settled, but we aren’t quite there yet, but that’s for another post.

 

 

Another Mother

With the support group that Sharon and I started last April, (my goodness it’s been almost a full year already!) was ready to grow, we appointed 2 more members as admins. One for the collection of funds to supplement our supplies, such as the battery operated candles, that everyone decorated in honor of their child. Some are very simple, while others have all sides of the candles decorated.

Anyway, as we have done in the past, we first approached the group, run everything by them, to make sure that everyone is comfortable with our new home, and any other matters that may need to be addressed, then if they are ready for us to take the next step, we outline what our game plan is.  We have found that in doing things in this manner, brings forth ideas from the rest of the group.

I set up a secret Facebook page, that you have to be a member of the group to not only see it, but to post there as well.) It is getting post daily from some of the members.

I made the decision to monitor the group’s email, as I seem to have the most time on my hands, and I truly find that, while I am extremely sensitive to the pain and sorrow that they are experiencing as newly grieving parents, having walked in their shoes for the past 2 years,that I try to offer anything that they need from me…whether it’s a two am call, or just someone that they know that they can reach out to, and I will be there in whatever capacity that they need from me.

Yes, we have the support group, but from where they are standing, that can be a rather daunting task, especially if their loss is very recent. It takes a great deal of courage to walk into a room, where you know no one. And all this is compounded by the very new, raw, engulfing pain that you have been living with, since you lost your child.

So I sometimes find myself, doing a little one on one emailing, messaging or texting to these new parents, who find themselves overwhelmed, engulfed in a sea of pain, and confusion. The hardest thing a parent can go through is the loss of a child. My goal is to get them comfortable first with me, another mother, who is going through all of the same bewildering, painful emotions that they are. My hope is that I can get them comfortable with sharing their story, though this will never be a requirement of the group. We are here, every single Monday, because I, and the others in the group, feel that once a month meetings, as a couple of other bereaved parents support groups hold, is simply not enough. We decided, as a group, that more time is needed to really be there for one another. Let’s face it, you don’t just feel your grief one day a month. No, you feel it everyday, with every breath that you take. However, we will never, ever insist that you attend every week. Only you know what you are able to stand, and you will never be pushed into committing to more than you can handle.

We are here for you, as well as being there for one another.  Allow us to be here for you, and I promise you, that you will eventually feel more and more at ease with the rest of the members of the group.

We were all those new parents at one point in our lives, and now it is our turn to help the other new parents. Because, to be brutally honest, no one else knows what you are going through, except for another parent, who is on the same path that you find yourself on, we are just a little bit further down the road. That’s not to say that we, ourselves don’t find ourselves back at stage one from tome to time.

This grieving thing is a continual process, and yes, sometimes it feels like you just got knocked back to-day one.  But no matter what happens, we will be there for you.

Early morning

I truly don’t know what I would do without my husband Tony. He wakes me up every morning at six am to make sure that I take my medication that is timed.  And believe me, I am not the easiest person to wake up. If left to my own devices, I would have to set alarms!  Even on the weekends he does this.

This morning I wanted to come outside, and have a cigarette, and as I looked at the sky my very first thought was, how very much Jennifer loved this time of day. I remember when she told me also….I was taking her to work, she worked at Starbucks, when she turned to me and said that this was her absolute favorite time of the day. When most of our world is quiet. She said, just close your eyes and listen. It has now become one of my favorite parts of my day.

 

Where do we go from here

Well we moved out of our apartment that we lived in for the past 12 years, and the one that Jennifer died in. Every part of the move was so difficult…we were sorting through stuff, trying to downgrade as much as possible. Needless to say, we found Jennifer stuff everywhere. Barb, my sister-in-law, (more like a real sister by blood than an in law!) and I went through bags of stuff, boxes of stuff, and all before we even got into Jennifer’s room.

I prayed daily for strength from God, knowing that I was going to need every bit of it.

There were countless pictures, naturally of her, that had never made it into photo albums. Not that I had enough photo albums in which to put them all. This is not counting all of the photos that I have online in dropbox, or stored in other files on my computer, or backed up on my external hard drive. Eventually I will get around to printing all of the ones that are on these devices and getting them into photo albums, however, they are somewhat safer where they are. For example, in the case of a fire I wouldn’t have to be grabbing multiple photo albums, I would just have to grab my computer/laptop and my external hard drive and then the 3-4 actual photo albums.

But as we went through everything, it was like a trip down memory lane, and believe me, it was a trip that I was ill prepared for. I tried so hard to just separate them into the boxes marked Jenifer, and not spend time looking at them, but sometimes that just wasn’t possible. After 4-5 days of this I had a complete and utter shutdown.

Thank God that Barb was there! Emotions that I have been stuffing down out of necessity, due to Tony’s’ unstable mental health where he still can’t look at her pictures without breaking down, and everything else in my life, that as a natural care giver, I tend to put others first rather than myself. Anyways, EVERYTHING came bubbling to the surface. AND I MEAN EVERYTHING!! Things that I have been holding in since her death.

So, now that we are staying with a friend for a couple of months, until we find just what we are looking for in our next home, I will be unable to post as much as I would like to or as much as I need to. So….where do we go from here??? I really don’t know the answer to that question at this  point in time.

Will revisit it in the near future.