If this post seems a bit disjointed it’s because I barely got to the bedroom and logged on the computer tonight. It amazes me the punishment the human body can seem to take, particularly when you are determined to push it to its limits. Not that I’m an amazing specimen of the human condition, I need to lose weight, gain muscle and eat better. But having taken several sick days to care for my children as they got sick and less than a week into the ratings period I cannot in good conscience call in sick.
So here I sit tonight, after working my 8 hours, going to the grocery store, cooking dinner, making brownies for lunch and I was about to pass out. You see, I have the flu as well. Got the Tamiflu doses at the doctor and tried to stave it off, but when you are stumbling along like I was your day gets a bit dizzying.
Between Abbi’s play and the shows on the television, we’ve had a lot of fanciful tales swirling around us lately. At one point during the night we had some cartoons on and it involved – of course – a fairy offering wishes to the protagonist. 3 wishes, of course, is the norm, something that the 3 youngest kids were oh so eager to embrace and believe. Even Hannah, the 12 year old, had that starry-eyed look. Hannah, you see, is just starting to move from watching “Transformers” to thinking “27 Dresses” is her favorite movie. (Don’t ask me, I don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy and couldn’t tell you a single thing about the movie other than “Benny and the Jets” plays a prominent role)
But at this point they had a discussion about what they’d wish for. There was the typical boy stuff, “A million dollars!”; “A new bike”; all that seemed to come out of their mouths. But Hannah spouted out what I was waiting to happen.
“I would wish for Mom.”
And there it was. Like the song up there says, it would be amazing to see what would happen, hungering for the dreams we never see. I wasn’t angry, I’d have wished it too, I suppose, if they’d said “hey, 3 wishes, no waiting,” but there’d have to be stipulations, too. I mean, it’s been 10 months, and 10 months of hell. It really has. We’re just now hitting our stride.
And here’s where I’m going to come out with one of those “stages of grief” that everyone talks about, but realistically, it’s been on my mind since last year, since the day after she died.
She left us.
I mean, I miss her more than anything in the world and I would never, ever give up the chance to see her just a minute more, to kiss her again, to tell her I loved her as many times as I could before she left again . . . but there’s also the fact that she’s gone and we’re here left to pick up the pieces of the life that shattered apart. Say what you want about how well we’re doing or how wonderful my kids are and how amazing things have worked out – and all that is true – it doesn’t change the fact that starting on March 26th all five of us stood there with the world in a blurry swirl moving around us looking at the pieces of our lives scattered around us.
The kids miss what Andrea gave them. They miss their Mom, the kindness, the softness, the whole thing. It’s so easy to push all the negative things aside because you really don’t ever want to think about those anymore. The bad things, the annoying habits, all those were part and parcel with the person you loved. If you can’t live with those you’re not really in love. You love someone because you think those little things are cute or because they’re part of what make them who they are. If you can’t accept them you really aren’t in love.
But the stress, medical bills, college loans, tuition costs, mortgage overdue, car payment, uniforms, hell everything down to breakfast, laundry and housecleaning. All those fall on my shoulders – our shoulders.
I sound mean, flippant, angry even, but she left me here to deal with the shattered pieces and not enough glue to put them back together. She doesn’t have to deal with the flu and fevers and the school calling and Hannah not turning in her homework. She doesn’t get to see the amazing picture of a cat Noah drew at school today. She doesn’t get to see Abbi in her play looking just like her mother. And her children don’t get to share that with her. On some level, sure, she’s seeing this, I hope, I pray. But the physical, emotional bond that makes a parent tear up when they see their child succeed . . . Abbi only gets that from one person now. So do the others. It’s not just that Andrea doesn’t get to see what her kids are doing, my kids don’t get to share this with their Mom, and that’s the sad part.
I get angry sometimes because I needed her. I needed her this last week. I needed her when Hannah got her period for the first time. I needed her when Noah hit a kindergartner at school and got in trouble. I am angry because where I just needed that person – the one human being who understood me above all others – the most, when I needed her hands on my back holding me up so I didn’t fall off that pedestal my children had placed me on, she wasn’t there.
I also hate the fact that I’m mad at her. I love her too much to hold that anger more than flashes at a time. Still, when Hannah looks at that fairy and says she wants her Mom, there’s that part of me that agrees . . . and there’s that part of me that thinks she needed to fight just a little harder to deserve that chance.
And I hate myself for thinking it. Because I do hunger for the dreams I’ll never see.