Friday, August 22, 2014

New Year's in August

Just a random thought...

In the days following the anniversaries of Emily’s birth and her passing away, things start to settle.  In a way it feels almost like New Year’s where the countdown begins to next August 19th.  I make resolutions to appreciate what I have more and to spend more time with the kids.  Seriously, just like New Year’s.   

And maybe I just discovered why December 31st doesn’t excite me as much as it does others.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What This Bereaved Parent Needs

I’m writing this on the eve of a very difficult day for me and my husband.  Ten years ago, on August 19th, we had our first child, a daughter named Emily Rose.  She only lived 36 hours.  We miss her every day, so it’s not a difficult day because our grief is any greater.  It’s difficult because it prompts more reflection about her short life and how her loss has impacted our lives.  I say “our” but I can only truly speak for myself.

It seems throughout the years, with each anniversary I focus on a slightly different aspect of this part of my life.  I don’t always write about it—in fact I only posted about it one other time.  I don’t even talk about it all that often, though I think about her Every. Single. Day.  Without fail.  It’s not an easy subject to bring up.  And when I do, it often comes out rather awkward.

What I have come to realize is that I help contribute to this awkwardness by NOT mentioning it.  Sure, it’s not an easy subject to bring up, but there are many times I chose not to say anything when there is an opportunity.  I think I’ve perfected this to the point where people in my everyday life, people who I’ve known for a long time, forgot.

On Friday last week, while I was preparing to be out of the office today through Wednesday, many people, including those that have worked with for the past thirteen years, told me to enjoy my time off or asked where I was going.  All perfectly normal responses to learning someone will be off for a number of days—especially during the summer.  But, I couldn’t help feeling disappointed that those who knew what happened had forgotten.

Kind of unfair of me.  But kind of not, too.  It seems I’ve worried so long about protecting others from such an unpleasant topic—not wanting to be a “downer”—that I’ve helped erase it from others' minds.  But even with family, who I know have NOT forgotten, I may have given the impression I don’t need help every once in a while.

I find myself without a babysitter this year.  This may upset a few who have helped in the past, or would help if I asked.  But after ten years, I wish I didn’t have to ask for someone to watch my kids so my husband and I can go to the cemetery.  It’s a given.  It's hard enough thinking about her birthday as it gets closer.  The last thing I want to do is turn it into a production; who, when, for how long...  Or have to make my way down a list of people who are working, or will be away, to find someone.  It's gets frustrating so it's easier for me not to ask.

The best thing in the world for a grieving parent on a day like tomorrow is for someone to call and ask, “Hey, do you need someone to watch the kids?”  (Accompanied by "bring them over" so I don't have to worry about cleaningnot even joking. :) )

The second best thing would be to know my family went and paid their respects as well.  I have one friend who mails us a note card every year.  Without fail!  While I appreciate all the sentiments I receive, whether verbal or through e-mail, this one stands out.  This one touches me and makes me really feel Emily is remembered.

Each year it seems my focus changes, other needs may change, but this remains the same.  There’s not a lot anyone can do to erase what’s going on inside our hearts and minds, but these small things would be a tremendous help.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Not Even In My Dreams...

When I was in my teens and early twenties, I used to try and “make” myself dream about certain story lines I was working on – they usually included Simon Le Bon.  Picture first person fan-fic at its worst.  LOL.  Anyway, I gave up trying because it never worked.  Or, if it worked I didn’t remember it come morning.

So a couple of days ago I had a rare dream where a certain Hollywood actor played a starring role.  Rare because one, I remembered it.  And two, because it was actually interesting!  But, it seems even in my dreams I can’t loosen up.  I wouldn’t know what to do with a hot celebrity in real life and apparently not in my dreams either.   

Robert Downey Jr. and I will just have to remain friends in the land of make believe. <sigh>

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Faking My Forties

Why Faking My Forties?  Because I never really think of myself as all grown up.  Despite my 42 – there I said it – years on this planet I still feel like a freshman in high school.  Still looking for where I fit in, still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and I still don’t know what the hell to do with my hair.  Yet, I am married, have two kids to take care of, (lots) of bills to pay, a full time job, housework…  You get the picture.  Although I still have homework, thanks to the infamous “year off” (24 of them) and finally getting back around to finishing college.  So my plate is pretty full.  That makes me an adult right?  I mean, I’m old enough (check), and have all those responsibilities (check), so I qualify – don’t I?  

But I still don’t feel like an Adult – with a capitol A.   I kind of feel like a big, fat faker most of the time.  I think this is because I don’t feel as “wise” as my younger self thought I would grow up to be one day.  I mean, while growing up, all the adults in my life (btw, most were younger than I am now) seemed incredibly decisive, mature, and reliable.  Not that I don’t exhibit those qualities – I do.  But there’s always that freakin’ hindsight which is so very effective in nurturing doubt.  All those grown-ups in my early years appeared so self-assured.  And, they were always right!  At least it seemed that way.


I had a friend, someone I looked up to, once tell me 35 was her best year.  She said at 35 you were no longer in your twenties and still labeled “naive”, and wiser than you thought you were at 30.  I swear sometimes I feel like I missed my thirties completely.  Like I got into some time machine and ten years just flew by.  Heck, I’ll even add my twenties in there too. 

I spent my twenties working my ass off, saddled early with too much of responsibility at work, when I should have enjoyed life a little more.  Oh, how I wished I would have loosened up and gone a little wild when I had the chance!  And despite having my two children during my thirties – who are truly the best things in my life – my thirties pretty much sucked. Don't get me wrong, there were high points, but it was mostly stressful.  But I’ll save my eight years worth of pregnancy-related emotional baggage for another time.  Though the worst of it you can find here, if you’re so inclined (it's sad, be warned).

So here I am, all grown up – technically.  It happened so fast and I don’t feel nearly as wise as I should be.