My Craziness and my own Secret Garden…on November 28th, 2011
Sometimes when I think it can’t get any crazier… it does. I thought that I had made it through the big two year anniversary OK. However the 21st was harder than I thought it would be. I guess I didn’t keep myself busy enough. It seemed like the memories of that day, two years ago came in waves. I would remember something that I had forgotten. And the more I tried to think of something else happy, like say our honeymoon. The more often I found myself in his hospital room in my mind’s eye. Eventually I stopped trying to change the scenario and just let the memories flow. I guess that’s what they needed to do anyway. I found myself still being angry about certain parts of the day. And still remembering the last moments I had with him. Along with other crazy thoughts like “Well he would have died in two hours from now.” Morbid.. I know. Still I couldn’t help but think it. I couldn’t wait for that day to be over. I was so happy when bedtime rolled around. I got the kids in bed and then went straight to bed myself. Just hoping to sleep the rest of the night away. It didn’t work that way. Of course! Instead CL woke up around midnight and was so restless, that I eventually put him in bed with me. Where he continued to kick me in the stomach and the head. I couldn’t seem to get comfortable and when I did finally fall asleep I had nightmares. I woke up at four am hoping it was time to get up for the day. But, It wasn’t. So back to sleep. More tossing and turning, more nightmares and more being kicked in the eye by my two year old. Needless to say when at last the alarm went off at 7:30am I was more than happy to get up! At last I had made it to Tuesday! It was now the 22nd and the 21st was over!
Then Thanksgiving hit. I am very blessed it went so much better this year. The kids were not as insane. I was very happy to be with my family. And yet, it still felt like something was missing. I reminded everyone about the blood drive on Saturday in honor of Pete and hoped I would see them there. I said “Even if you can’t donate just come out and say Hi!” My in laws came into town on Friday afternoon. My mother in law had planned to help with the kids so that I could be at the blood drive. It was being held at the Fisher Y from 11-4pm on Saturday. Saturday morning rolled around and off we went to the blood drive. Had a great turn out got 23 pints of blood. could have had 33 pints but 10 people couldn’t give for different reasons. Including me, I started to but the vein moved and the blood stopped flowing. But I still have the bruise to show for it. It was hard at first being there around all the blood and such. Again with the memories, I can remember all the blood that went into Pete, along with all the blood that came out of him as well. Which was why it was so important for me to have this blood drive in honor of him. Because while it didn’t save his life it did prolong it. And for that I am forever grateful! It was nice to see all the people that came by and friends who showed their support. After the blood drive I had a friend and her family from out of town come over for dinner. She and her husband used to live down the street from us. They would hang out with Pete and me in the driveway after the kids were in bed. Along with a good friend of Pete’s and his wife and their little boy. There were 10 kids in my house along with 8 adults. It was crazy to say the least, yet fun too!
Sunday came and my in laws had to go home. Which is always hard on all of us. It seems we just get used to having them in the house, along with the extra help, then it’s time for them to go home. Aryanna doesn’t like Good-byes. But she has gotten better. She at least will hug them when they leave. It wan’t until Sunday after dinner did everything from the past few days hit me. I started to cry and have continued to cry today as well. So many emotions on the surface. So many memories, and yet new beginnings. Leaving part of what feels like my “old life” and entering a new life. A part of my life I didn’t know would ever exist again. The letting go, and embracing what’s beautiful and right in front of me. Trying to hold onto a bit of the past and bring it with me too. I know Pete will always be with me in spirit, and in my heart. He is not physically present. Which makes me feel in some ways like I am leaving him behind. But am I really? I am not forgetting him, I am moving forward, right? I don’t think moving on is the right word. Pete is a part of who I am, so no matter how far ahead I move he will be with me in some way. Not only do I have three children who look like him, I was forever changed by him being in my life. He laid the foundation for what was to come. Yet why in so many moments in these past few days and weeks do I feel that I am saying good bye again?
I feel like I am finally starting to see and feel the warmth of light, love and laughter. Like from the musical “The Secret Garden” When Mary finally finds the door to the secret garden, and we see her open the door and there is this beautiful brilliant light shining from the other side. And she says “I’ve found it, I found the door to the garden!” That’s me. I feel as if I am finding a new door to my very own garden. I still have everything from before I found the door, but now I am stepping into that brilliant light. Feeling new breath in my lungs. Yet with new breath also comes new fear. And new fear sometimes causes moments of hesitations. And those hesitations could leave me standing at the door, just peeking in through the keyhole. I don’t want to just peek in through the keyhole. I want to fling that door wide open and take Aryanna, Petey, and Chase Leo galloping through it, with joy and laughter. Still I do find myself in some ways holding onto the key to that door. Putting the key into the lock and slowly and carefully turning it. hearing the click as the door unlocks. With my hand on the door,I glance over my shoulder and back to the door, slowly turning the doorknob but fear keeps me from just opening it.
Why does fear do that? This is what I have lived for. To find this key, to find this door. We, the kids and I have suffered, and cried, and at times been shattered into fragments of who we once were as a family. Now here we are. Gaining strength, finding our joy, and bringing laughter back into our way of everyday living. But its’ me that fears and questions “am I leaving him behind?” I know with everything I have that, that is NOT what he would have wanted. For us to just stand at the edge of brilliance. If I know that, then why the tears, the fears,and the worry? I can guess that it’s another way to move through grief. To move through the loss of something so great. He and I and the kids once were such a beautiful garden. And like the musical when Lilly died so did her garden. There was no one to love it, water it, feed it, and play in it. Now there is Mary, and she has come to play in the garden and make it beautiful, all again. The way the garden once was. Beautiful and healing. Which is what Pete would have wanted. He would have wanted the kids and I to play in this wonderful garden. To be healed, to love, to laugh and remember the beauty of his essence inside this beautiful garden.
For now, in this moment, I stand here with my hand on the doorknob. I just need to find the courage to open the door. To see all the beauty that Pete see’s. And know in my heart, that he may not be physically holding my hand, but I can feel the brush of his wings, as we gallop through the door.