Crazy wishing and learning…on August 14th, 2012
Today I have found myself having many “Pete Moments.” I will explain. Earlier today I was talking with a friend about being pregnant with Chase Leo and how I ate mostly Halloween candy. I told her that I remembered my OB saying “why don’t you try some more protein.” I joked with my doctor and said “well there are Peanuts in a lot of the candy!” Halloween candy was my comfort food for awhile, while Pete was in the hospital. My “Pete Moment” came when I remembered thinking… when Pete gets home we will laugh about my Halloween candy fetish. The problem was he never came home and I never got the chance to re tell him that story.. I found myself having that thought again.. Wait, he never came home did he. As if the reality of that story and all the things I wanted to tell him are sinking in. I can’t just say to him.. hey, remember that time when you were sick..
Another Pete Moment came after dinner. I was talking with J about his day and he was telling me about this cold that he has. How he had been coughing so much today that his back hurt. I must have had this look on my face, he looked at me and said “What, what are you thinking?” I said “Thats just how Pete started out, with a cold.” It was a very strange feeling.. I was taken backwards, I had to get away. I went outside to get the mail. The tears flooded my eyes. My tears didn’t last long but it was enough to make an impact and leave a wound.
Why so many moments? I have to chalk it up to Back to school time. Another school year, another milestone. It means fall is coming and so is 3 years. Someone asked me the other day if I was looking forward to school starting. I said yes, and no. Yes, because it will be nice to have a more set schedule, and a little more freedom to myself. I will have two kids in school this year. Aryanna all day and Petey half day every day. So, for a few hours of the day it will be just Chase Leo and me. On the no side of the question.. because it means that summer is over, and it means they are getting bigger. But, I know that they are ready to see their friends, and learn new things. I Guess for me I didn’t realize how much getting everyone ready really does affect me too. It’s another trip to the bus stop at the beginning of the school year. Looking at her thinking My girl is so big. and wishing with every ounce of my being that he was here to see her walk down to the bus. See her put on her new school clothes. Wishing he could physically go to her school and meet her teacher, see her classroom, and her desk where she will sit. All of these things may seem so small to the average person, but to me, and to her, they are huge. God, I wish he was here. And still for the life of me I cannot believe that he hasn’t physically held her little self to him in almost 3 years. She was 4 and a half when he died and now she is 7 years old, going into the second grade and he is not here to see it! I know she feels it. But I wish I could see him, see her so big. Yet I know he is so proud of her, i wish she could hear him say that to her.
Its in this moment, I sit here with tears pouring down my face. I wish I could tell him so many things. I wish I could vocalize to him all the hurts, and the scared of everything, but also all the joys and the laughter too. it’s more that just missing him. It’s wishing I could just see his face, hear his laughter and look in his eyes. I want to see him look at the kids and see the wonder of who they have become. To hold them and laugh with them. I still find it so baffling that even in all the moving forward and building a new life, cherishing the small accomplishments and seeing the world through new eyes, he really didn’t come home from the hospital. Really? Really? Will it ever sink in?
The thoughts keep going through my head tonight.. I wish, oh but I just wish…. I am so grateful for where I am today. It is so much better than the beginning of last school year. I walk with more confidence, a new strength in the things that I have seen, and created for myself. I know that God was right there with me. And I know that Pete was too. However I still wonder so many things. The thoughts that creep in, the places we wanted to go and the memories of the things I wanted to share with him. Sure I still talk to him as if he is physically standing right beside me. But,, I miss his advice, his laughter, and the way he loved me.
I was trying to explain to another friend of mine yesterday that I felt that my widowhood felt very much in my face. I had started out my day with a prayer. Bring people into my life that I may be able to help and serve in some way. However it ended up that random people helped me instead. Chase Leo walked away from me while I was unlocking the car. One minute he was in the stroller the next he wasn’t. I freaked out. I looked away for a split second and he was gone. I called for him three times, the woman across the way said “he is over here.” I looked at her with such gratitude. I wanted to run over and hug her. I said” thank you, so much, I am incredibly grateful. She said “It’s OK. I have been there myself.” I hugged Chase Leo so close. and then looked at him and said Don’t walk away from Mommy like that. you scared Mommy. I got the kids all buckled in and I sat in the car not remembering where we were driving to next. It took several minutes but I finally felt calm and off we went. We went to pick up some lunch. I got all the kids back in the car and realized I forgot the silverware. I knew we weren’t going home, so I needed to go back in. But I didn’t want to take them all back inside with me. I stood there while a woman and her three children came out to their car. I had just seen them in the restaurant. I said “Oh shoot I forgot the forks.” The woman looked at me and said” I would be happy to wait with your little ones while you run in.” I thanked her a million times. Ran like lightning, into the restaurant got a fork and ran out. When I came out. she said “I have been there.” I talked with her for a few minutes. found out that her girls were twins and her son was 2 years older than the twins. Her children were in middle school. But she looked at me and said Yes, I remember having three little ones at home, I am happy to help.” When I had explained all of this to my friend she said “I don’t understand why you feel the way you do, just because someone helped you?” The problem is that she wouldn’t understand it. And thankfully, she doesn’t. For me being in the thick of widowhood. I was constantly needing help from random people. It was as if I had a sign on my face that said “yes, I am a widow and a bit out of sorts, feel free to help me.” However, I don’t want to be in that position any more. I want to be the one to help someone else. I want to be that helping hand, I don’t want to be the damsel in distress. I want to stand on my own and raise my children without someone looking over my shoulder to make sure I am doing it right. I want my Widow Wear back but instead I want it to read “Widow survivor, how can I help and serve you.” or “Widow! Seriously, I have been there”
I feel insane. I know I may even sound that way. Maybe I should be the insane red haired lady. I wish for him here, but I want to stand on my own. The thing is that after everything, all the pain, and the scared, and the questions. I am now in this moment learning who I am. It really is a journey of endless questions, memories that haunt me, and moments of just wanting him to hold my hand. The thing is that before Pete passed I was happy with him doing everything. Now, I want to do it too. I don’t want to follow anymore, I want to lead. I would have wanted him to “Stand beside me, not in front of or behind me, I want a man to stand beside me” (*JoDee Messina*) Maybe that is what all of these memories, and moments, and realizations are about. For me, I lost my whole world. However I am now learning to build a new one. I miss Pete beyond anything I could ever put into words. But, I am stronger, I am smarter in ways that I never knew, and I am more confident than I ever thought I could be. Most of all I am grateful. I still wish he was here for me and for the kids. I will probably always wish that. I may always be crazy or insane for that matter, But I have learned much and through that I hope that someday I can live up to my original prayer to help and serve others.. I would love to be able to help someone the way that so many have helped me. I guess that no matter you’re loss, or our crazy life circumstances. Maybe we all long to be that helping hand. Like those women who remember what it was like to have their child walk away from them or to constantly have their hands full that they often forgot something. I know that I am grateful for random kindness in people, and for the love I had with Pete. For the amazing man, father, and friend that he was. The time we had with him will never have been long enough. I wish it could have been more. However, The new school year brings, a new year of learning not just for Second grade, and Kindergarten, but also in our new and crazy life as well. With Wonder and band-aides we step forward. We walk in Faith, Love,and the whispering sound of Angel wings.