Sunday, February 17, 2013

Strength

 The bigger the problem is, the longer the struggle lasts...

Sometimes I feel like this journey of life gets the best of me.  It tests me in every way imaginable, and maybe I'm failing.  I'm at the mercy of opposing forces...A Destiny or Direction I have little to no control over.  I feel like I'm being dragged through time...clinging weakly to whatever I can hold onto.  A Dream.  A Wish.  But this is unrewarding.  All that reassures me is but a simple smile.  My family- my daughters.  They are it ♥.

I used to love it when "life" was out of my hands...When I didn't know and I didn't care what tomorrow would bring.  When the uncertainty was thrilling.  It was a familiar freedom.  But now...Nobody can honestly tell me everything is going to be OK. 

I was sweeping the floors, and I thought, as I often do, how badly we need new floors.  I thought Karl and I can eventually do them together.  Then I remembered the DIY flooring job we did in the girls bedrooms (it was a fail).  My Dad is great at doing floors.  But he is dead.  And just like that-- I'm broken.  It's a moment of uncontrollable pain I can't escape.  I did it to myself because I remembered.   Instantly, I think of the last time I saw his face.  It is the image I always see anytime I think of him.  It takes me back to the room in the back of the funeral home, so me and my sister could say goodbye before his cremation...  A very large room meant for a formal viewing.  Except, we could not afford a viewing.  There was nobody there but us.  Nobody mourning his body and missing him.  A huge room with nobody but us...and so much negative space.  And just a wooden box with dad inside and a sheet over his naked body.  We couldn't afford a "real" casket.  The woman arranged this "viewing" for our closure.  It was just so much space.  Walking towards him felt so far away.  He was really frowning.  His frozen facial expression of hopelessness haunts me...  But only when I stop to think about it.  When I think about him.  So I try not to do that.  That is my answer to this problem.  To this pain...  Is just to avoid it. 

People always compliment your strength anytime you are faced by tragedy or go through a difficult process.  In some ways, I understand it is an attempt to comfort you.  I don't feel strong.   How can I be if I have a mini breakdown with no warning and no purpose? There's always some painful memory teasing me...Scratching and clawing it's way to the front of my mind.  If I just stuff it back far away where I prefer to keep it, that is not strength!  Maybe, really,  it is being a coward?

Anytime I feel or experience something unpleasant, and I don't understand, I feel desperate to know "why".  If I understand it, I can prevent it.   I think my situation with Cecilia has distracted me.  On his one year anniversary of death, she had a failed extubation.  That pain of my child's struggle outweighed it.  She had her Gtube surgery the day prior to his birthday.  The fear and unknown of what was wrong with her outweighed my pain.  On the day the person responsible for his death was convicted, was the day following my close Heart Mom friend burying her daughter, Anya.  This situation, again, distracting me... and demanding my full attention and energy to keep it together.  I couldn't process any of it because I wasn't strong enough to take on anything else.  In a way I'm grateful because I don't want to remember that he's gone.  I don't want to be angry the way my brother is.

 This is a scanned version of an old (but appropriate and relevant ) note my dad wrote me when I was a teenager. 

When it is a new day, and the girls are awake, and everything is loud...I will be distracted.  But they will smile ♥.  And nobody will know that I couldn't sleep last night, but me.  And still, that is not where I can identify strength.  It can not be compared.  I can say with confidence that Cecilia and her heart friends have gone through more than I have.  More struggle than most!  And right there is where I recognize strength.  And truth be told, a resonating guilt now in my mind, punishing my heart for feeling like this when what my baby is going through is worse than what I am.