Saturday, October 24, 2015

Not that beautiful face

We moved Isla.  The realtor suggested that we take some of our more personal items out of the home to make it more inviting to potential buyers.  I removed your photos from the wall.  Now, as we begin to settle into home number two I ache ache ache to have to pull your pictures out and see that smiling happy beautiful face.  I miss you.
When I remember, it hurts so bad I can't even be of this world.  I feel floating above it really.  Like half ready to leave at anytime and half trying to stay here for the other parts of my life.  Sometimes it doesn't feel like there are other parts of my life.  Sometimes there is just you.
You will never not be the being that made me a mom.  Your birth alone changed me, but you didn't stop teaching us Isla.  You showed me how much my anxiety impacted the house.  When I would take a five minute break because I would be overwhelmed with the ins and outs of parenthood... you would knock on the door and ask if I was all done being mad yet.  You were sensitive too and it bothered you when anyone else was feeling anything less than perfect.  You snuggled in our bed until we were all ready as a family to go downstairs.  You were warm, sweet, and soft.  How I miss holding you.
Why do I have to stay here while you move on?  Why?!?!?  I don't understand why you got sick and I don't understand why you aren't here anymore.  I don't understand why I don't get to be the mom of a five year old daughter, planning her sixth birthday.  I loved being a young mother so much.  It felt like you and I were teaching each other so much.
You showed me that I didn't have control.  You showed me that I can stay in a home for weeks without leaving and that even pregnant and nauseous, I could carry 70 lbs up steep stairs and empty buckets of urine and feces without throwing up.  You showed me that everything is temporary.  Your life here, your happiness here, your suffering here.  I asked for help too Isla.  I really wanted things to be perfect for you, but they couldn't be.
I have this added compassion and empathy now for those that are sick and needy.  You taught me that.  But in the same floaty way of being half here and half with you, so many people's concerns seem so insignificant now.  If I know it is hard for them, but that they will come out okay on the other side, I can't be bothered.  So much of our life here is just not a big deal.
You are a beautiful soul Isla.  I don't know what else to say.  I miss you is all.  I am going to keep trying to be a good person and helping those around me until I have the opportunity to be with you again.  And if that time is a long long time from now, please let me find some meaning and value in the day to day.  Let there be some good moments.
And on a selfish note, I look like I have aged 30 years since you have gone.  Is that gonna reverse?  So much love to you my precious Isla bones.  You made life so good.  Thinking of you today and always.  Holding you heavily in my heart.  I love you love you love you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I liked this "To The Grieving Momma" Post.

So much anger and sadness lately.  I have no idea what happened, but there is a rage inside that I can't even begin to touch on without fear of killing someone.  I started with a therapist two weeks ago to try and sort through some of this.  She said the first thing to do is to acknowledge what I am missing.  All that I am missing.  I thought that typing that out may be helpful.  The post above alluded to a lot of it.

I miss my daughter's curly hair and warm smile.  I miss her imagination.  I miss taking care of an older child.  I miss the feeling of proudness I received whenever out with her anywhere.  She made me feel like I was doing something right.  I miss the evening when she would be a goofball in our bed while her father read her stories.  I miss the mornings when she would open her door and come into our bed again and lay with us while we began to start the day.  I miss the cohesiveness of a healthy happy extended family, who isn't also burdened with such a significant loss.  I miss my friends that I had when I had a girl their child's age.  I miss the casualness that used to exist between me and everyone when everybody wasn't walking on eggshells.  I miss her singing.  I miss that I will never get the opportunity to get her involved in music (which I think she would have been amazing at).  I miss that she won't get to move with us and get excited about her new bedroom.  I miss taking her to the water, art fair, family gatherings, everywhere.  I miss her helping out with her little brother... he is so wild and we could use that third parent right about now.  I miss that I won't get to see her exceed expectations in school... she was such a little smarty pants.  I miss her humor.  I miss breaking down and having my husband respond as though it was serious.  Now the break downs happen so frequently sometimes he just has to watch because there is nothing to do to fix it or change it.  I miss feeling in control of my life.  I miss my brain being fully functional.  I miss having drive to make a difference and do great things.  I miss my short term memory.  I miss feeling capable of anything and being that energetic, ready for anything mom that I once was.  I miss teaching her things.  I miss holding her and giving her piggy back rides and reinacting the movie Brave.  I miss taking care of her.  I miss going on walks with her.  I miss taking her on bike rides to Barry's bagels.  I miss being in shape (the depression is making it very hard to get out and do that).  I miss the movement of the world.  In so many ways, I feel like it has stopped for me and now I spite that the earth keeps spinning.  I miss the future reactions from her I could have had when I have more babies.  I miss her and her friends growing up together.  I miss her being on the swim team.  I miss her giving me my first grand children.  I miss going on vacations with her and teaching her new things.  So much of her future was taken away.  I miss the Gloria Isla dynamic.  It felt pretty solid to me.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sometimes I forget and sometimes I remember

I have been thinking about Isla a lot lately.  I am recognizing that I could probably use some help regarding my feelings about the whole situation... there maybe some post trama stress or maybe some depression or plain exhaustion at feeling so much so hard all of the time.
I forget so much specifics about her and it hurts.  And then sometimes I have memories so vivid that I cannot believe she is gone.
Tonight we went to the lake to swim.  I love to swim.  Isla loved to be in the water with me.  My husband and 2nd child not so much.  They will come in to the water.  But Isla wouldn't come out.  I was in the water alone.  It was dusk and the water was gorgeous and the trees surrounding everything was lit up by the setting sun and it was almost perfect.  I was only missing my baby girl.  When she was a baby I had taken her to this lake... just her and I.  She was only 6 or 7 months old.  I brought her into this chilly lake and she laughed and smiled so much.  She was shivering.  I debated when to bring her out of the water... she continued laughing through the chill.  We got out of the water.  Snuggled.  Ate.  Did it again.  It was the best.  Several of my favorite moments with her are in large bodies of water.  We shared that love of water.
We spoke at compassionate friends (a group for bereaved parents) this month about the fact you never heal.  Your world is different and less innocent.  You become more compassionate, but I would argue that I am also becoming less 'here'.  As cliche as it sounds, part of me died when she started throwing up on vacation and the doctors didn't take my concerns seriously and I knew.  A part of me died when she stopped being able to walk or hold herself up on her own.  A part of me died when she formally died.  And there is certainly some of me left, but it feels real beaten up right now.
I love my family dearly and I want to be the person I once was.  I do.  But I can't.  I don't think I can ever again and I am scared for what that means.  Like you slowly become the person you are (in my case 30 years).  And within a year I have become someone new entirely.  It was too fast and I don't know this new me that well.
I realize now that there are a few people that check into this blog every now and then.  You are welcome to read and comment, but please don't feel obligated to do so.  I seriously just need a place to vent sometimes and for whatever reason, pity is so frustrating.  I just want this to get better and I just don't think that is going to happen.  If it does I will be pleasantly surprised.
Also, what will that mean when it does get better?  I already feel like this life with Isla must have been a dream.  It does not feel real most of the time.  How can it get better?  How can it not hurt?  The only way I can see is if you forget that it happened.  I don't want to forget.  I don't want to forget how it felt to be her mom.  But it does hurt to remember too.  When you get something that wonderful, it hurts to not have it anymore.  Yuck.  Goodnight.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

I am an angry woman - where to write?!

Something has been noticeably amiss this week.  I have been mean and short tempered.  Angry and forgetful.  My patience is completely gone.
I am frustrated by my lack of available head space.  My short term memory loss is noticeable even to me and it makes me feel broken.  You can't be a talkative extrovert and not remember the punch line.
I am cleaning and purging in anticipation of a move.  Pissed that I have so much stuff.  Pissed that I have to go through it.  Pissed that half of the things are toys and coloring books and art supplies that are still in the wrapper because my daughter was never healthy enough to use them.  Half of them are princess related crap that I hate.
I keep reliving this very painful memory.  Isla gained so much weight with her steroids that she could barely move.  Changing her clothes was so hard for her.  She was also very warm being so big.  In the final months of her life she preferred to be naked.  She wasn't interested in much other than eating strawberry yogurt and our playtime simply didn't exist anymore.  I just fed her and carried her to the potty.  As my size increased too with Gideon, this carrying became increasingly difficult and I was moody and depressed.  One day she perked up and seem to want to play make believe.  I pretended she was the queen and that I would be her servant and go get her yogurt immediately.  When I came back up, I gave her a crown and a scepter.  She asked to see herself.  I hesitated, but liked to give her whatever she wanted in those dark days.  I turned the camera on my phone and put it in selfie mode.  Her eyes didn't light up when she saw herself. She didn't smile. I knew she couldn't recognize the girl on the screen.  She didn't know what she looked like.  We didn't have any mirrors in any of the places she was.   This was the end of our make believe that day.
I don't know what I could have done differently.  But I hate that moment.  I hate that she got that big and that she had to know it.  I hate the princess culture that suggests if you look cute with a crown than nothing else matters.  My daughter is amazing!  She endured more than most adults in her tiny life and with more grace than I could ever could imagine.  I wish she saw that.  I wish she saw herself the way I saw her.  She was beaming beauty.  And that fucking fat... she was so pudgy and overweight that her features were nearly pinched out.  I sometimes couldn't see the sparkle in her eyes.  I can feel the anguish in my gut.  It always is in the gut... like I was just sucker punched.  And then the strangest thing happens, the sadness and pain just stops, as though it doesn't run through me, but rather is just lying dormant for the moment so I can function.  Like I have some box with a lid on it in there, where all the sadness is just hanging out.  I want to vomit that badness out.  I want to remember only the good times, but there were bad times and I feel like I know too much.
I need an outlet... why do I not paint or play music?
I feel crazy... sometimes normal sometimes nauseous with grief.  I have found that I don't do too well with too much alone time with Gideon.  He is at a challenging stage and I just get so tired and frustrated... I have been filling the days with distractions.  Moving may just be another one.
This home I had with Isla was so special.  I loved it here.  But without her, it is a sad home.  So we are going to look for another home.  It won't bring her back.  But I won't have to go into a room she is missing from everyday and pick up a different baby who isn't her.  It is so weird.
I changed my job, changed my hair, will change my home... it doesn't matter... it still doesn't seem to be enough change to reflect the internal changes in my heart and it still doesn't bring her back.  I know she is okay and I will be someday, but right now it sucks.  I hate it.  I hate it.

Friday, March 27, 2015

One Year

Today marks the one year mark without my first born baby here with me, although sometimes I believe she is here in spirit.  I tend to forget dates of significant things a lot, but this March 27 date haunts me a bit. Lots of tears this week.  My anger mostly stems from her suffering.  I selfishly miss her of course, I love how I felt being her mother and caring for her... but I hate what she had to endure.  And I hate that because she died, she (and we) can't "make up" for the bad times with lots more good times.  I have been so busy with a new job and a new baby that I haven't always been putting my feelings about this to the forefront.

I forced the issue as I watched video after video of her, from newborn to age four, from aunts, grandparents, parents... she is beaming.  She is so beautiful and so beaming that everyone in the room with her... everyone... seems also to be beautiful and beaming.  She brought that joy to others in a significant way.  Of course I miss her, but I am also so grateful that her little life was placed in the hands of Kevin and I.  I am so happy that we got to be her parents and know her so well.  She has changed me forever and I can't wait to see her again and tell her thank you.

How wonderful is this video!?!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014 - A crazy ass year

So I would be lying if part of me did not admit to being happy to see 2014 go.  I don't like to take on the next year as some challenge to beat.  Especially as an oldest, I tend to push myself plenty enough.  So I like to use the new year as an excuse to reflect back on what happened in the past year and in what ways Kev and I have grown.

This year was awful, deep, and wonderful all at the same time.

- My beautiful first born daughter Isla passed away.  This is the first close death I have experienced.  It lead to many other firsts, like first memorial service I have planned, or first body I have cleaned, or first cremation I have experienced.

- My beautiful son was born healthy (as best we can tell).  He was birthed in a tub which was a first.  I learned that being a mother to a son can be wonderful in its own right and that I could love another child.  Unfortunately, his arrival does not replace Isla, but rather makes me miss her more.  He reminds me of her and I believe she would have been an incredible big sister.

- I didn't work all summer, which is a first.  Last year I didn't work either but I was caring for Isla.  This year I did nothing, but read, cry, work out, sleep, and craft.  I anticipated it being a wonderful healing time, but it was really a time of nothingness - I remember the spitefulness of a gorgeous day because Isla wasn't there to go outside and play in it.  Maybe I should note my first major experience with depression? You really learn what is important in life.

- I completed my first 1/2 marathon.  Pregnant never-the-less.  At the time it did not seem like that big of a deal.  The running was strangely comforting during Isla's hospice time.  But I just recently saw a photo of myself from a year ago.  I was in better shape than I have ever been in and physically I remember feeling like an athlete.  It was a wonderful feeling although I feel it is not sustainable under usual circumstances if you are raising young children.

- For several months, I met with my grandmother weekly to craft.  I think we both thoroughly enjoyed the time together.  She just loves visiting and crafting.  She spoiled me rotten with home cooking during that time.  And pregnant ladies (and nursing ladies) LOVE eating.  My grandmother is so full of life and young at heart.  It has occurred to me just recently that she won't be here forever.  I value my time with her.

- Lots of sister news this year.  A sister grabbed one of her dream jobs, a sister got cheated on and struggled with depression, a sister whooped ass on her certification test, a sister got married, another sister damn near experienced divorce.  While these aren't things that happened to me.  I feel very close with my sisters and these experiences definitely impacted my life this year.

- My first time to Savannah, GA, Phoenix, AZ, and San Diego, CA.  All beautiful places.

- I felt really good this year about helping a couple of people.  I crafted many children's aprons for Isla's old preschool and they sold enough to get the preschool a new wooden children's play kitchen.  Another woman I know lost her son.  I made five pillows out of his old shirts for all his sisters. I was able to be there for a close friend the very day that her son died.  That felt good.

- This is the first year in my life that I have confidently and comfortably said "no" to most things.  Time with people can be very taxing and this is new for me.  I used to be more extroverted.

- I left a corporate science job to be serving part-time in a non profit as an event coordinator.  We will see where that leads.

- This seems small to most, but this year was the first time in my life that I have cleaned the kitchen on a daily basis for five days in a row.  I am realizing how stressed out I get with dirty and packed spaces.  Cleaning really really helps.

- Lots of going with the flow, lots of seeing where everything is going to take me, recognizing my lack of control in my life for the first time.  Very very unnerving.  I have so much to learn.

Sometimes it just feels good to type or write this stuff out.  My goal this year is to see what happens and accept it.  Be open minded and get in a bit of shape again.  I think that will happen anyway though, because being rolly and not fitting into clothes sucks.  On that note, peace out.