We saw Santa. It was anti climatic. Which was a good thing actually since so much.. so much has been so big lately. Only Jonathan even sat on his lap. It was easier .. not so vividly missing her since the photographs I took were missing most of my kids. But a friend and I talked. How we both knew.. if she was there they all would have followed her. They always did for things like that. Sissy made them feel safe.
Tony and I had counseling last night. Mostly it centered around raising kids through this loss. Trying to sort out what is best for them. My family is crazy. We take all things competition very seriously. Even Baggo, (I googled it for you). A few years ago a tournament was started. Round Robin. Team names. Costumes. We do it at one of the high schools one my brother works at. There is even a snack shack.
Its the same place we had Jennifer’s services.
I think I had been avoiding thinking about the whole thing. Because it makes my stomach hurt. I remember last year. Baggo tournament was one of those things we did and I watched her.. in her blue long sleeve shirt and I tried so hard to memorize all of it with her.
Her round face.. swollen from the steroids. How worried we were to be bringing her around so many people. .. I tried to force it all into memory. I think I actually did ok with that.
Because I knew.. on some level I knew..
But I didn’t want to be right. I wanted her to be here. I wanted her to be one of those kids with a good long honeymoon period. I wanted my baby to be the exception.. damn. I guess she was.. just not the direction I wanted it to be. Less time then average was not my hope.
And then I remember 10 months ago there again. The round tables. The endless amount of food. I remember my friend in charge of bringing me water. The ceiling and the floors.
I remember saying goodbye to Jennifer’s doctors.. right next a massive fish tank. My boys running all around. I know some kids got their faces painted, I can’t remember if my boys did.. but they did like the hair style table. It was a great party.
So much of it though I lost. My memory of that day is partly moments. Snapshots in time. I still haven’t even looked at the pictures of that day. (until now.. just a few)
But overall my memory of that day is a feeling. The way I felt.. the room felt.. the drive felt.
And I wonder now can I brace myself. .. at this most horrible time of year to be slammed with those feelings again… minus the numb. To remember having to say goodbye now understanding more what the finality of that means. I miss that numbness. I miss it so much. So I question.. can I handle it?
Will my boys?
That day I think.. I hope .. somehow was positive for them. I think we made it a good party for them. But I am constantly surprised by what goes on in their little heads. The things that upset them.. the things that don’t.
There are a few notable things about this place. The drive to it. The giant fish tank. The separation of the rooms. Will they have an emotional “muscle memory” of sorts?
So we talked about it at our counseling. Are Tony and I ready? Is it ok for the boys? We came to a 2 step conclusion. First we will talk to Jonathan’s counselor about it. Have her help us decide what is best for him. Our counselor believed that yes they will likely have some recollection of it, so that leads us to number two.
If his “talk doctor” thinks it will be good for him to go we will talk about it ahead of time. Not let them be surprised by feelings that might arise.
But we will steer the ship.
We will talk about how much we all miss Jennifer. How we wish she didn’t go to heaven so long before the rest of us. That its sad. Then we will talk about all the people that came that loved their sissy and came to that school to say goodbye to her. And all the people that came because they love us, the people that wanted to be there to say we are here for you.. with you. We can share how it felt to hear stories about her and share their own. And we will talk about the past 2 years Baggo tournaments. .. what Jennifer liked to do. What she bought at the snack shack.
We will give them power to accept the sad but also embrace the happy.
Then we left our session and went shopping. We went to Target. I could have used some kind of pill then.. something to take that edge off and down. Tony looked at me and knew. Told me we didn’t have to do it. But it was time. It was something in my control that I was ready to tackle.
I cried right when we walked in. I held onto the cart and covered my eyes with the sleeve of my sweatshirt and cried. Then I threw up. Then we shopped. For my 3 kids.
Im only shopping for three of my children. How is that right?
..poor Tony. I am so glad that we are like the kids. Different things strike us in different ways. We got it done together and for twice as much as I have ever spent on presents for Christmas. I normally shop all year. .. sometimes even enough for the next year. This year though I didn’t.
My attention has been so many other places. Scared to stop. To slow down and really look. 4 names etched onto red stockings.. only 3 to fill.
i’m trying buggers
to find the balance
between this pain of missing
and the happy of remembering
….until there is a cure..