Ever since your memorial service Momma has had an overwhelming aversion to large gatherings. (And to small, confined spaces...and airplanes...) In particular, I avoid big meetings at work that involve more than 50 people. I look around in those crowded rooms and it's like I'm experiencing your memorial service all over again. The same faces, the same groupings, all wearing dark suits and serious expressions.
And now, next week, Momma has to look her fear straight in the eye and conquer it. Why? Because I not only have to attend a 2-day meeting with over 200 peers, but I have to get up and speak. I have to stand up in front of all those faces and give a 30 minute presentation. Once upon a time this would have been exciting - a great opportunity. Now, it is torture.
I suspect the bulk of my anxiety is self imposed. A product of my imagination and the running dialogue in my own head. Momma is still convinced people look at her and wonder...how is she still alive and functioning? Didn't the loss of her son completely ruin and cripple her? Why does she seem "fine"? And, how did he die, anyway? Was't he too old for SIDS?
Of course, I'm sure 99.9% of the individuals who come into contact with me don't even remember what happened. Or, it feels very distant since it's been over 18 months. By the time Momma has to present to the group, the meeting will be well into day #2 and everyone is going to bored, antsy, ready to get back to their offices. I'll be just one more speaker to get through.
Still. I wonder...will I always feel this way? Will I always wish I could just hole up in a home-based office? Not have to come into contact with anyone but Pickle and Dadda? Operate solely via telephone, e-mail and conference calls? Will I have to put on this mask of professionalism, happiness, extroversion every day for the rest of my life?
Perhaps. Peanut, the loss of you changed everything about Momma right down to her very core. There is a new stillness. A quiet, calm peace. A desire for harmony. And no tolerance for drama. Or this crazy anxiety.
Peanut, Momma is going to tap into the serenity I feel when I gaze at your piercing blue eyes, funny little expressions, sunshine smile. You are my calm, my peace. You are my love and my heart. I miss you so very much. I love you - right up to the mooooooon and back!