Sunday, March 23, 2014

Small Victories

Peanut -

Momma got on a plane last week.  Yep.  That's right.  Momma flew...without fear.  For the first time since December of 2010.  That was the last time Momma took a work-related trip, just weeks before you passed away.  Momma was speaking at a conference and felt obligated to make the trip, one of many I took for work in 2010.  <sigh>  I wish I could get back all the days and nights I lost when you were alive for the sake of my career...

After you passed away, Momma was physically unable to board a plane, which Momma and Dadda learned the hard way when we tried to escape to Sanibel Island for Mother's Day.  It was 4 months after your death, we were trying to conceive The Pickle, and Momma simply couldn't face the holiday in the house where you died.  But I also couldn't get on a plane.  After two failed attempts and related panic attacks, Momma and Dadda said, "Enough."

Since then we have resigned ourselves to a life tethered in St. Louis, MO.  Dreams of flying to Disney World and various beach get-aways have tickled the edges of Momma's mind, but fear has prevailed for the last 3 years.  Until last week.  A small but powerful victory.  Momma got on a plane.

There was so much guilt in my heart, but also a sense of responsibility.  While I didn't want to leave The Pickle, this was also something that needed to happen to free our family.  To allow us to continue to embrace life.  To stop cheating Dadda and The Pickle from enjoying vacations surrounded by powdery sand, sea shells, and Mickey Mouse.

Momma didn't do it alone.  You were there, encouraging me every step of the way.  And a little bit of Xanax, too.  Yes, I'm not too proud to admit it.  There are some battles where we need to admit we need assistance, and this was one of those for Momma.  And with the powerful tools of Peanut-love, Momma-belief and minor medication, we won this one.

Peanut, something else has been tugging at Momma's heart these last few months and it feels like the right time to address it head-on.  Many friends and readers of this blog have commented how our journey has made them more patient as parents, forced them to re-evaluate priorities and to be thankful for their blessings.  But, I have to be very honest...parenting is hard.  I wish I could be a "perfect" parent.  That I never got frustrated or felt a need to have "Momma time."  But that just isn't reality.  As much as Momma is always and forever grateful for her Peanut and her Pickle, I am human.  I am imperfect.  And I am the best Momma I know how to be.  I love my family with every ounce of my heart.  And that is - that has to be - good enough.

Momma read "Guess How Much I Love You" the other night.  I refuse to read it to The is your book.  He has "Goodnight Moon" among other books.  But this one is yours.  When I read it I can feel your neck hugs.  Your fingers tickling my eyelashes. I can hear your soft sighs, and whispers of "Momma..."  I can smell your wonderful, soft scent...a little bit of Dreft mixed with Downy...a little bit of lavender.  I can feel the feather touch of your blond curls. are still so present in my mind, my heart.

Dear Peanut, I love you so very much.  How much?  Come on silly boy - you know!  To the moon - and back.

- Momma

Pure joy...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rabbit Hole

Peanut -

Momma watched a movie with you last night.  We didn't share a bowl of popcorn or snuggle under a blanket together but we definitely shared the experience.  I felt you on my shoulder, in my head and heart the entire time.  Momma surrendered to a full body cry session...that hasn't happened in a while.  And it felt wonderful.

In the months right after you passed away, Momma heard about a (fictional) movie called Rabbit Hole.  A movie, based on a play, that chronicles the first few years of a married couple's life after their 4 year old son dies unexpectedly.  (Spoiler Alert: car + dog = son's death)  The Universe protected me from this movie for 3 years and waited until I was ready to truly watch and absorb the story in its entirety.  So, it snuck up and caught me while randomly flipping channels last night.  In less than 60 seconds I was riveted.  While the circumstances in our stories differ, the emotions and impacts are all too familiar.  However, this is how Momma sees all grief journeys...different, but the same.

When this movie was released there were interviews with the cast and crew that revealed how difficult this movie was to shoot.  Grief support groups wouldn't allow them in to observe - that would violate the fundamental purpose of the group.  And if you aren't a part of "the club" no one will truly confide in you. do you shoot a realistic movie?

I will simply say this.  They did.  Peanut, this movie was so hard, so wonderful, so impactful to watch.  It reopened wounds I thought my heart had patched with scars.  It reawakened my need to get in touch with this grief journey.  It reconnected me to you and this life-long journey I will take with you in my heart.

Peanut, I miss the way you would look at me with your ice blue peepers and try to absorb my eyes, thoughts and emotions while you cupped my face in your palms.  I miss your expressive hands and the way you would lace our fingers together.  I miss our eyelash butterfly kisses and nose nuggles.  I miss the whisper softness of your blonde curls.  I miss your warm breath and the smell of lavender nighttime bath lotion on your skin.

I miss you.

Peanut, I love you so very much.  You are still very much here and alive in Momma's heart.  I love you, to the moon - and back!

- Momma