Simple, happy, and hard

I volunteered at the Fall Festival at Max’s school today. I signed up during the confidence high that was planning the Ladybug Jam, but I started to regret it a bit as we got closer to the day. I am exhausted from the Heart Walk and Ladybug Jam. I am distressed from losing a dear friend this week who evidently didn’t regard our friendship as highly as I did. I am experiencing a resurgence of strong grief for Lucy. My hormones are making my anxiety spike. It has just been a hard, hard week.

But I went. First thing that happened was a pregnant woman sat at the booth next to me. Sigh.

Then another one looked like she was going to sit at my booth with me. For once, God seemed to spare me and she headed to the one on the other side.

The woman who joined me was perfectly nice. She wasn’t visibly pregnant. But within five minutes, the inevitable question came up.

“Do you have two kids?”

“I did” slipped out before I thought about phraseology.

She gave me a startled look.

“My daughter died last May.”

I told her not to feel bad, that I get asked that question all the time. And it’s true. I do. The woman who scheduled our flu shots at ARC asked me if there was “another child”. I guess Lucy’s name popped up in our file. Seriously, can’t they put a big “DECEASED” next to her name, so people won’t ask? Why did she think I didn’t mention her myself? Did she think Max was our favorite and we only vaccinate him or something?

A little gallows humor there. It does help at times.

Anyway, the kids came in and were so cute and excited. They were the two and three-year-olds, I think. I started to have fun.

Then, the 18 month-2 year class arrived. They are so darling, but they break my heart. Lucy would be that age now. She might have been in their class if she had been healthy.

I thought about ducking out, but I soldiered through. I was so ready for them to leave, though. I started to feel that numb, shaky feeling in my extremities that I felt when we were interviewed by the transplant team last March and after Lucy died. I felt nauseous and tired. I also felt a desperate desire to pick them up and hug and squeeze them. It kills me that there isn’t someone that age in this world who belongs to me anymore. The first pregnant mom walked over and picked up her little boy in that group and held him close. I thought about how I would never hold and comfort Lucy that way again.

I tried so hard to picture Lucy with them. I tried to picture her walking around and seeing me and running over to hug me. I couldn’t quite see it today. She was turning into a little girl when she died, but I still saw her as a baby, since she couldn’t even crawl, thanks to her vicious disease.

They finally left and Max’s class came in. I was so glad to see him.  I felt so bereft before he got there and it helped. He seemed proud to have me there. He enjoyed the games and didn’t fuss when he had to go back to his room. I was so proud of him.

That is my life. The simple, happy things are hard. Pain is almost always on the heels of happiness. But I think I am glad I went.  

1 Comment

  1. Janice Farmer said,

    October 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Your description of your extreme grief and pain hit me to the core. I only have a small insight as to how you feel. Thank goodness you are able to express your feelings. So many people stop communicating.

    I lost an old friend and a cousin during April’s worst crisis. It’s been over two years since I have spoken to them. Words were spoken that I cannot seem to erase from my mind. I’ve learned to be with family and friends who can support us during the hard days.

    At times during the last three years with April’s illness I forgot how to mother our other daughter. I’ve since learned to be with her and focus on her needs and enjoy her company without constantly thinking of April.

    April just returned from Houston. She spent time with her Aunt and Uncle. They introduced her to an older couple who had a daughter with Noonan’s Syndrome (that’s what April has). I say had because she passed away three years ago. They kept talking to April and comparing her to their precious daughter and hugged her tightly. When she stood up to leave they just kept staring at her and said she stood firmly just like their daughter had. She died at age 35 from heart problems due to the Noonan’s. I asked April if she or the parents were crying and she said no but she knew deep down how much they needed to be close to her. Her Aunt, Uncle and dear friend shed tears as they watched them interacting. It was heartbreaking listening to April talk about them because it is a constant reminder of what lies ahead. We have April in our lives now and are so grateful and enjoy each precious second.

    I pray for you often.

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