Sunday, June 21, 2015

Run With Me

For weeks now, I've been trying not to make eye contact with it.  I was sure that if I just looked the other way it would leave me alone.

And it worked, for the most part.  Sometimes at night I could feel it trying to stare me down, but I would just roll over and think of something else.  And that would make it go away.

Until today.

My kids left for camp today and will be gone for two weeks.  And while a part of me has been looking forward to it, my heart, which is the biggest part of me (okay, maybe not the biggest, but the biggest part that doesn't get exponentially bigger due to my love of Doritos) has been dreading it.

This morning, my kids said goodbye to the house they've grown up in, celebrated in, lost a father in, and called home for better or for worse.  After a balloon release in the driveway, both for Father's Day and to say goodbye, I watched as my oldest cried in the driveway, my son silently went to his bedroom for a good cry, and my youngest sat on the stairs staring into space.

For a few weeks, I wasn't sure if they got it, actually.  I'd been dreading today because I knew what was coming and even though we've been talking about the fact that we'll be moving while they're at camp...I wasn't sure if they realized the finality of leaving today.

Well, they did.

As they cried, I felt like the worst mother in the world, asking them to not only leave me for two weeks, but to also leave the home they've grown up in forever...all on Father's Day which - let's face it - totally blows.  I know that this moment would have been hard no matter what the circumstances were and I wish I could have avoided it somehow.  I've often thought that my ideal scenario would be to move and keep this house as almost a shrine to our past; someplace we could come back to when we needed to feel grounded.

But for some reason my bank didn't agree with that idea.


Night before last I took the kids to see the movie Inside Out and it really couldn't have come at a better time.  It's creative, funny, and such an amazing movie but the best part about it was the message that we can't live without all of our emotions.  They have to coexist in some way otherwise they just don't work at all.

Usually with every happy memory, a sad one comes with it.  It works the other way, too.  When I think of how depressing my husband's funeral was, it comes with the memory of sitting around with all of our friends, laughing and sharing stories.  Even the dumb things I've done (which are plentiful) come with an eye roll on my part, a little smile and a, "I can't believe I did that."

And now, with this huge transition upon us, I can cry because I'm leaving this house...and smile when I think of what's ahead.  

I can't move forward without leaving.   And that makes me incredibly happy and sad all at once.


So, now I'm moving forward.

When I was a kid, I liked nothing more than to run down a good hill.  Remember when you used to do that?  Your legs would start going so fast, you weren't sure if the rest of your body could keep up.  You couldn't were already in motion.  

The only question was...would you be able to catch up with yourself or would you end up losing your balance and rolling down the hill until things evened out?

Life is motion and sometimes it moves so fast it's hard to keep up.  But there is always a leveling out, whether you're able to run the whole way or you find yourself rolling to the bottom.  Either way, you usually find yourself lying in the grass, gazing up at the sky, and catching your breath for a moment.

And then you run back up the hill and try again.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Join Me in the Land of Denial, Won't You?

I am so tired right now.  If you suddenly see


you'll know I did a face plant into my keyboard.


I hate moving.  I've always hated it.  In fact, after moving into this house twelve years ago I told Brad that he was going to have to bury me in the backyard of this house like a pet parakeet because I never ever wanted to move again.

Damn it.  He beat me to the punch.  But because he didn't mind moving I actually buried him someplace other than the backyard.

This move is just plain hard.  It's bad enough to pack boxes, but this one is pretty heavy emotionally, too (I wonder if my moving company is going to charge me the extra weight for that???  Better ask).  So in the last few weeks, I have done a pre-move, if you will.  

Into the land of Denial.

Denial is a tricky one because I can't decide if it's actually all that bad for you.  Sure, things can resurface later, but that could happen anyway.  At least this way I have a little extra time to ignore what's actually going on.

One moment I'll be thinking, "My God.  I can't believe I'm going to be leaving this house in just a few weeks."  And then I'll do an about-face and think, "You're moving into your own space!  This will be fun!"

(My denial voice sounds very much like a middle-aged cheerleader on crack.)

One moment I'll think, "We've been on this street for twelve years!  Almost the kids' entire lives!" and then I'll stop myself and think, "I wonder if the next block I move to will have a tall, buff man living across the street who likes to do all of his outdoor work (including snow blowing) shirtless."

And that snaps me out of my funk.

Something that I read a while ago in Becky Aikman's Saturday Night Widows has stuck with me.  When researching grief, someone told her that when she starts remembering sad moments, she should immediately do something that makes her happy, thereby replacing her sadness with joy.

Now, come on.  That sounds a little denial-ish to me.

So, right now I'm just going to do what I need to do to get through these next few weeks.  I could be selling my soul to the grief devil who will visit me around July 15th and not leave me alone until after the holidays.  But at this point I'm willing to give it a try.

I'll let you know how it goes.