August 7, 2009

Uncle Elias

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 11:56 pm by letterstoelias

Hello My Love,

Sorry for the time it’s taken me to write once again – I’ll explain why in a moment, but first for some wonderful news.  Peter and Ally are now parents of a beautiful, healthy little baby girl!  Your baby brother is now a dad.  And, yup, your Mom now has 4 granddaughters!  Cleopatra Lily was born on Wed, August 5th around 8pm (I think) Aussie time.  On Wed morning the phone rang around 7am (our time).  I was awake, though still in bed with C, but not many people call that early and when I heard our talking call display phone announce ‘Out of Area’ as the caller I figured pretty quickly who it was from and rushed to answer.  Sure enough it was Peter calling to share the happy news.  The excitement in his voice was palpable.  He obliged in answering my hundreds of questions about how everything went even though it was the middle of the night in Australia and he had just had a marathon 24+ hours.  I told him that You would be so proud and happy for him (though choked back tears), and he said he knew you were right there watching over them.  After getting off the phone with him and sharing the news with a few others, I went into the bedroom to share the news with ‘you’ (aka your ashes).  It was with happy intent, but as soon as the thoughts came into my head about this exciting, special news of your brother having a baby – becoming a dad for the first time – I couldn’t help but break down into tears at the thought of what you were missing out on, and what the baby would be missing out on in never getting to meet her amazing uncle.  I can SO clearly remember your happiness the night Peter told you that Ally was pregnant.  Your laughter.  Your excitement.  I truly wanted to focus just on the happiness of the birth, even here, but it’s hard not to, and it wouldn’t be sincere, if I didn’t address the sadness as well.  It didn’t last long, however, as the life of a parent quickly snapped me back when C’s calls of ‘Poop!  Poop!’ rang down the hallway.  I had left her without a diaper on and she didn’t quite make it to the potty on time.  Breath caught, tears wiped, back to being Mama.  Cleaning up bodily functions.  Grieving will have to wait for another time, agian.  Anyhow, I couldn’t be happier for Peter and Ally and little Cleopatra Lily.  I love that her name means ‘Father’s Glory’ as I’m sure it couldn’t be farther from the truth.  E is very excited and has already gone from wanting to go to Australia to see the baby, to wanting to move there, next door to Peter and Ally, so she can see the baby every day.

Now, with this happy news I had wanted to write to you immediately, but I’ve been struck down by the flu the past couple of days.  I had been feeling ok in the morning when Peter called, and the girls and I had spent the morning/early afternoon having a nice time at Chapman Creek with Jana, Edelle and the baby (Edelle and E were wearing almost matching outfits – I’ve added some photos below, along with a few others from recent days) though even then I had started to feel a little ‘off.  By the late afternoon it really started to hit me, and getting dinner on the table and the girls to bed was as much as I could handle.  Nothing hits home harder about being a single parent as when you are sick it seems.  Fortunately it now seems to be on its way out, fairly short lived (though in the moment it feels as though it’s endless), and I had some help along the way.  My Mom was already coming to help while I worked on Thursday, but she stayed a little longer so I could catch an extra nap when I was finished, and she also came this morning for a short while.  I have a couple of friends from the La Leche League coming tomorrow to help around the house which is great timing since I haven’t done much the past couple of days and it adds up fast.  And Buz also helped out by taking the girls for a few hours yesterday morning.  I was struggling with asking because I felt like I‘could take care of it myself, and they already do so much for us – but I pictured either him or Sian giving me a hard time if they heard I was sick and didn’t call them to help.  And it really did help.   Even still, as I walked up their driveway after dropping the girls off, I had pangs of guilt.  Feeling like I ‘should’ just do it on my own.  That it’s not fair to the girls that I have to pass them off on someone else.  That Buz and Sian already do so much for us that I don’t want to ask even more of them.  When, in reality I know that while I can do it on my own I don’t ‘have’ to.  That the girls were more than well looked after and most certainly had a better time with Buz and the boys than they would have with a sick, grumpy, tired Mom.  That Sian and Buz sincerely enjoy helping out never see it as a burden – if anything they are always looking for ways to help out more (I’ve said it before, they are amazing people).  Yet it’s still so hard to ask for help.

Since you died, the phrase ‘Be gentle with yourself’ has come up a number of times – comments on the blog, cards I’ve received, and I’ve read it on other’s blogs as well.  I don’t believe I truly understood the full meaning of that statement until this week.  I know I am often hard on myself.  It’s nothing new, but it’s either become more apparent or more frequent in the past three months (and 16 days).  I often feel guilty about any number of things.  Loosing patience, not having as much energy for the girls, not being able to cook (well, at least not anything like you could), not being able to keep up with the house, taking time away from the girls to get things done around the house – or even for myself (gasp!), among many other things.  But I think, slowly, very slowly, I’m starting to at least to try and forgive myself at least a little.  Taking an hour break from the household tasks to read a book in the sunshine when the girls are at Buz and Sian’s.  Realizing that even you would make a simple dinner of just burgers or perogies once in a while (though you would still usually ‘fancy’ them up a bit).  Accepting the fact that, though it may be messy to look at, there are far more important things in life than a clean house and a weed free yard (though the piles of paperwork do become cumbersome when trying to find that ‘one’ document you suddenly need, or you forget to pay a bill because it’s lost in the mix somewhere . . . ).  I also know how much the girls not only enjoy, but look forward to, spending time with Buz, Sian and the boys, so I know it’s time to let go of at least a little of the guilt.  Unless they starting liking it more there than at home that is . . . =)

I did manage through two short shifts of work this week.  I didn’t accomplish much other than going through emails and reading up on product changes.  That said, it was actually quite hard going through some of the emails.  As I was looking through those that came in the days before your death, the day of your death, and the days following – even those that were strictly work issues and had nothing to do with you – I found myself reliving those days in a way.  I had an email dated April 23rd from a client with the friendly greeting of ‘Hi Chelsea, I trust this finds you well . . . ‘.  No, that day I was not well at all.  About as far from well as one can be.  It was not the only one from around that time with a similar greeting.  And there were some emails that did relate to your death, as well as one from a co-worker who lost his father on the same day.  It was not easy to go through, but I got through it.  Soon I’ll be ‘moving up’ to talking with clients again.

As for other news, I should probably save it for another day as – while it’s not my ‘usual’ late night, it is later than I’ve been up the past few nights and as I’m still getting over this bug, I should get some sleep.  And, even though I did go to bed early I still found myself dozing off on the couch this afternoon while the girls played.  Besides, after the night-time fiasco last night with the girls seemingly taking shifts waking up crying, I need all the sleep I can get.  Feeling as awful as I did I initially ‘tried’ to calm them back to sleep verbally without getting out of bed.  Ha ha ha.  I must have been ‘really’ sick to think that would have worked easily.  As such, there was a fair amount of crying at times – something else to feel guilty about as that’s not usually how I handle things and in the end it didn’t make it easier on them or me – but I did manage to get up at least once when things were clearly going downhill.

I can say though, that the girls are doing great – C still adding to her vocabulary daily, ‘happy’, ‘deer’, and ‘eat’, are just a few of the new words.  Also, since we saw a deer in our front garden the other morning during breakfast she insists every mealtime there is a deer out there, repeating the word ‘deer’ about 50 times.  E’s printing is getting more clear every day, her spelling is amazing – she figured it out when I spelled butter to someone the other day), and she’s really enjoying math workbooks right now.  We certainly miss you though.  Every day.  All day.

My ❤ is yours,

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

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4 Comments »

  1. brenda said,

    Hey there,

    thanks for the note – and now I will leave you one! I hope you are feeling better – tummy or influenza? I will try to call sometime in the next few days, but parents in law will be here. I have been going mad painting.

    • letterstoelias said,

      My tummy was definately upset, but mainly nauseous. It was fluey, chills, sweats, and big aches (head, back, neck, knees, hips – you name it). Thank goodness it was over quick!
      I really hope you have a great anniversay getaway my dear!
      ~C~

  2. soenje said,

    hi chelsea,

    i have started reading your blog a while ago. thank you for sharing your life with us out here. i lost my husband to gbm4 a month ago. i am 38 years old, we have two young boys, slightly older than your girls, 2 and 6. i live in france. i can relate to so much that you write about but find it so hard to believe that there are more like us out there. it is just too awful. i am also thinking about starting a blog. reading other people’s blogs about cancer, brain cancer especially, and loss, ‘widow’ blogs, has helped me through this terrible time. and it is still helping. initially, i also thought that i would write to my husband (antoine), srta a blog perhaps, but now i have second thoughts. the ting is, as much as i wish it was not so, i don’t believe that he is still here. i love him as much as before and in some sense i think he lives on in my heart, my head, my childrens’ memories of him. but it seems pointless to me to address him. i cannot talk to him or share my current life with him. and i wonder how you do it? i hope this question is not too personal. wether you feel like answering or not, thank you for your writing. soenje

    • letterstoelias said,

      Hello Soenje – thank you for taking the time to post a comment, and I am so terribly sorry for your loss. We are very much on the same, awful road, in so many ways. I know too well what it is like to loose your love to a brain tumour. And you are right, there are far too many of us out there, and for reasons other than bt’s as well.
      I too have found a great deal of comfort in reading other widow’s blogs – knowing I am not alone, and finding incredible similarities in our thoughts, feelings, emotions. We may all act our our grief in different ways, but the bottom line seems so similar. If my writing helps one person feel not so alone, I feel I’ve made something worthwhile out of this (and maybe I want to open a little perspective on widowhood and the importance of living for the moment too). It’s also very theraputic for me, it aides my greiving process – which, as you may have experienced, can at times be hindered by the day to day of caring for our little ones.
      I do find writing ‘to’ Elias very helpful. One of the reasons is because I miss speaking with him so very much and I feel like I still want to share everything with him, and this is my way. I don’t really ‘talk’ to him much otherwise, but I do find myself spending much of the day planning what I am going to write about in my next post, and in many ways it actually feels like it gets to him. You may find writing to Antoine feels different than trying to talk to him in other ways. I would suggest giving it a try – if it doesn’t feel right to you, you don’t need to keep writing it in that way. That’s a great thing about blogs – it’s yours and there’s no pressure.
      I also do spend a few minutes with my girls each night ‘talking’ to Daddy. We tell him about our day and how we are feeling. The girls really enjoy it – even the youngest who can’t really speak tries. But for me, here is where I can really let it out.
      I hope it works out for you whichever way you choose, and please feel free to keep in touch. And again, my sincerest condolences for your loss. My heart goes out to you.
      ~C~


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