May 8, 2010

E’s Art

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 1:02 am by letterstoelias

Our time at the beach was the most relaxed I had been for a few days – it didn’t go exactly as ‘planned’, but I guess I didn’t really much of a have a plan anyhow.  I just knew I wanted to go to the ocean (besides, things rarely go as planned with two children in tow).

I think back on how much the ocean has played a part in my life.  In our life.  Some people have asked me about if I will stay here on the coast, and while there are parts of me that at times want to just pick up and leave and start new somewhere, I know that there is no where else I would really want to live, and I could never leave the ocean (and really, the only time I toy with the idea of leaving is when I’m feeling overwhelmed and it seems like it would be an escape – but the reality is there is no escaping the pain of losing you).

I remember when we were dating, if we got in an argument we would often drive out to the coal port road (with fries and milkshakes) to sit at the beach and talk things over.  I would even drive there on my own just to sit and look out at the ocean and think.  We shared so many great times at the ocean too – sunsets, beach days with the kids, walks, taking the dog for a swim.  And, no matter how many times we crossed on the ferry, we would still usually take a moment before getting in the car to look out over the ocean.  It offers such a sense of calm.  We were both always drawn to it; I guess it makes sense that it was where I wanted to be on that day.

It was hard to leave, and not long after getting back that same feeling came over me.  The cloud came back down around me.  I was so thankful that Bridie had ordered the dinner for us – it was delicious as always, and though I can usually polish off a whole dish (and from Sita’s that can be a task), I couldn’t.  At least it worked out well that we had leftovers for the next day.  Anna also dropped by with lasagna, and that was handy because I just put it in the freezer to have a bit later.

I got the girls to bed, and couldn’t even manage to eat all of the dessert in one sitting (Bridie ordered a piece of cake for me too).  I just felt like I didn’t know what to do with myself.  I couldn’t eat or sleep, but I couldn’t even cry.  I just ‘was’.  It was really hard.  I know I slept eventually, but waking up the next day the same fog was over me.  Day 366 = just as hard without you.

It’s true that many of the ‘firsts’ are over – but there are still so many more things to experience for the first time without you.  There are still 1001 new ways to miss you.  And, besides, being through the first year just makes you seem so much farther away from me.  From us.

For a number of days I carried on in that depressed state and felt very much like I was coming down with something, but I had two little girls to get out of bed for – and while some days it wasn’t easy, there wasn’t much choice.  I did manage to forget yet another birthday too – this time it was Kayla’s.  What a rotten auntie I am.  I spoke with Anthony a few days before and a few days after, but I forgot to at least send a little email or something on the day.

On Monday we were scheduled to do a visit the kindergarten with E, and afterwards the girls were with Buz and Sian for the day as I had some photos to do for Aspire.  In the afternoon I felt like I was finally ‘starting’ to get out of that state – but as I had not done much around the house for a number of days, it was in quite a state itself.  Just as I started to try and put everything back together on Tuesday, I was dealt a couple of blows.

I had finally come to an agreement via email with the landlords regarding the space I wanted to lease for the store.  The papers were supposed to be getting drawn up with the lawyers and I was scheduled to take possession on May 1st.  It was now the 27th of April and I hadn’t heard anything for a few days so I asked for an update, and was told that they had made a mistake – the space (which I had been talking to them about for the last 6 weeks or so) was going to be affected by upcoming renovations to the mall, and was not going to be available for lease after all.  I was shocked.  And, back to square one.  And, just about ready to give up on the whole thing.

It was absolutely devastating news.  I had contractors lined up and ready to start the renovations the following Monday, and they pulled out 4 days before I was to take possession.  Then, in the afternoon C started to come down with what seems to have been a sinus infection.  She was so congested she had snot coming out her eyes.  At first I was worried she had pink-eye, but thankfully that wasn’t it.  She was hit hard though, broke out in hives and complained of an ear ache.  She was just downright miserable, and again I could get nothing done.

E seemed to be fending it off rather well, but I managed to pick up the cold.  We were basically back in quarantine once again.  Then, this week it hit E a bit harder.  She broke out in hives on Tuesday night this week and woke with a sore ear on Wednesday.  C’s sleep was terribly affected as she would go to bed as usual, but wake after an hour or so, and then about every 20-30mins after that, and would really only settle after I would take her into bed with me.  At one point this week I had the both of them up and crying in the middle of the night – E was refusing to take the antihistamine for the hives, and C was just miserable.  I’ve said it before, but it’s times like this when being the only person to be there to help them is really tough – especially when I feel miserable too . . . I can’t remember which day, but it finally all came crashing down and I had the ‘melt down’ I had been anticipating the week earlier.

I think what finally triggered it was this:

(reads: ‘I hope Daddy comes back’ incase you can’t decipher her spelling)

She drew it at preschool – and of course I’m thrilled that she is using art to express herself (especially since I worry about her keeping things bottled up when her ‘eyes water’ – but it’s still hard.  Also, she knows full well that you can’t come back; it’s just what she wishes.  I asked her if one of the teachers or the duty parent helped put it in her cubby for her, but she said that she just did it quickly then put it in the cubby herself so no one would see.  She also did a ‘Daddy Speech’ at home the other day.  She told me that she wanted to do it, but then she took quite a while to prepare herself to actually speak.  She had these alphabet cards that she used as her ‘cue cards’, and she basically stated (though in a few more words) that you died and she hopes you come back, but she knows you can’t come back and it’s sad.  She’s also been drawing rainbows a great deal lately, and the other day she told me it was because they help remind her of you, and she’s worried about forgetting you.  <z3

Another thing that was really hard for me this past week was feeling like – though there are only a few people who really help me on a regular basis – I’m too much for them in some ways.  I hate that I feel like I always have to have someone to talk with on the phone every night after the girls are asleep.  And, if it’s a short conversation I’m trying to think of who else I can call – not wanting to have to bug the same people night after night – but I do. It’s so hard not having that person to share your day with.  To hear about their day.  And, as much as these people care – it’s not the same anyhow.  They don’t have the same investment here.  They have their own lives.  Besides – it’s still just the phone.  It’s not the same connection as sitting in a room with another adult and having a conversation.

My parents were away most of this week, and Buz and Sian were quite busy and as we wanted to keep the spread of germs to a minimum, we didn’t see them all week – and as I kept the girls from their activities for so long it felt really isolating – as much as I love the girls, I need to be able to talk with people over the age of 5yrs now and then too.  And when it comes to help, my parents and Buz and Sian help as much as they can, but they have their own lives too – I don’t want to feel like a burden and as though I’m in the way.  I don’t want to come to rely on them too heavily, because things can change.  Plans change.  Life happens.  In the end I am alone, so I feel like I should behave as such more.

I came to the realization that even if I did have help 24/7 – never had to do laundry or dishes, cleaning or gardening – it wouldn’t be enough, because you’re not here.  Sure, it would be great and I wouldn’t turn it down – but still not enough.

As for the lease space, I’m working on an offer on another spot, but seeing how quickly things can change, I won’t be convinced it’s done until I’m physically ‘in’ the space.  It’s all put me about another three weeks behind my original business plan, but I guess now I don’t have to worry about working around what would have been our 10yr wedding anniversary which is sneaking up in roughly two weeks time.  10yrs.

The thought of that did me in for the night.  Such plans we had . . . .

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

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4 Comments »

  1. Sending you big hugs and wishing we lived closer. I can completely relate to everything you’ve said. Widowhood is lonely and it’s really tough to need that extra help, yet not want to rely on it because everyone else does have their own lives. Our lives are missing an important piece and, for me, feel incomplete. I’m starting to realize that I have to figure out how to feel complete with just the three of us, which I’m not sure how to accomplish. Not having a partner in life, in parenthood and all the other stuff, feels empty. And there are some things that cannot happen for my kids without relying on others for help. I can’t go on one child’s school field trip and leave the other one, the 11 year old, home on his own at 7 in the morning. So I ask for help, and feel bad, and feel emptier, and just want my husband back. And that cycle just keeps repeating itself.

    I’ll stop rambling now! I sure get it, and I know that in some ways it’s even harder with younger children who are more dependent on you. I wish I could help out, I wish I knew how to feel more whole on my own, so I could explain it to you. I wish you weren’t having issues with your building lease. I wish Elias was with you….

    Love Deb

  2. Brenda said,

    All I can say about those landlords is ASSHOLES! They have screwed you SO much! Can you see a lawyer about them?

  3. Shannon said,

    A 7-year-old at the school where I work whose dad killed himself just after Christmas made a painting last week and brought it to show me. It was a lovely green hill with a cross at the top and individual flowers descending each side of the hill that I knew must represent her, her three siblings and mom but I asked “Tell me about your painting. It’s beautiful”
    And she said “It’s for my mom. This is my d-a-d-d-i-e”
    She wouldn’t even say Daddy, but only spell it.

    The 9-year-old was shocking other children with talk about gunshot wounds but talking about it so nonchalantly herself because it is something she is now so familiar with.

    Children suffer through the loss of their parents in the only ways they know how and we have to figure out how to be strong enough to hear them and support them in their grief. I just can’t figure out where you draw your strength from while you also grieve. You moms that I know who are holding your families together after the loss are something else! These little girls also have a spectacular mom.

    I hope you get some rest and that the girls are feeling better now and just know that I think you’re pretty amazing. Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow.

  4. Dianne said,

    Hi Chelsie ~ I want to wish you a happy Mother’s Day…Your girls are very blessed to have you as their Mommy!


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