I stopped by to see you on Christmas morning, right after the girls were done opening their gifts, wondering the whole time what you would’ve asked santa for this year, and I did something I’ve never done. I refrained from saying, “I’m sorry”. As much as I felt it, thought it, and wanted to I couldn’t bring myself to say it to you again. You’ve heard it too many times, all the times I speak it aloud and the times I scream it inside my head. No matter how much I say those two words to you it will never change the outcome. So, instead I promised you I would never give up trying to be a better version of myself each day, for you and for Emery. I want so badly to be someone you’re proud of, someone you’re proud to say, “that’s my mom”. So, my sweet boy, instead of apologizing I will continue down this path, this journey, and no matter how hard or long the days might seem I will continue to move forward and try my best to be patient with myself especially on days when I feel like I haven’t moved at all but am trying so hard.
I read a book recently and it’s hands down my favorite. It appealed to me in a way I didn’t even think was possible. I blindly bought a handful of random books that Emma Watson had given her approval on to help pass the time and what I’ve ended up finding is, I was meant to read each of those books and they have each helped me in a different way but the one that helped me the most out of all of these was, Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. Everything I have been feeling but not able to verbalize, she could and at the very end there is a paragraph that sums up her grief (she lost her sister) and no words have ever rang more true in my heart and soul. (In the below paragraph I’ve replaced her sisters name with Maxwell)
“But I think the thing that takes me the most courage is realizing that as many oceans as I might cross, the stupid simple truth will always be on the other side. Maxwell was here and then he was gone. I loved him with all of my soul, and he died. And no guilt or anger or longing changes that. There’s a new sadness now, as I open the fist I’ve been clenching shut and realize that there’s nothing there. I don’t know how to keep him anymore.”
This is where I’m currently at in my grief path. I know what I need to do to move forward but I don’t know what that looks like yet so I’m constantly fighting myself…wishing my heart would catch up to my mind. Forgiveness is what I’ve been chasing. Such an overwhelming word for me to say let alone apply to myself as it pertains to you. Another excerpt from the book that explains what I’ve been waiting for since the day I lost you…
“Sometimes when we say things, we hear silence. Or only echoes. Like screaming from inside. And that’s really lonely. But that only happens when we weren’t really listening. It means we weren’t ready to listen yet. Because every time we speak, there is a voice. There is the world that answers back.”
I have heard silence. But I now, from this book, realize it’s because I’m not ready yet. I think the silence and lack of forgiveness, for myself, go hand in hand. Once I figure out what forgiveness looks like to me, maybe then I will be ready to hear the voices and answers I’ve been praying for since the day I lost you. Almost 5 Years now…that’s a long time to live in silence and an even longer time to live in punishment (self inflicted). So, I promise to never give up or stop trying. I love you and miss you everyday.
Until next time
Recently one of my friends brought up that the only room they had yet to see in my house since all of the changes was the guest bedroom and I thought that was strange but then I remembered I keep the bedroom doors shut when I leave for work in the morning so my dog doesn’t go in there when he gets bored. Emery’s room and the guest bedroom are the only 2 rooms with carpet so Baxter is not welcomed lol. Emery’s door of course gets opened once we get home after work but the guest bedroom stays closed because I don’t use it/haven’t had any guests.
I remember when I first bought the house and I thought who will get the ‘bigger’ room with 2 windows? My decision was easier than what I had hoped but I still imagined Maxwell and Emery ‘arguing’ over who got what bedroom and why (not that Emery could really talk at this point so it was a sure win for Maxwell but still fun to imagine). Emery of course got the bigger room and the other was made for guests… so when it came time to move Emery’s furniture into her room there was a piece that just wouldn’t fit, her rocking chair. At this point she didn’t need it so I had my dad and brother put it in the guest bedroom. I find myself drawn to this room and this rocking chair, even though it was never Maxwells, especially when I’m having a hard day. I fell asleep crying in this chair once with Maxwells photo album close to my chest…my mom woke me and asked what I was doing in here and I told her I just fell asleep.
Tonight while putting Emery to bed she said, “mommy you make song?” That’s her way of asking me to sing to her and I have always sang to her the same songs I sang to Maxwell but have added a few since then. So I start to sing a lullaby and this is the same one I happened to be singing to her the day of her 3rd birthday party before her nap that she absolutely did not want to take….screamed in my ear for 45mins to an hour and normally I would’ve lost my patience, as I can imagine any parent would’ve, but that day I remember thinking I’d rather have her like this than not at all. By the time I calmed her down and started singing that lullaby I started to cry because as happy as her birthdays and milestones make me, it’s still time passing, which is a beautiful but in my case agonizing torment because I’m beyond ecstatic to get to watch my beautiful, sweet, stubborn, loving daughter grow but in that same moment time is pulling me further away from Maxwell. So, as I start to cry and am unable to finish the song Emery stops crying and looks at me. She says, “mommy, your eyes wet.” I smiled and said “yes, they are.” She said, “I no like it.” I smiled and said, “mommy doesn’t like it either.” She finally took a nap and her party was perfect!
Tonight, after leaving her room and singing the lullaby I walked past the guest bedroom (door closed), stopped and went in. I laid down in the rocking chair, put the lullaby on my phone and started to cry. I had been holding that in since Emery’s party. I realized while laying here that the door doesn’t stay closed because of Baxter. How utterly silly of me to think and believe that. It stays closed because he should be in it and he’s not and my heart can’t stand the thought of an empty room. So tonight I’m writing this from the rocking chair in the guest bedroom in hopes of making myself acknowledge why the door stays shut…what that means going forward I have no idea but at least now I have a better understanding as to why.
Until next time
My Sweet Maxwell,
It’s been 4 years.
4 years, 1,460 days, countless hours, too many minutes, and an unbearable amount of seconds have passed since I had to say goodbye to you. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long and at the same time it feels like a lifetime ago. Maybe because I’m not the same…how could I be? You changed me. From the first moment I held you in my arms and looked at you, everything in this crazy world made sense to me. Bringing you into this world was my ah-ha moment, where everything up until then hadn’t made sense and I didn’t understand my life, where I was going, what I was doing, and then I held you. That’s all it took to bring my world into focus. One look at you and it all made sense. I knew exactly who I was, my purpose in life, and I had never been more confident then what I was in that moment when I first held you. So you can imagine how catastrophic my pain was the morning I woke up to find that my purpose was gone. Everything I just thought I had found, I lost in a moment.
I’m constantly being told that you would want me to be happy and I have fought myself over this for a long time (still do) but I hope that’s true and I hope I’m not letting you down. I’m trying very hard, everyday, to be better than I was the day before. For you and for Emery. I don’t know how long it will take to stop fighting myself (I’m pretty stubborn), but I’m working on acceptance. That’s what I hope to gain next.
So at Pure Barre, where I workout, they have started this chalkboard wall and it says Today I Am…or Today I Will…and you fill in the blank. For some reason those two things kept popping into my head, as if forcing me to fill in those blanks and accept them, which has been a constant struggle for me (as previously stated)…acceptance.
Nevertheless, Today I Am inconsolable and heartbroken. The emptiness I feel is palpable and no amount of the worlds best ‘fillers’ could fill the hole left in my heart. Today I Will let my sadness take over and not worry or exhaust myself with what I think I should be doing, saying, feeling or how I should be acting for everyone else. Tomorrow will be different but today I’m a complete mess. I miss my son. I miss the way he felt in my arms and what’s different this year than last is that I can’t remember how he felt when I was holding him. I hate that…it took 365 days to lose that feeling but my mind seems to hold onto the things I desperately need it to let go of.
Maxwell, (I have written and deleted this sentence so many times so I’m just going to be honest and say what’s in my heart) I’m sorry. I’m so sorry I couldn’t save you and I hope you can forgive me. I love you, miss you, and think of you everyday. Until we are together again may God fill you with all the love, hugs, and kisses that heaven has to offer. I love you so much my sweet baby boy.
“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”
Until next time
Tonight, 12/9/16 Emery said maxwells name for the first time and pointed to his stocking hanging on the mantel and said, “that’s maxwells stocking.” I was holding her while she said it and I wanted to cry but if we are being honest I can’t tell you the last day I haven’t cried. The holidays are hard. It’s a time you spend with your loved ones and family and half of mine will forever be missing as well as half of my heart. I had cried earlier that day and didn’t have it in me to cry again so I just took in the moment for its most pure and innocent form…from the eyes and heart of a child. The moment passed as quickly as it came to Emery but I will be left with that memory forever.
Before all of this happened I received a text from one of my neighbors asking Emery and I to come down for dinner. I didn’t want to impose but I am forever thankful for that invitation. I needed that adult interaction more than she will ever know and I enjoyed being around her kids as well and so did Emery. Her oldest was born about a month after Maxwell and her youngest sweet boy is a little over a year old. I love being around them because the older one gives me some insight into the things Maxwell might be saying, singing, and doing while the sweet baby reminds me of the milestones Maxwell had yet to reach but would’ve had he still been here. Fills my heart with so much joy to see both of them and then to see Emery ‘play’ with them.
What she didn’t know is that I’ve cried everyday since before thanksgiving but she didn’t need to know that to invite me over and have a conversation. Sometimes the smallest things are exactly what we need to keep us hoping and going for the next day and holding on to the thought that there is always tomorrow. It’s hard to remember all the people who love, care, and think of you when you’re in a dark place and that dark place is consuming you…Like I said before, holidays are hard, but I came home to about 8 Christmas cards that were sent to me and Emery and even without opening and knowing who they were from they helped to bring me out of that darkness and to realize I’m lucky and thankful to have all of the love and support from so many people. As Christmas gets closer and the anniversary of Maxwells passing I’m going to try with all that I have to hold onto that love and support because in the end that is what gets you through the day and leaves you hoping that tomorrow will be better. Without those people and their never ending support I fear I would remain in the darkness far longer than I should and for that I am forever grateful.
Happy Holidays to all!
Until next time
This past weekend was my sweet nieces 2nd birthday so I found myself in Chicago. Thursday was her actual birthday and my sister sent us pictures with G in a sombrero, which was adorable! Obviously they were at a Mexican restaurant and I knew which one…Que Rico’s. This was the same restaurant we were at on Maxwells last night here. After looking through the pictures and smiling at each one because G is so adorable and mischievous all at the same time. I couldn’t help but to wonder if I could or would ever go back there.
We got to Chicago around 4 and everyone was talking about what we should do for dinner and my brother yells out, “Mexican, Que Rico’s!” In my brothers defense they have great food and the most delicious and potent margaritas! 🙂 I realized then that my wondering a couple of days ago were quickly becoming a choice I was going to have to make soon. Too soon. Don’t get me wrong I’ve thought of that place often and what I would feel going back and requesting to sit at the same table I last sat with my sweet baby, but they were just that, thoughts, not actions. So what was my decision you wonder…like a coward I gave my opinion of, “I’m so tired, I’d rather stay in and just eat here.” Yep. That was my response. My non decision if you will. I’m not proud of it, but I didn’t have it in me to muster up the courage to put on a face and act like I was fine and happy when I would be feeling everything but that. To make my decision even more cowardly I was one of the last people to respond and luckily the majority was in my favor. So my brother and his wife went to Que Rico’s by themselves (great date night for newlyweds).
I’m posting this very late considering G’s birthday was in July but sometimes I start these and either can’t finish them or just get too deep in that dark place of my mind that I don’t want to be in for long and need a break. I still haven’t gone but I know I will one day, when the time is right, and true to form I’ll go by myself. I’ll go by myself so that I don’t feel the pressure of having to be ‘on’ for those around me who I know care about me and will therefore be watching my every move. I’m thankful for them but when the time is right and I do go back, I want that moment for myself. Selfish, I know, but if I feel closer to Maxwell there even for the briefest of moments I’m not ready to share that. I know he is always with me and looking over me but it’s not the same as holding him and feeling him in my arms. He was my first love and always will be so I will hold onto hope that the places we went together will always make me feel closer to him. I love you and miss you so much my sweet Maxwell.
Until next time