I miss John. I did a great job reading my poem at church today. That was...right. I don't know. A friend told me how "polished" she felt the piece was...I didn't work on it more or less than my others on here, but I think it comes across better when I read it. I can show where the emphasis is, stretch words and use my emotions to convey undercurrents. That same friend also told me that she felt guilty for any infinitesimal moment she had when she worried I wouldn't make it through this mess. I don't think she needs to feel guilty. This is a roller coaster, and I have already been through so much (that you simply can't see on the surface), deep in my heart I know I will get through this. I remember lying in the hospice bed with John, it was either one or two days before he died. I was crying, and telling him that I knew I would be okay, that I would be a great mom, that it was okay for him to go even though I wanted him to stay forever. I told him I would be ok. Oh, I loved him so much. I love him.
Our little girl starts Kindergarten tomorrow. John loved her so much. He always said that her hugs would always make him feel better, no matter what was going on. She was a tree frog when she was born, all fingers and toes. And then I saw her up close. She was a perfect little angel...Aiden had a little bit of jaundice when we were in the hospital, but not our sweet Cecilia...she was perfect, pink cheeks, delicate eyes that tilted up a little at the corners, lips so red people asked if we had put lipstick on her. And she has always been a magical snuggle bug. She would curl up so sweet when I nursed her, we would fall asleep together and I didn't even really have to move around. She would latch on when she needed me, and tuck her sweet head into the crook of my arm when she was done. And as she got older, I was her lovey- no pacifier, no blankey or special toy. She still holds on so well, so soft and sweet, that holding her is magic. She snakes her skinny arms around your neck and snuggle in. Now, her legs just dangle off your lap. I wish he could be here for this. And it occurs to me how many things there will be that he doesn't get to be a part of. So, I guess, my only recourse is to talk about how happy he would be to see her starting Kindergarten, how proud he would be of Aiden starting second grade.
Okay. So, I have a plan. That's good. That is a start. Whatever I do from here, I need to make sure that he is a part of things, even just with a brief comment. I have to move on. He even gave me permission to. I made sure to talk him about that. It's just this huge part of me doesn't want to...I want him here with me forever. His was the first love I never felt I needed to change myself to earn. And I don't get to have that anymore. And I have to deal with that. And sometimes I will hate it so much I want to scream till my throat bleeds. And sometimes, it'll mostly be okay. Sort of.
I will work on focusing on the things I can be grateful for. Some days that will be very hard. So maybe start small? I am so grateful I had him for the time I did. I am so grateful for the laughter and tenderness and goofiness my kids bring me ever day. I am grateful for the eclectic group of people that love and support me. There is a strange and wonderful variety of them!! I am grateful for the strength and chances I have had to let in old friends, in a variety of ways. I am grateful for strange neighborhood kids that bring my dogs back to me when Neil lets them out. I am grateful for a wonderful job, coworkers, and two great bosses. I am grateful to be writing again. I am grateful for my church! (still such an odd thing for me to be saying...) I am grateful for choir and for the chance to read my poetry.
I feel a little better. A little. And here is the thing: it doesn't matter either way. Tomorrow, we do the first day of work since John died, first day of Kindergarten, first day of second grade, and daycare. That's how we roll now. With the punches. And I pray for simplicity. Not sure I believe it exists, but I won't stop praying for it.
Breathe in peace. Breathe out fear. Breathe in hope. Breathe out sorrow. Relax the muscles in your neck, your belly...breathe...and go to sleep! Work starts tomorrow. I can do this. I will do this for my babies, for John, and because the only way to find my way back to hope and love and life is to keep my feet moving forward, even when I don't want to.