Friday, June 20, 2014

Time

Time healing all wounds is a matter of perspective. I know from experience that for most people in the community Jason's death is an event that happened six months ago. In collective experience six months is a long time. I remember when the towers were attacked on September 11th. Like the rest of the world I was shocked. I was not sure if I should continue on with the plans for my day. I did, simply because I could not think of a reason not to. I drove to Liberal and went grocery shopping. Everybody I met was in the same state of shock I was. The thought that made me the saddest was knowing that in a few days, or maybe weeks, my life would go back to the how it had been. So many people were suffering a tragedy that would hurt for the rest of their lives, and I would be ok in a few weeks. I was right. It did not take long for the every day tasks of my life to smother my thoughts of a tragedy so far away. I know that this same thing is happening concerning the death of my son. 

Jason's death is becoming something people will talk about without emotion. They will shake their heads in sadness, remember where they were when they heard the news, but remembering will not make them feel as if a knife is twisting in their heart.

For me the pain has changed also. I no longer feel that raw, horrible pain that was with me for the first few months. I do not wake up and feel as if I have been kicked in the gut when I remember. The pain is now an ache that resonates through my soul. I miss my son. It has been six months since I have seen him, hugged him, since he has made me smile. There is no cure for my missing him. I know that this is the shortest time I will have been away from him. Everyday the time between us grows longer. My pain grows in size. Soon it will be bigger than me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

For several months I have actively tried to balance my time so that I was both keeping busy and spending time alone with my grief. Lately though I have lost that balance. Somehow I let myself slip into a constantly busy mode. I do not think this has been good for me. I find myself fighting back tears at work more often. If I do not find time to deal with my emotions they are going to overwhelm me.

Part of the reason is having the girls living here. It is hard to find time for yourself when you have a baby in the house. Twice in the last week I have wanted to give up. I felt like I needed to quit trying to raise children, quit everything. I just wanted to be left all alone. I do not handle stress as well as I used to and raising children is stressful. Especially when the children legally belong to someone else, someone who is erratic and hard to deal with.

Today I had the most beautiful day. The morning I spent with Lane and the baby. He laid his head in my lap while we watched soccer highlights. She kept pushing his head with her foot in an attempt to claim her territory. After lunch I dropped the baby off with my mom and drove Beezus and Ramona to the Two Buttes Reservoir to jump off of the cliffs. Back at home I took a long shower then drank a glass of wine with Fria Chica while we sat in hammock chairs and watched the sunset. It was a wonderful day off.

Tired, I was in bed before eleven. Around midnight Lane woke me up to talk about a pickup he wanted to buy. I fell quickly back to sleep. Over an hour later I hear Lane say, "I'm going to the beat the shit out of that boy." The door slammed. He was gone before I jumped out of bed.  I knew right away which boy he was talking about. Beezus has been running around with an eighteen year old boy from a neighboring town. Lane asked around about him and what he found concerned us both.  He had come home that night to find his pickup pulling away from the house and Beezus's bed filled with a wad of clothes. She came in quickly to insist she had just been out at the hammocks. Lane came home without having fought. He did stop the boy on the highway out of town and threaten him. The boy insisted he had just been buying her cigarettes. Lane pointed out that he was buying cigarettes for  a fifteen year old and that in Kansas anything he did with a fifteen year old was illegal.

Through all of this the only thing Beezus seemed concerned about was her phone. Lane had taken it from her. I had taken it from him. She does not seem to have any concern for the people around her. She is very much like my sister.

I could not fall asleep as quickly after this interruption. I am worried Lane will be hurt because of me trying to do the right thing.  Frankly I am also worried about Beezus somehow hurting all of us because I am trying to do the right thing. Trying to keep this girl out of trouble is a fulltime job for Lane and I. It is way too much stress for both of us right now.

As I slowly started to slip back to sleep the baby woke up. She had been sleeping fitfully for awhile. She crawls in her sleep sometimes. This time she crawled into a wall. The bump on her head woke her up. Something kept her awake and crying for an hour. She is teething. It also seemed like she might have a stomach ache.

I do not want to do this anymore.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

It has been six months today since I found Jason. I am not sure if that is why Lane and I have been so emotional today or if it is just a coincidence. After working a half a day I came home and was immediately irritated with the kids. Lane and I argued off and on all day. During a point while we were not arguing he mentioned that he thought he was depressed. I responded in what I thought was a helpful way. That just started another fight.

While we were arguing, not long after I came home, I found a water leak under the kitchen sink. It was an easy one to fix. Soon I was turning the water back on. For some reason there was only a small stream of water coming from the kitchen sink. While we were looking for the cause of this lack of water another pipe broke. We decided to just replace the faucet with an extra one my brother had given me.

After a whole day of trying to take out the old faucet we still have no water. There is a fitting I just cannot get to budge. The prospect of working all day with Lane made me happy. Apparently he did not feel the same. He gave up on the project when we realized how hard it was going to be.  I know I am surrounded by people who love me, but it seems like when life gets to be the hardest I am always alone. Most likely I cause this myself by pushing people away and refusing to ask for help. It just seems like people usually let me down when I need them so it is easier to just go it alone.

I came to bed and tried to sleep. This is the night the baby decided to wake up crying at midnight. So here I am awake.  She is sleeping soundly now. Maybe I will be able to go back to sleep soon. I am ready for a good day.

Monday, June 09, 2014

     I spent most of my day feeling despondent. A string of good days is still followed by a bad day or two. Yesterday I could feel the mood settling in. I had spent Saturday night in Amarillo with my boyfriend. It is simple phrases like that last one that make my head itch and my stomach ache.
      I have been dating the man who came to Rolando's birthday party.  We took his two daughters to Amarillo to do some shopping. Even admitting it here that I have a boyfriend makes me cringe. Obviously my flaws as a parent are apparent now. How can I have a boyfriend, try for any level of happiness, when my son has only been dead for six months? There is a battle going on inside of me. It is between the faction that knows I have to try and live and the faction that insists I am a horrible person for being able to do so.
      Sitting here alone in my room crying won't make Jason any more alive. I also feel that I am showing Lane how to move on too. He has become indecisive since Jason died. He has made it clear he won't move away from home. Because of this he turned down a scholarship to WSU and decided at the last minute not to sign with the Navy.  Then, just a couple of days ago, he told me that after he finishes the vo-tech course he is signed up for he is planning on moving to Colorado. Inside I was ecstatic.  Even talking about moving away is a big step for him.
     However, there is that faction of me that is disgusted. If I truly loved my son would I be able to go to Amarillo and have fun? It would have been different if it had been my nieces I took down to shop. Then it would seem like a necessity. I was not necessary on this trip. Although his youngest daughter did seem excited to have somebody to try on dresses for and to talk about boys with. I did make her shudder though when I mentioned that her dad was cute. It was just a frivolous weekend for me. Somehow I can't stop that thought from making me sick.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

I have not mastered being an adult yet.

For some much needed levity I will tell a ridiculous and true story.  Thursday I night I stopped by Anna's house for a few minutes. We had only planned to stay a few minutes, but it was a beautiful night and Anna offered me a glass of wine so the baby and I stayed for several hours. We talked while the baby crawled in the grass. The trees looked nice against the pink sky at sunset. Baby had her bottle and fell asleep in my arms. Having drank a couple of glasses of water and four glasses of wine in as many hours. I decided it was time to walk home.

The baby stayed asleep on my shoulder. I held the diaper bag over the other arm. About halfway home I realized I really needed to use the toilet. I ran up the steps and burst into the empty house. I shucked off the diaper bag and started trying to undo my button with one hand while doing a pee dance. As I rushed through the bathroom door the button came undone, but I realized I did not have time to shimmy my shorts down with one hand. My body was starting without me. At the last moment I jumped in the shower and pissed my pants, a lot. The baby stayed asleep as I stood there thinking 'this is happening. This is part of my life now.'

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I had a lovely evening. I have had several nice nights in a row. These nice nights are hard on me. I know they will need to be paid for eventually.  It is a beautiful time of year right now. The sun does not go down until close to ten so it is perfect for sitting outside with a glass of wine and talking with friends.

Today at work I planned out all of the housework I would get done tonight. I was going to make pasta for dinner too. I came home to an empty house. I decided to eat some yogurt before going to my mom's to pick up the baby. Yogurt accomplished I found that the baby was not at my mom's. Her sisters had her. I started walking towards my sister's house, where I was sure they were. Then it hit me. If they had the baby and were not looking for me why was I looking for them?

I turned to walk home, but decided to stop by Anna's house on the way. Last night we had planned to have a few shots of Agavera with her neighbor. The man who I have been dating then called to say he was in the area. The two of us walked to Anna's and sat at her table drinking a beer while we waited on her to put her groceries away. There was a knock on the door. I answered it. I was not expecting it to be the police.

We sat quietly as the family drama unfolded. Anna's daughter was arrested. The man I was with had an expression on his face I took to be due to awkwardness. As the drama came to an end and we all three walked out of Anna's house and headed to her neighbors, tequila in hand, I learned that it was not awkwardness at all but sense of wanting to help and not being able to do so. That is how I always feel in these situations too. We all, Anna included, enjoyed the night together while we sat talking until the sun went down.

Today she sent me a text saying that her daughter was back at home. She has only been out of jail a few weeks since her last long stay, so I was happy to hear this. She has struggled with drug addiction for her whole adult life. She looks so healthy right now. We all hope she has reached a turning point. I stopped by to hear the details. We sat and talked over a few glasses of wine. I was drinking slowly because I knew the baby would show up soon. When she did she really enjoyed crawling around outside. She liked watching the dogs play, but was sure to keep her distance. By the time we came home she desperately needed a bath.

Before all of this. Before I started looking for the baby, but after the yogurt I went outside. I looked at the room Jason had died in. Suddenly I knew what I needed. Lately, especially when I am feeling happy or normal the picture of Jason hanging from the rafter has been floating behind my eyes. I am afraid to look others in the eye in case they can see it too. I walked up and started talking. Then I realized it was not a good time to lose it. I needed to wait until night time so I could be alone.

Now that I am alone, the baby is asleep, and the other kids are staying the night with friends, I feel the emotions building. I keep picturing one of the evenings soon after he overdosed on meth. Some of his friends and family members wanted to see him now that he was out of the hospital. It turned into an impromptu party/campfire at my house. Jason was not up to seeing that many people yet. He took some sleeping pills and crashed on my bed. I still remember how happy I was every time I peaked in my room and found him alive. A friend sat looking at the fire and said it had been a hard week, especially for me. I responded that I had had a great week. I could have spent the evening burying my son, instead I was celebrating that he was still alive.

Now I realize even more how much I had to be thankful for, everything can be lost in an instant. The next scene that pops in my head is of finding him hanging. His face is calm and relaxed looking. His lips and tongue are a dark purple, almost black. The phrase, "That really happened" keeps running through my head.

There is a part of me that does not believe I deserve happiness. The fact that I do sometimes smile and laugh is a sign of what a crappy mother I am. I know that I have to keep pushing through this until I do reach a place where I can be happy. Not like before, but as the person I am now. I a person who will always feel a great loss, but who had vowed to live her life anyway.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Stress

I am a mess tonight. Any sort of stress sends me crying these days. Today was not a bad day, but it had its moments. I woke early and decided to go grocery shopping. I had not been intending to decorate Jason's grave today. For one reason I still think of Memorial Day as a day we honor vets, but mostly because I have never relied on a calendar to tell me when to think of someone. I feel the same way about Valentine's day. If a man is only going to act sweet and romantic one day a year because society tells him he should then I would rather he not bother.

Then a few people mentioned it to me, Rolando bought flowers for Jason's grave, and I felt guilty. So I decided that while I was shopping I would pick up flowers. At the store I looked over my list, saw that I was done, and headed to check out. Suddenly I remembered I was going to get flowers. I had forgotten them. I had forgotten the one thing I was going to do for him. I started crying in the store.

By time I had checked out and loaded the groceries in the car I felt better. Then on the drive home for some reason, it escapes me now, I was thinking about why I stayed in the same small town all of these years. I had wanted to give my children roots. I wanted them to have a place they called their hometown. I think some of my siblings would have been better adjusted adults if they would not have had to deal with the stress of always being the new kid as a child.

For all of my good intentions nothing changed. Jason still died. Tears flowing again. The thing is I cannot save anybody. I am trying to give my nieces a stable home for as long as I can, but it will not change anything. No matter how much I try to help the same problems will still course through my family and society flowing down the generations.

The drive was over. The kids helped carry in groceries. I felt better. A glass of wine with Anna and her husband, cookout with the Rolando's family, and then a game of Loteria and I was feeling happy. I took the girls for a walk. My nephew came along on his bike. It was a peaceful evening. I did not make it out to the cemetery, but I was fine with that.

Then after I had cuddled up with the baby and fell asleep my phone rang. It was Drama Queen. I did not answer it. She never calls at midnight with pleasant things to say. I drifted off again. My phone was buzzing as she sent me several messages.  I should not have read them, but I did. She said a few hateful things about me being a drunk and a hot mess. I ignored that. Then she told me she was giving the baby to her dad for the summer. I love this baby. Hopefully I'm wrong, or Drama Queen was lying, but I do not think this is a good idea.  The stress of worrying about this baby's future has brought me to full blown sobbing.

If I can go to sleep now I can sleep for five hours.