Tuesday, February 22, 2011
There was a time in the fall in which I didn't know what was next for me. All I knew was that for a year and a half I spun my wheels. I seemingly made no progress - certainly not in my writing. Not all of that was D's fault. I could barely focus some days, wracked with grief that was nearly unbearable. I still miss Stephanie, so much sometimes that it takes me by surprise. But life goes on. Isn't that the double-edged sword?
As bereaved parents, we want our lives to stop, want the world to stop making demands on us. I could easily have gotten in bed and never come out. I understand the whole death from a broken heart thing. But when I thought of what that would do to Sean, if I just gave up, I got up. As Tom Hanks said in Sleepless in Seattle, "I get out of bed every morning, and breathe in and out. And I'm hoping someday I don't have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breath in and out." How right Nora Ephron had it when she wrote that line. I'm starting to just get out of bed without much thought to the breathing in and out.
When I was with D, I used to think, "What would Stephanie want for me?" Now I'm asking, "What do I want for me?"
Well, let me tell you. I am in a relationship with a smart, funny, capable (hell, she's a doctor - not dependent on me for a living) woman who loves me -- not because she has to or feels sorry for me but because she just loves me. Her adopted sons -- Thomas and Justin -- love me and I love them. There's a whole future there: school, team sports, work, girlfriends (or boyfriends), careers. There's a whole future for us: vacations, marriage, retirement. Hopefully no loss. No more loss. Not for a good long while. Sean is on his way into a career of his choosing, maybe moving off to NC for work. He's grown, even though he still loves his Mom time. Kim has an RV, so we can take off and go if we want to. We can go visit the big boy along with the little boys. No daughters. Not for us. I guess I was meant to have the one and no more. No one can top Stephanie.
Lest you think I am being codependent and living for other people, let me assure you I'm not. I have my things, and Kim has hers. Then we have ours. Right now she's laid up because of a surgical complication, but she's on the mend. Too soon she'll be back out there, taking care of patients, and she'll come home to the boys and I late at night. We'll be asleep, but she'll look in on them, and then she'll shower and curl up next to me. I'll still dream of Stephanie and talk out loud to her at times. I'll keep her picture with me always and the memories forever, but when she visits me, she'll see a mom who survived, and who dares to thrive.
at 3:18 PM