A few days ago, we were on our way home from work and school when we drove by some baseball fields. Henry asked “what’s that?” I explained to him that is was a field. He said “No mommy, that is a baseball field” (his dad used to coach baseball). He followed that statement with, “That is where daddy and I play ball.” My words were stuck in my throat and the tears started streaming down my face. Henry sat there quietly just looking at all the fields we drove by. He didn’t say another word the whole way home. For those of you who know my son, he is not one to be quiet or still for any length of time. There is a part of me that believes that he secretly felt what I felt…that gaping hole in our lives and hearts. I know what you are all thinking… “Kari, the kid is only two! He doesn’t understand what is going on?” I hear you, but I know he understood the emotion he saw. Things have been going so well, and just a innocent and beautiful phrase my son said just brought all that emotion back to the surface.
So is this really how it is supposed to go? I mean I have good days and bad days just like everyone who is experience rough times or a loss, but dang. Hearing my son say this just brought me to my knees. Maybe I can attribute this all to not having actually grieved the loss? Am I really so weak, that one simple comment could knock me back so far? I am not emotional because he mentioned Adam. I am emotional because of all the things Henry is missing out on. The memories that will never be made. Henry seems to be thriving through all of this and for that I am so grateful, however I am trying to “hide” my emotions from him as much as possible. I tell him stories about his daddy all the time, and constantly remind him how lucky he is because his daddy is always with him. Not many little boys get to say that. As soon as I can get a moment to myself the I can allow my emotions to run ramped. In those moments I feel like I just loose any progress I made with moving forward after this great loss! Not to mention how difficult it becomes to remain in the routine. I have someone who relies on me, who needs me, who wants all my attention. I wouldn’t trade that for the world, but do question whether I am doing right by him. Those moments when I completely lose my temper or choose to complete a chore rather that play an extra few minutes with him before bed time. The guilt just rushes to the surface. It affects everything! It exacerbates the anxiety! It makes me question if I am cut out for this. Could my lack of attention scar Henry for life? What I am going to do when I have to address what happened to his daddy… FOR REAL? How am I going to respond to his reaction? Honestly, it is just a snowball effect. I continue to allow all these questions, regardless of their relevancy, to drag me down farther and farther. Sometimes it gets to be a little too much to bear. I lay awake and start thinking that thought we all have of ” I don’t know if I can do this”. Just when all seems lost, a feeling deep in my soul comforts me and reminds me of my destiny and duty.
Although the winds of life range around, we must lean into it and push forward. Sure there will be those moments when we slip back a bit, but it is in those moments that we must strengthen our resolves and remember our purpose, our why. As much as we would like to go with the flow, that is just not possible. The best part about all of this is the ultimate outcome. When we are being pushed backwards, it is time to make a choice…do you continue to try the same path and hope for a different outcome or do you set your sights on the destination and try all paths available to get there? Take it from someone who grapples with self confidence issues and the fear that she is going about everything all wrong, make the CHOICE to ignore the negative whispers. Again, for those of you that know me, that is the pot calling the kettle black, but honestly I am working on practicing what I preach. We can learn together.