Monday, January 30, 2012

Where I am at.

I've been missing Peyton a lot lately.
Missing her whenever there is the calm and the stillness to go there.

After the middle of the night feeding, when the babies are back in their cribs and hubs rolls over to sleep, I think of her. I wonder if she is happy for us. Or feeling neglected.

I think about how I want to get rid of the bag of her clothes one moment, and to clutch them to me the next. I still - 3 plus years later - am stuck on those clothes. I don't know how much of it is a realistic fear of the chemo on them, and how much is just a PTSD avoidance thing. Whatever the root of it, they sit in the same plastic bag they came  home in. Untouched in the corner of what was her room. They are the gatekeeper to my converting it to a writing space.

I think of her when I glance at her picture in our living room. She stares at me with big blue eyes. My Snowflakes have never even once had the look in their eyes that she was born with. That wisdom. It is a blessing that they haven't. I am sure she knew.

I feel her in every aspect of my parenting. I love more fully because of her. I am afraid of EVERYTHING because of her. I worry about what taking my children here or there might expose them to. Who might be there that could get them sick. Or if another child might have a bottle of milk with them, or some milk something on their hands, and cause Bubba to have an allergic reaction.

Am I the only one who feels this way?

I used to fantasize about how nice it would be to have a living child to take to the library for story hour, and here I have two, and can't seem to bring myself to go. I am not sure how, but I really hope to let some of that fear go before they are old enough to feel restricted by it. I don't want to be the helicopter parent that circumstances and loss have led me to be. Or at the very least, I don't want them to feel hovered over.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
The courage to change the things I can.
And the wisdom to know the difference.

12 comments:

  1. That fear... I know it well. And every time I have to force myself to accept it and move through it, there is a tightness in my chest that I cant explain. But I know the side effects of not. After Peter's brother died of neuroblastoma, his mother held on... so tightly... If not for his father being the voice of reason and forcing her to let Peter still be a child... still just be... in spite of the fear... I dont know what would have happened. I know that it killed her at times to risk knowing he might not come back or that something might happen. That she might lose him, too. I worry every single day that something will happen and Bobby or Maya (or both) will be taken from me. It could be a freak car accident or a deliberate attempt to kidnap them or a broken bone or a flu that becomes pneumonia because I took them to that library storyhour. And yet... I still do it. I'm afraid for them if I dont. Because the hangups are mine. The fear are mine. And God knows I dont want them to have those. Not because of me.

    It's hard... But you will find a balance and a medium and things will work out. Sometimes because of what you do, other times in spite of it. I try to remember that every day.

    Big hugs.

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  2. I pray in time it will all come together for you and there will be peace in your heart. ((HUGS))

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  3. I guess we are who we are becuase of our children. I feel the same way as you but have let go of the fear for JJ to do things.. Swim lessons, library, let the dog lick him in the mounth (ok not on purpose but it already happned)

    Instead my fear is in letting ANYONE else and I mean ANYONE including my own mother watch him. I just don't feel safe. He goes to daycare too but someone those people are more capable of watching him than family?

    Grief does the crappyest things to us and one of my "need to let goes" 2012 is the fear to let him be with his grandparents who are perfectly able to care for him..

    Strange as our grief goes. right? As for the bag of clothes.. Get some vacume Sealed (space bags) Suck out all the air. when spring comes dig a hole and bury them. Write a letter to your daugher so she knows that they are there.. with you.. just not in the house..

    Brandy

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    1. That is a beautiful idea. I struggle with having anyone watch my LO's too. We have been to the other side of "what ifs". It screws with everything.

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  4. It's crazy. How it affects us all soooo differently and yet, so much the same. I think that I am WAY more relaxed and 'whatever' with Luke now because I just remember being so meticulous in every.single.thing that was Matthew's conception and pregnancy and birth (so I thought) and then out of NOWHERE comes that f-ing (sorry, that's how I'm feeling today!) bomb that there was NOTHING anyone could have predicted...I just feel like my world and it's normal order and anything that made sense just spun so far out of control that I'd never, ever, ever have any control again, so why bother?

    Even with Luke...sometimes I think "Like I can control whether he lives or dies...." John always tells me I seem fatalistic, but I guess it's just my reality. I can't control it and to try is just exhausting, and more than anything, I'm just exhausted from grief. From fear. So I guess my lack of need to wrap him in bubble tape is more just exhaustion. Boy, doesn't that make me mother of the year?
    That said, I am glad I do not live as I would if I let my fears run my life. We'd never leave the house. Literally.

    Someone just posted on my FB status about how we all know that things are certainly tough enough when they are out of our control, but often, just as tough when they ARE in our control. Because we don't want to take on the guilt. We already have enough. If we let our child do something, and then something terrible happens, we KNOW how guilt eats us alive. So, we sometimes try and spare ourselves that. I don't see how anyone who lives this life could do differently.

    I am just crying right now thinking of you looking at Peyton and staring into her eyes and knowing that her brothers and sisters never have had that look that she had....the one of knowing. I think about that all the time when I look at Luke. I think, "He has no idea what Matthew's life was like. What Matthew's eyes saw. What Matthew's brain took in with eyes so similar and yet so different."

    It's hard. Sending you love, friend.
    xoxo

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  5. You are amazing Kristin.

    I would like to make an offer to you. It's an offer you can either accept or decline...no hard feelings either way. When you are ready, box up that bag of Peyton's clothes. Send them to me and I'll have them laundered. Then I'll incorporate them into a quilt for you to keep. That way Peyton can be wrapped right around you. I did this for Busted Babymaker with the clothes she had bought for the twins she lost and I'd be honored to do it for you.

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    1. Both of you Kristins are amazing. xoxo

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  6. You are not the only one Kristin. I get it. Thank you for sharing your where you are at. I could really feel your emotions through reading your words here. (((HUGS)))

    I love my two living children so much, but there will always be a part of me that Molly took with her. She will always be in my heart and though the pain of losing her gets softer and easier to bear, there is still an ache that I feel every time I think about or see a photo of my forever baby girl.

    The part of your post where you talked about glancing at her picture in your living room really resonates with me. I wrote this post (a poem) last year: http://chicagobensons.blogspot.com/2011/08/breathing-poem.html specifically about how I feel when I see our picture of Molly on a book shelf in our living room. I also have one on my beside table that has a similar effect on me.

    Holding you close in my thoughts and prayers as you remember Peyton (always) and continue to navigate life without her, what that means and how to incorporate her memory and legacy with your two amazing living children. xoxo

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  7. I think so much of grieving revolves around this new kind of superstition and control. Like we must have done something, so we can't do it that way again, or let anything happen that could near cause it. I had a time after we lost Connor where I wouldn't let Anna play outside, I was afraid of everything. I think knowing the pain of loss and having the ability to love our living children makes the fear of losing them even worse. I almost didn't send Anna to preschool, or let her swim, let her play outside or ride a bike, because I was afraid. I will tell you (and all others who read this) That I went on anti anxiety medicine and it really helped me. I know you are very organic in your care of your children and your life, not sure hwo you feel about that. But it has made a huge difference for me. I feel like I can live and let my children live. I am still fearful of things, but not like before. I think another thing that got me was when my friend's son passed away at 4. he was healthy, protected, being closely watched and had a freak accident and died. That was when I realized no matter what I do or how much I protect my children, how much I want the control, I do not have it. I have tried to keep a promise to Anna and Wyatt to let them be kids, let them play, ride the rides at Disney and ride their bikes at home. I pray that you find your happy medium in this world of grieving and parenting as the same woman. You are in my thoughts always....

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  8. Hugs my friend. I lack the words today. xoxo

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  9. RIGHT THERE WITH YOU!!!! The quiet always brings it on...HUGS!

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  10. There is def a fear there that wasn't there before Carleigh died. It's gotten better but I still worry.

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