Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Every morning, I wake up exhausted already.  It's so counterproductive.  Then today, while chatting with my former colleagues when I stopped by the old office, it dawned on me.  I'm fatigued because I have spent the past 478 days since Connor died trying my level best to be "okay."

I had no idea that this effort would be so tiring.  My body is tired.  My brain is tired.  My heart is tired.  My soul is tired.  Normally, only one of those would be tired at any given point, but I've drained myself pretty much completely dry. Why? Who am I trying to impress with my "okay-ness"?  I don't think anyone really expects me to be okay all the time but I feel this enormous pressure to be okay all the time.

And then I realize that while I may be creating that "need" to be okay, I'm acting as if it's the people around me who need me to be okay, and I'm doing it for them, and does that make me susceptible to peer pressure? Even though now that I've plotted it out in my brain, I see that it is MY own pressure, not pressure from outside, that is causing this, I still can't seem to shut it off!

How in the world do I shut it off?

I've been doing an inordinate amount of escapist reading. Every night, I read until I fall asleep and it's DRIVEL. Total crap. Anything to occupy my mind until it shuts down. I frequently wake up about 45 minutes later, remove my glasses and put my iPad down, and drift back away. Sadly, I am also frequently visited in the night my the boys, for a multitude of reasons. So I was blaming the tiredness on the late reading and perpetual interruptions of my sleep. I'm trying to stop those cycles, but I also need to address the exhaustion stemming from okayness. I'm just not certain how to get there...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Invisible Hands

I'm feeling like I losing my connection to Connor more and more.  Maybe it's that we are past a year, and the harshness of it all is dimming ever-so-slightly.  Maybe the harshness of our ragged emotional states held him closer to us, and we felt him more before all the "firsts" were in the past.

Whatever it is, I don't like it one bit.  There are times when a day is tough, or I have a particularly hard nut to crack either at home or with work, and last year I felt as though I would reach out to him through my thoughts and my achy heart, and my solutions would appear.  That's not happening now.  It's not that I don't want to work for the things I get - I absolutely work for them!  But when they go askew, it felt like I had him pushing it back in place invisibly last year, and now I don't.  And that just sucks.

Yesterday, when I opened the mail we had an invitation to a tree planting ceremony at his old elementary school.  The class made the invitations themselves - small paintings of trees, with a green swing hanging from a branch.  The goal is for a tree that will grow large enough to hang his old swing from for the FLS students who attend the school.  It's simply beautiful and perfect.  And I know I will cry continually through the planting.  But we'll take pictures and post something about it.

Wondering about all those other trees out there that were planted in Connor's honor - send me pictures if you have them!

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Mother's Day

There is much ado on facebook and the like these days about Mother's Day, and those who choose not to be mothers, or cannot be mothers, or become mothers by their sheer will and courage to keep fighting.

I am none of those mothers.  I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be a mother.  I remember clearly thinking in my elementary school years about what job I would have, and when imagining that I would always have a family with me.  I believe I was born to be a mother.  I even told Lee when we were engaged that I had a timeline in place, and he needed to be okay with that timeline because I was not changing it.  We discussed, and maybe argued a little. There are many times in life when one should compromise.  In this case, he compromised.  I did not.

And therefore...I become a mother.

Now there's a child I can't hug on Mother's Day and it makes me sad.  But I've decided instead to hug anyone I see who knew him on Mother's Day.  Because if they knew him, then he is in their hearts, and if I can hug enough of them, it will make me feel him a little more, and hopefully he will feel me too.  I'll start with his Dad and brothers.  But like Lucy in Peanuts, the Doctor Is In (and I won't even charge 5 cents...)

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Introducing our loss to new people ... a how-to

Over the weekend, we were talking with our new neighbors while everyone was enjoying being outside. They moved in over the winter, and then it snowed a bunch and no one was out being social. Lee held their infant son, about 8 months old, and was all melty and nuzzly and kind of glassy eyed, so I looked at him squarely and said, "Do you want another baby?" to which he emphatically said, "No." The parents in the circle joked about babies being awesome and then once mobility and communication start it's a slog to get to bedtime each day. One of the new neighbors quietly joked to us, "Third times the charm..." I don't know if anyone else noticed, but I did, and I quietly said back, "Actually, Tucker is the third time..." which most likely means that he now thinks I am an oversharer and that he didn't need to know that I lost a baby. Which wasn't my point.

I did lose a baby. In 2007 I became pregnant, but miscarried before I even made it to the doctor for my appointment to confirm the pregnancy. We knew at the emergency room that the likelihood was that this baby who had barely begun to grow must have had problems at the deepest level, which can be a cause of an early-term miscarriage. We knew what impact special needs babies and children have in families. We knew that while we had survived the first special needs child, we didn't know how we would have managed to incorporate a new set of special needs, and so we set our jaws and nodded, and explained to the perplexed staff at the ER that our reasonable reaction to the whole thing stemmed from our deep knowledge of life as a special needs family already. It was an opening salvo for Lee and I - how to cope with terribly sad things. I think we passed with flying colors. It is sad, and will always be sad.

More importantly, though, and what my new neighbors don't know, is that I lost a child. We will operate peripherally in each other's spheres, a weird Venn diagram of location only. But we love our neighborhood, and our street especially, and our neighbors on that street have been stalwart in their support, and shared our sadness with us through all of our mourning for Connor. We owe them forever for the donations, the support, the taking of our kids when we cannot or could not cope, their remembrances, their sweet and kind children who got to experience Connor and understand him. And somehow, we have to find a way to let people know without making ourselves pariahs. Because we can't live 40 or more years alienating people or making them so uncomfortable being around us that we end up isolated.  One of the greatest compliments we received as parents is how "normal" we made our abnormal lives seem with our family. Time to find how to make people think how life progressed as "normal," too.