Traveling has always been part of my life, and as I sit on a plane headed back to Virginia, a few thoughts float through my head. Zakaria and I are next to each other while Leena and Aamir are at the back of the plane. I used to insist on being in the middle of Hadi and Zakaria. I now look over at Zakaria watching Star Wars, and it occurs to me that, while I miss all the bizarre conversations my sons had, particularly on family trips, I know Hadi made his presence known while we were in Cancun. Whether it was the beautiful yellow bird that consistently greeted us, or our salesperson having a twin brother, there was no way Hadi wasn’t being thought of at some point. Also, as an aside, our salesperson’s name was Esteban, and I am surprised Zakaria didn’t mention anything about crayons in front of him. ;)
It is not always easy for property and other possessions to be distributed after a person dies. It depends on many factors that people don't realize until they become part of the aftermath of the death of a relative.
It was supposed to rain, but the only water we felt were the tears streaming down our faces.
When I was younger, I never thought I would ever lose my mother or my stepfather. I know that sounds awful. Like most people, I fought with my mother quite a bit. I guess you could say I even rebelled a little. When I turned 18, I joined a traveling carnival. I spent a few months traveling and living the whole drama-fueled life of a carney. I operated a game where you picked a color and a little rat went into a hole and if it was your color, you win. I wanted to be my own person and thought that not living with my mother would give me more freedom. It did to a point, but the carnival life just wasn't my thing. I left there and went to northern Michigan to live with my stepdad. This hurt my mother's feelings very much. The reason I chose this was so she couldn't control my life like I thought she wanted to. I grew up and started a family of my own.
My year started out wonderfully. I seriously couldn't have asked for better. I was in a healthy relationship with my boyfriend, and I had my whole year in front of me. In April I received the best news I could have. I saw the pregnant sign on a test. I was filled with joy and sadness and fear that day. My body couldn't quite comprehend. We had been trying for four months, and finally I got what I desired. I was probably one of the happiest people being pregnant, but it didn't last long for me at all.
Who would have ever thought that the sight of a pink artificial sweetener packet on my kitchen counter would cause me to break down? Literally send me sobbing to my bed, trying to find my next breath and my composure to carry on with my day. But there I was. These paper packets were here at my house, and he wasn’t. He was never going to put them in his morning coffee again.
It is said that losing a parent is a rite of passage, but in truth it is a fundamental heartbreak that may never be resolved. Thoughts of how you treated your parent when you were younger can torment and twist. Questions of ‘Did I tell them how much I loved them?’ plague dark nights of wakefulness. Depending on your age at the time of their passing you may have abandonment issues, unresolved anger or resentment, or even non-contact issues. No matter what the ‘problem’ was, the vast majority of us grieves their passing and wish for more time with them.
On Monday, it’s my son Charlie’s ninth birthday. We’re having a party with friends round and their children, lots of party food, a cake and even some cards and presents. Nothing odd there? It sounds like any normal party for any normal nine year old. The difference is that Charlie died when he was three months old, in October 2010.
There are just seven days until the first anniversary of my mum's death. A week. It's nothing really. And yet July 15 is looming. I have that day off work. Perhaps I'll feel fine and be functional, but there's also a real probability I'll end up stuck in bed. And to be missing that person in my life, who would just arrive at my front door and say, "we're doing this today, you're going to be okay," means I don't know what to do.
I was driving my husband’s truck this morning for the first time since his death, four years ago. My son, embarking shortly on getting his driver's license was excited and persistent to finally register it, and I needed to be done with the last vestiges of this arduous journey of being a widow. I had taken care of many things over the years, but hadn’t yet been able to face changing the vehicles into my name. John’s truck was his baby, and represented that he was still with me in a small way. To change it over, would be to finally say goodbye.
I'm currently distracted right now because you came into my mind. You've haunted my thoughts, and you've inserted yourself into my life, disembodied-like without any permission. You have been no good, and you've been doing hurtful things to me and to my mother. You don't realize how much you make me wince when I hear your name. You don't realize that when I see your face, I want to scream louder than a siren, because you're a living nightmare, not to mention a nightmare in my dreams as well.