So I’m trying to figure out, quantitatively, how far I’ve come in the last year. I’m trying to figure out, by going through my own archives, where the low point was or is it to come? I’m also trying to find the turning point. I think there was one in the spring somewhere. What I’d really like is a graph. A time graph so I can see (visual learner) and remember what was going on to cause/cure the highs and lows.
I thought it would be a good idea to start at the beginning. The diagnosis. The sporadic posting while he was sick (Sidenote: I sincerely wish I would have gotten more written out during this time because I’m positive I was a psycho around him and maybe I wouldn’t have been so much if I’d had an outlet). The last few posts which were short and informational. While laid out my fears so bare…words that I was afraid to say outloud.
About 30 hours before he died, I had to make the decision to put a DNR on him. It took me 10 hours to decide. The nurse badgered me all night long. The pulmnologist gave him 3 days. He had one. I’m sure he wondered why they had put a blank purple bracelet on his wrist. I wonder if anyone told him because I didn’t. And maybe I should have. But he was so panicked that last day. The CPAP was making him claustrophobic and he had constant nerve pain. I just couldn’t say anything.
I wish I could count how many times, in the last year, I said the words, “I can’t do this anymore.” Because I said it today. I said it when I had too much to do and a bawling kid who wouldn’t leave me alone. I was hot. All I wanted was quiet. And I was frustrated. I can’t do this anymore.
I wish I could count how many full on panic attacks I had. Or how many meals I didn’t eat because I didn’t have another adult to eat them. Or how many meals I wished I could replicate but can’t because he never showed me how to do it.
And then there’s all the movies we wanted to see together and didn’t get to. The last book of Harry Potter that he would have enjoyed but didn’t get to finish. (I think there would have been some deep meaning in there for him.) Ella learning to write our last name. Amelia’s curls. The camping trip that, I have to say, was the highlight of our summer. He missed it.
How is it possible that someone is here and then not? What I hold on to is that if there is someone left alive who remembers you and loves you then you’re not really gone. Or is that crap? I miss the whiskers in the sink that he almost always, but not quite, rinsed away. I miss folding his clothes, eating his food, critiquing his driving.
Looking back, I can see where I’ve been but I don’t feel that I’ve come all that far. How far was I expected to go? Am I supposed to be beyond wanting to hear the fraternity dog tag key chain jingling in the wee hours of the morning? Or just beyond sticking my face in his old tshirts?
I can’t think like this. I know better. I know it doesn’t work like that. I know you can’t plot it on a graph and you can’t measure it against what someone else said or did or studied.
It’s just so difficult to be trucking along and bottom out. Again. To get stuck. To lose control. To let it all crash into me, into us. I am supposed to protect these little girls but they are the ones sheltering me. They are the ones free with the kisses and the drawings and the observations.
“Do you still miss Daddy even though you love him?” I miss him every day, baby.
He’s been gone a long time. Do you remember him? “Yes. But I think he will come back for just a little bit and visit. Will that be a good thing?” Yes but I don’t think it’s going to happen.
“Oh. But I still love him too just like you do.”
And just when I think I can’t do it anymore…the tears fall…we start over…we try again. And I think I can’t do it any more.
And then I do.