It has been over five weeks since my last post. October was a great month: Adrienne and I spent some alone time at a beautiful house in the Carmel Valley. Then one of my very best friends came for a long weekend. Along with another friend, we had a slumber party, stayed up way too late, and laughed like we did when we were twenty. We took the whole family to Utah. We stayed in an amazing house right outside of Zion National Park. And in early November, my dad got on an airplane for the first time in his life and flew down to visit.
The sadness has been building through all of this excitement. I’ve known it was there; I just chose not to engage it. And that was the reason why I didn’t write at all. I’ve been through sadness. But this is something bigger. I can’t find a way out of it… There is no little silver lining in this sadness, I fear it is here to stay.
It was an innocent thing that released the torrent. Yesterday was Veteran’s Day and a friend had invited us to join them at the beach. Perfect. We had been promising the kids a trip to the beach. The weather was great, no wind, a few clouds and a temperature conducive to shorts and t-shirts.
The friend who invited us to the beach has two boys, ages three and seven. The three year old is adorable. He likes to put on his worker clothes and help out in the yard. I assumed Mac would play with my friend’s seven year-old. I sit up and see Mac playing race with the three year-old. Then Mac lets him climb on his back and go for a ride.
I kept it together until we had gotten my kids to their mom’s house and I got in the tub. I started to cry and really couldn’t stop. I’ve never been much of a crier; certainly never cried for two hours straight. I would never see my grandkids. Mac was so good with my friend’s son. I would never see Mac playing on the beach with his son.
When we were on the beach, Quinn was sitting behind me on the cooler. “Jay,” she said. I looked up at her and she said, “I love you, Jay.” My heart hurts so much for her. I see the woman she is becoming, and I cry because I will never see that confident woman that I know she will become.
The stages of grief seem to be re-occurring. The anger is back: Why me? Why my kids? I have more anger and sadness for them than I do for myself. But dammit, I want to see them grow up! I want to be the one to be there for them like I have through the last eleven and a half years. I helped make this family and I feel cheated that I don’t get to see it through.
And it’s not just the big events like graduations, weddings, births, it’s little everyday things. Quinn asked me if I would see her with her braces off. Probably not; she still has awhile to go. It’s the interesting conversations we have on the way to school. It’s helping with homework and listening to Mac read to me. It’s family dinner, where the kids try to work on their manners and talk about their days.
I have been reading aloud to my kids since they were born. I read to the two of them before bed. They used to listen to different stories, but with the Harry Potter series last year, they both listen to me read the same book. We’re now halfway through The Hobbit. The kids go upstairs, brush their teeth, put on pajamas and meet me in my bed. Once they settle themselves in, I read the next chapter. Then I hug them and kiss them, (if they want), and I tuck them into bed. That’s the daily event that makes me the most sad.
After the record setting cry for me, I went to bed. I slept for fourteen hours. I barely woke up before I had to pick the kids up at school. But the sadness is still there. I don’t know how to make it go away.