I have not done this in a while. Lately, I have been sleeping oh so very well, tucked in next to my husband, feet intertwined and lullingly content. But the last two nights I have gotten horribly hot and tonight it actually made me feel somewhat nauseated. So I got up and now sit at my desk with my cat curled into me and my space heater on because I am cold. And lazy apparently. I would like some coffee, but I don't want to get up to make it.
I am reading through old blog entries and visiting the blogs of some of my friends, particularly mothers in mourning, like me. Sometimes it occurs to me that maybe I am not doing this right. I plow ahead with such determination, bulldozing through the emotions and the sense of "nothing matters" that hits at times, to the point now that I almost don't even feel that anymore. It is a strange thing, the expectations that come with grieving, particularly with grieving a child, some of which are seriously paradoxical. The "I can't imagine's" mix with the "How do you go on's" with a twist of "I could never", then combine with the 'You are so strong's"....and the internal dialogue that runs tickertape-like in my subconscious that reads something like Do It For Joseph and By God Don't You Dare Cry In Public You Ninny and Don't You Dare Cry In Front Of Anyone Who Isn't Joe And Even Then Keep That Crap To A Minimum Girlfriend. But it happened again yesterday, when I thought I was trucking along just fine and being perfectly normal, and Joe stops me and just asks if everything is okay because I am being kind of weird. And that whole Twilight Zone music plays in my imaginary background because the tickertape starts rolling the How Does He Know?! I am Being So Normal! script. And we hug and I admit "I am feeling mournful" and my eyes tear up and, as always, it is all okay, that I said it out loud. But it felt like pulling out my fingernails to actually SAY that. Why is that? Why can I pour out with such accuracy my internal grief on this public blog, but can't look my husband in the face and say "I am feeling it today"? Not just to him, but to anyone? Heck, half the time, I don't realize I am doing it until he tips his head and looks at me and asks. And then Whoosh! I am in the land of grief, which was there all along but somehow I just would not acknowledge it.
Sometimes I guess it just doesn't like to be ignored. It seeps and oozes out through the cracks in my stronghold. I picture a Monty Python skit in which I, with a strong English accent, am busily tending to the house while Joe points out to me the sink is flooding and I stubbornly insist "No its not!" while we are ankle deep in water.
So I am reading blogs of other Moms who have lost and finding all sorts of love, healing and inspiration. Quotes. Poems. Ones that focus on the ability of the human spirit to rise from the rubble of destruction into the life God intended them to have. I like stuff like that.
Yesterday was a good/weird day. It ended with an evening out with my brother and his wife for Indian food at a BYOB restaurant. We laughed a lot, drank good wine, made mock plans for a vacation together to Napa after I graduate (how I wish those plans would be real, not mock!). I left feeling loved, connected and whole. I love my brother's voice. I love his dry sense of humor. I adore my sister-in-law's laugh and the way she converses easily with perfect strangers and even remembers their names years later, even if she never sees them again. Everyone has a name to Stacey. It is never "That one guy with the scruffy beard who smells like cigarettes that owns the tree farm out in Navarro county...you know...the dude with the crooked thumb". It is Jim or John or Harry or whatever his name is, and she gives half his life history while telling about what they bought at his shop. It is a talent I do not possess. I am not good at small talk beyond a few sentences, not unless there is some kind of chemical connection between me and the other person. Not so for Stace. Everyone is a friend. Everyone is a soul, a person, a life. I study how she does it and want to learn from it. Today she and I are getting mani/pedis done, and I am ridiculous in my excitement to pay good money for someone to rub my feet. We get new living room furniture today too. And yesterday my cat let me trim her claws while she purred in my lap. Joe is sleeping upstairs in our new, huge mahogany sleigh bed (Officially dubbed The Love Nest because we are weird that way) and Nick and Alex have transitioned back to school after the holidays without any trouble. School starts back on January 18th, and this time next year, I will be preparing to take my licensing exam.
Life is full and sweet and good. I guess I am doing okay, whatever my internal ticker may or may not be saying.