I am not me.
Well, I am. I think.
But I’m not.
Life hopped onto the emotional roller coaster last October, zooming upside down, through twists and turns, before releasing the safety harness and dumping me into the murky swampy area beneath.
I’m still treading water.
My sleep patterns are wrong. One night my body sleeps ten hours as though beaten into exhaustion. Another my brain whirls just enough I almost see the dawn rise. I read one sentence about zombies and they haunt every dream that night, tormenting me. Why does the same not happen when reading about Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds) or Matt Bomer (aka Neal Caffrey in White Collar)?
I tried to focus on the humor. The silly. Even when I wanted to scream to the world.
I failed on much of it, many posts never seeing the light of day. The only amusing writing came courtesy of my children.
It’s a good thing four and half year olds and two year olds are funny.
What I really wanted to write stayed mostly hidden.
I was a bystander, suffocating in helplessness as I tried to pull a friend from the icy emptiness of depression and keep them from committing suicide. The fear of failure. The worry if the phone went unanswered. The inability to show depression lied and it would get better, no matter how many conversations we had. The nausea pooling in my gut as I crept downstairs in the middle of the night to make sure my friend still breathed. Sharing the couch until sleep cast its protective blanket. Not a day passed I didn’t want to scream, “I’m useless! What do I do?” Except for sharing it with two close friends, I stayed silent. It wasn’t my story to tell.
Toss in a serious family health issues threatening to end our planned Christmas trip to Colorado. Tests were done. Then more, the plan changing with each result. I spent each day not knowing if the four of us would be alone or with the rest of family in Colorado, or if we’d have to cancel plans and try to find a flight to Iowa. Until the day we were finally together in the mountains.
Mix in the croup cough for a two year old girl and multiple nights of exhaustion as any attempt to lay Lil Diva down results in wheezing, coughing, and pitiful cries.
Chase it with a wave of tragedy as my brother gets a phone call with the news one of his best friends (Marcus) was in an accident. Marcus was okay and left his car (along with a good Samaritan) to help the other driver, whose car had flipped. An intoxicated driver then struck them all, killing Marcus instantly and putting the other two in critical condition.
Marcus was 21 years old.
End with the drops of tears, as my cousin and his wife say good-bye to Beckham Nathanial, just hours after Christmas ended. He was one pound and ten inches long, leaving to be with God just two weeks shy of being able to breathe in this world.
Joy is peppered in between the sorrow, anxiety, depression, and loss.
I find I cannot write about it with the weight of reality trapping me, even when I do find the time.
When I am mad, I yell.
When I am sad, I cry.
When the lows hit, I have to talk about them to break free of their hold.
I haven’t been talking.
I have always said I will share the truth here. The good. The bad. The stinky.
This writing block prevented me from speaking words of comfort, choosing instead to pretend they weren’t needed.
For my brother. For my cousin. Everything seemed too…. trite. It wasn’t enough. It was wrong.
I’m sharing my words now, whether right, wrong, or not enough.
For my friend: Never forget you are strong, smart, and above all human. It is okay to fail. It is okay to not be perfect. It okay to ask for help whenever you need it. You enrich this world and I selfishly do not ever want to think of how it would be without you in it. I love you too much.
For my brother: Remember Marcus’s words and live each day to the fullest. For you. For him. And know I am always here to listen, even though years and miles separate us. Your niece and nephew miss you, as do I.
For my cousin: I cannot even fathom the loss you feel. Your faith is strong, and while we all wish Beckham could have shared our lives for much longer, you know he is wrapped in God’s loving arms, watching over you, his mommy, and his brothers.
For my husband: Thank you for your understanding as I slept late, your compassion in opening our home, and your mad-Tetris skills.
For my whole family: I love you all and miss you. You know, Texas is much warmer than Iowa in winter…
For my readers: Thank you for listening. For commenting. I have been lax in sharing the love because much of my free time has been spent simply coping. Know even if life prevents me from replying to your comment, or visiting your blog in kind, the time you took to read and let me know you read means everything.
Thanks for hanging around.
Hopefully this post will give me the strength to swim.
Maybe I can bring the funny back. Or at least, what has happened the last three weeks before it is lost into the mommy brain black hole…..
Edited to add these lyrics my cousin’s wife shared of a song sung at Beckham’s Celebration of Life ceremony, which I missed due to the long distance:
“And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm”