Learning to navigate through a different life
I didn’t want this life, it sure isn’t what I planned or dreamed of, but it is my life and I will LIVE it. I will use my gifts and I will give of myself. I will give to my husband, my sons, family, friends, community and world what I was born to give.
What that means, I’m still discovering everyday! I love to teach, create, sew, paint, write, laugh, read, learn, comfort, explore and be around people, mostly kids ;)
I have lived for 4 weeks and 1 day without my baby. Four weeks and 1 day of crying, screaming, smiling, remembering, thinking and praying about where to go from here. I still don’t know for sure. I am finally able to make commitments…..small ones, but I’m doing it!
My first outing since family and friends have left after Ryder’s celebration was to the Clayton’s. I planned on going myself the day before, but couldn’t even manage to get out of bed except to pick up the boys that day. I felt horrible. I am not one to cancel plans. After talking to Tammy, we decided to plan a family get together the next day. It was later and Les would drive me, so I had extra encouragement to leave the house (and my bed). Tammy has 2 beautiful children with Leukodystrophy and 3 other sons that we adore. I really liked being there. I was comforted by the wheelchairs, feeding pump, and constant need from kids. I felt normal again. It felt like home!
My second time out was to our first softball game of the season. Les and I play on a co-ed team. I haven’t played for almost 2 years due to nursing school and caring for Ryder. I was excited all day. I even bought new cleats, instead of my duck-taped ones from the last tournament I played in! When we got to the field early to practice, one of our teammates asked”Where are your kids, don’t you have like a ton of them?” Ugh….I smiled and said “our sons are playing over there.” It ruined my night. It wasn’t her fault obviously, she had no idea. It just reminded me of my new reality and how I will be asked questions like do you have kids, where do you work, and where do you live…easy topics that most new people ask. I can’t answer them flat out honest though without a long story. “Yes, I have 3 boys, but one is in Heaven, I was a teacher for 12 years, then started nursing school, but quite half way through to care for my son, now I’m just trying to get through each hour..How about you, what do you do? And of course… we live with my Mom. We couldn’t afford our house because I quite working to stay with Ryder and medical bills pile up quickly!” I think those answers would be too much for most people don’t you agree! Sometimes, I feel like I’m not sharing Ry’s life with others if I don’t tell people honest answers to what they ask, even if it is just a “filler” question when they could care less about the answers. I just have to learn to answer them depending on where I am and who asks. Anyways (back on track), after that innocent question I was a grumpster. I did okay during the game, being my first time playing in so long. I did sprain my finger----running---though!!!! Seriously, only I could hurt my finger running! It wasn’t my fault though. The short stop ran right in front of me while I was running full speed to 3rd base. It hurt so badly and I wanted to cry. I knew if I cried I wouldn’t stop, so I kept playing. At the end of the game I ran into an old friend. It was awesome to see her!!! She knew though. She knew I was trying to be normal and I was out of bed attempting to live. I teared up partly because my finger/hand was throbbing and partly because she understood how hard it was for me to be participating in life, but I held it together until I got home at least.
Now, I’m just living everyday with reminders all the time. I tell myself to get out of bed, to brush my teeth, shower, pick up the boys and help them with homework. I’m making progress- cleaning the house some, making appointments, calling friends and even volunteered at The Breast Cancer Society today. Small steps, but I’m living! I see signs of Ryder a lot. I really love when others share their signs of Ryder’s presence with me also (sunsets, dragonflies, memories). Can you believe my sister saw a GOLD dragonfly when she was having a rough day (not yellow—GOLD)??!! I wrote in a post a few weeks ago about seeing a gold dragonfly!
Yes, for all those wondering, I am taking care of myself. I went to the doctor who prescribed ambien to help me sleep. I tried it twice and it doesn’t work for me. I’ll fall asleep, but wake up 6-7 times anyways. I’m reading a little and exercising some daily. I eat when Les makes food—nothing new! I signed up to do the color run 5K in January with my sister! I also registered to be a bone marrow donor. Like I mentioned earlier, I got out of the house to volunteer today and plan on getting involved with spreading mitochondrial disorders and Leukodystrophy awareness. I’ve been attempting to write, but really am not inspired like I used to be. I make it a point to play a game and spend time with the boys every day. And I signed us up for grief counseling through The New Song Center. I’ll keep on chugging along—and hopefully find my new purpose someday soon.