Monday, November 12, 2012

A Year of Change

Wow, it's been over a year since I last posted....I can't believe it.  It's been a busy, busy year, full of change for me.  First and foremost was the big move.  Last August, as time was running out on our rented house and the demolitian date in September loomed closer, I went into panic mode realizing that if I didn't find a suitable house to buy within two weeks, we'd be back in the renting game.  The thought of renting another house was something I absolutely could NOT stomach and by the looks of housing in BC, we could not afford to buy in the place I loved SO much.  On a whim, we decided to drive out to Alberta, to Medicine Hat and see what there was to offer.  We had found a place online that looked promising and although in need of alot of updating, was in our price range, had ample space and tons of potential.  After dinner one Tuesday evening, we packed the kids in the car and drove all night to get to Medicine Hat.  After making arrangements to meet with a realtor, we slept for a few hours and then got up to start looking at houses.  There were a few disasters of course, houses that were in such horrible shape due to neglect or foreclosure, that it almost put me off buying.  But then all of a sudden there were some beautiful places, houses completely renovated, beautiful tile and hardwood floors, fireplaces, and everything I could almost want.  With one exception...Most of the houses we were looking at had detached garages.  I didn't want that.  I knew the winters in Alberta could be brutal and I did NOT want to have to trudge through the snow and cold to reach my vehicle.  I wanted an attached garage, where I could step out of the warmth of my house, into the dry shelter of the garage to start my vehicle and warm it up before I had to go anywhere.  At long last we arrived at the house we had found online.  I was captured by the cute alcove off the front door, secluded and partially covered with a stone tile patio.  It would be perfect for summer evenings under the stars.  I could imagine sitting out there with a few friends and some cold drinks laughing the evening away as we talked....

Once we got into the house it was a different story.  In need of updating was an understatement.  Orange shag carpet, a minuscule kitchen, beige-pink toilet and tub....ick.  But the downstairs was truly hideous.  The carpeting looked like it had been stolen from a dive in Vegas.  It was red and gold and black and hideous beyond imagination.  Everything was wallpapered and in the room we were considering to be Georgia's, someone had made a patchwork carpet out of six inch squares of random shag and had GLUED them to the floor.  I was beyond disappointed.  As we trudged back upstairs with the realtor, my heart was heavy.  But then, she turned to us and said, I've been saving the best for last, come with me.  She led us out into the backyard.  The yard was overgrown, the grass was patchy and weedy, the deck seemed a little shaky but beyond two overgrown cedars she gestured us to follow.  She opened our back gate and we stepped into a lush green park.  There were jungle gyms and swings, walking trails and beautiful trees.  You'll never have anyone move in behind you she said, this view will always be yours.  And it was spectacular.  I could picture the kids playing in the park and us walking down the paved trails during sunny spring days.  I knew this would be our home.  I suddenly loved this house, with it's gross carpets and outdated appliances and peeling wallpaper.  I knew that even if I couldn't afford to do all the work on it at once, that I would make it my own and that underneath all the garish cosmetics was a foundation of hopes and dreams and stability.  I started looking at the positives.  TWO laundry rooms, one up and one down, a double attached garage, the cute alcove off the front door, SEVEN bedrooms, and two and a half baths.  But best of all was the park.  It brought me such a feeling of serenity standing out there in all that green that I knew I was going to make an offer on this house.  The following day I made the offer.  Within the hour it was countered and I made a second offer.  To my delight it was accepted.  OMG, I had just purchased my first home.  That afternoon, we signed the papers, made arrangements to transfer the money from my mom's estate and the owners who lived out of town agreed to let us take possession in a weeks time.  It was the fastest real estate deal in ReMax Medicine Hat's history.  We had a week to pack up, tie up loose ends, and say good-bye before we moved almost two provinces away.  My elation was cut short with the realization I would be leaving Calvin behind and a lump formed in my throat.  I didn't know if I could do it....To Be Continued

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Coming Apart at the Seams

I've been MIA from my blog, from my email friends and from FB. There has been so much going on in my life lately, I don't know where to start. But to make it simple, I'll start here....I'm coming apart at the seams. I should be better by now, shouldn't I? Well I'm far from okay lately. I think I may have post traumatic stress disorder and while I'll spare you the appalling details, I'm suffering from nightmares. Extreme nightmares where I scream and thrash about and wake up my husband. I've ground my teeth so much lately I've chipped the front ones noticeably. And I feel like crying alot. I've had to step back and take a break from all of "this world" and it's pain. I simply cannot cope right now without losing my marbles completely. I feel terrible, like an unreliable friend and I just wanted you all to know that it's not for lack of caring that I've disappeared. I'm starting to lose my stuffing and it's falling out so fast I can't stuff it back in quick enough right now. The term barely hanging on by a thread describes me to a tee and I'm sure if I don't get in to see someone soon I'm gonna end up taking a medically induced vacation. Sorry guys. Thought I was dealing with things better than I am. Realizing just how fucked up I am right now has been hard. Avoidance has kept me together for the most part but hasn't solved anything that I'm gonna have to deal with and before I grind my teeth down to little nubs of nothingness I wanted you all to know I love you and miss talking with you, miss the closeness of sisterhood I feel when I am keeping in touch. However, I tend to isolate like I've got the plague when I'm down and it truly is just me and always has been. And I know I'm going to really need some support here soon. So I thought I'd check in and let you all know I haven't checked out quite yet but I have some shit to get dealt with before I completely end up hollow. Please think of me from time to time and send some positive vibes my way.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Some Days

I really fucking hate my life....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

For Lorelei

I've been hit hard by grief again these past few weeks and I'm not quite sure whether it's been all the recent news of births and pregnancies, new hope and new beginnings. In my saddest moments as of late the "raison d'etre" of my grief has shifted and taken on a new focus, one that should have been apparent to me all along but has suddenly become quite clear. My beautiful daughter is grieving. Still. Not just for her brother or her "Gramma Beverley" who recently passed away, but for her parents and for being "abandoned" by us when Calvin died. This has become very clear lately in my darlings behaviour, her need for mellowdramatic expression, her "emergencies" and attention seeking, and her in endless need to be reassured of our love for her. The dawning realization that I have failed her as a mother has broken my heart into pieces his past week and has resurfaced some issues and resentments over the way Shane and I were isolated after Calvin's funeral. I'm angry. I'm angry at myself for not being better equiped to deal with my grief AND not just my newborn's needs but my three year old's as well. I'm angry at family who instead of helping maintain a sense of normal for Lorelei when Shane and I were falling apart, turned their backs telling us we needed our "privacy". My girl has a wounded soul and it's taken me this long to realize it. She's preoccupied with a fear of death, terrified that any minor wound or illness may become fatal. She's resentful of the sister who took so much of what little I had left to give when Calvin died. She's prone to fits of histrionics and frequently reverts back to lap sitting and baby talking. In truth her behaviour is so aggravating some days that I was terrified to send her to kindergarten this year, terrified the teacher and other students would reject her. I'm so protective of her that I feel compelled to share what we've been through as a family while inside I'm silently pleading, "Please, please, be kind to her, remember what she's lost". My heart breaks for poor girl. Looking back now, I wish I had called up our friends and family and asked them to take Lorelei for some fun, to show her that although our life was continuing in a different way, that there was still going to be someone she could rely on when mom and dad weren't at our best. I wish they had called and offered to give her some extra attention and love while we were in mourning. I don't know why they didn't. I wish for her sake they had....And now I'm angry and hurt and feeling guilty for what she endured and is STILL enduring because of how our family grief was handled. I wonder at times in my exasperation with her behaviour if she will ever be okay and I wonder if it's right to expect this of her when I'm not sure I will ever be okay myself. And I feel stupid for taking this long to realize just how much my daughter is hurting.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Joy and Sorrow...

Seems like I just can't have one without the other. I'm emotional lately, seems like there are so many beautiful babies , rainbow babies being born in the loss community. And I am joyful, oh so joyful for their safe arrivals into loving arms who have waited an eternity to mother them. These babies and their mothers certainly have a special place in my heart and I have shed many, many tears of joy upon reading of another new arrival. However......with this joy comes an old sorrow, this persistent longing for another babe of my own to cradle in my arms, another chance to smell the delicious scent of newborn skin and hair. I'm feeling sorry for myself in a most pitiful way. Sorry I tied my tubes. Sorry for my age and all the worry that comes with it when one is thinking about conceiving, sorry for my son and my missed opportunity to mother twins. I feel selfish and ugly for feeling these things and I wish to hell I didn't. Because I don't begrudge ANY momma their babies, I just want another one of my OWN. It really stinks, this land of indecision. I can afford IVF now but I'm so very AFRAID of what might happen and what would happen to me in the aftermath of another loss but the calling to be uncomfortable and full of rolling, stretching baby is overwhelming me and I wonder just how on earth they all did it. How do you say goodbye to your precious child and then find the courage and the strength to overcome the fear and sadness to try again. And in some cases, again and again. I wonder if the price I'd pay for this longing would end up being my emotional wellbeing in the end, but then again I don't feel emotionally well NOW. I feel incomplete. I want another baby but I am terrified to take a chance to go through with the steps it will take to get to what I want. What if it fails? What if I produce another child who has a defect that costs him or her their life again? What if I CAN'T get pregnant anymore, even with IVF? The more I try not to think about it and just live my life, the more rainbow babies seem to be arriving....and while I know it's far from true, I feel like I am the ONLY one who has lost a child and then not gone on to have another. I am so very, very torn. And while yes, I am very full of joy for you all, I am at the same time filled with my own sorrow and longing. I miss my son. To this day I miss him with every beat of my heart. Time hasn't healed me, it's merely given me a reprieve in between moments of gutwrenching pain. I think I'm beginning to realize it will probably always be this way although the moments in between will continue to grow further and further apart. This stinks. I wish I could just push it all away and celebrate for you my friends, without that pain twisting in my gut and the echoes in my head of what could have been.....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2011...A Year of Change

I have a feeling this year will be a year of upheaval and change for me. Not necessarily a bad thing but for someone who has issues dealing with change, it's going to knock me out of my comfort zone. Shane and I are moving. We've decided to move to another province, where the cost of living is lower and where we can actually afford to buy our own home. I've decided to go back to school once we're settled, and pursue a degree in nursing hoping eventually to specialize in either pediatrics or labour and delivery. It's terrifying and exciting all at the same time. We are taking a huge chance in moving away from friends and family and shutting down the business that has sustained us since Lorelei's birth in 2005. It feels right. I owe my children so much more then I have been able to provide for them and the last two years have been extremely difficult for us financially. Although our children are not aware of how bad things have been for us, the stress of trying to provide enough food and keep our shelter has worn me out emotionally. My marriage has suffered and in return, I haven't been the most attentive mother I could have been. My mother's gift is going to provide so much for our family, and I am so grateful. Where we are looking to move, we can purchase a home outright for under 300K. Which will leave me with enough money to take the five years it will take to get my degree in nursing. That's huge. With the economy in BC being as rocky as it's been for the last few years, the construction industry has lost it's appeal for us. I'm tired of being underbid, underpaid and generally under appreciated. I am also tired of relying on my husband to support our family. It's caused too many problems between us and left me feeling powerless and resentful during the hard times. I don't want to feel that way anymore. I want to be able to have a career that will carry us through the hard times, when things aren't going well for Shane in business and I want to be able to not worry constantly about finances. Not having to worry about the cost of shelter will be an enormous relief for us and I am excited about finally having a place I can call my own. The positives of these changes far outweigh the negatives...even though it means leaving Calvin behind. We won't go until my mother is buried with him and we will continue to pay the reservation fees for the plot next to our son so that eventually we will lay beside him for eternity. However, I have that mother's guilt...the nagging voice that tells me I'm a terrible mother for moving away from my son's grave. It's not going to be easy and I'm sure I will question many, many times whether we're doing the right thing, however I know this is what I need to do for Lorelei and Georgia to give them the stability growing up that they deserve. After all we have been through as a family, I owe my children a stable home and a life not dictated by being broke all the time. It's a change I very much look forward to...and I'll be keeping you posted as things progress for us. All my love...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tis the Season

Well, it's that time of year again and the holidays are suddenly upon us. Oddly, despite the death of my mother last month, I have been looking forward to Christmas this year. It's the first Christmas since Calvin died that I've actually been excited for the day, the traditions, the Christmas cheer. In fact, I wasn't at all anticipating any feelings of grief to sneak in and make me feel blue, that is until tonite. It's now a quarter to four in the morning and my mind won't shut off. I can't stop thinking about Calvin, my mind has been seized on thoughts of him since earlier this evening when I was wrapping presents for the girls. Suddenly, a tiny thought snuck in, the thought of how wonderful it would be if he were here, how fun it would be to watch him opening presents with Georgia and Lorelei on Christmas morning. That tiny thought became a tidal wave of sadness and suddenly I felt hollow again, that horrible empty feeling that I've been trying desperately to fill since Calvin flew away. Shane didn't notice my tears. I kept my sadness to myself, hoping not to bring the heaviness of grief to dampen our good spirits. But since then I can't stop thinking of my son, of being pregnant with him and Georgia, the joy I felt when I found out I was expecting two babies. It seems like a lifetime ago. While it's only just been two years since our twins were born and Calvin died, it feels like a hundred and I can't remember back to a time where grief didn't intrude on my happier moments.

It occurred to me tonite to get his things out. To retrieve his bloody sleeper, the one he died in, from the trunk of his belongings and hold it and smell it to see if it still smelled of him. I stifled the urge but I can't seem to shut off my head. The memories of him rolling and kicking inside me, of holding him in the delivery room keep playing like a film loop behind my eyes. I remember everything about him, how he felt, how he smelled, how he felt in my arms, and how soft his hair was against my lips. When I think of him in eternal sleep under a blanket of soft white snow it makes me indescribably sad. I wish I could wish it all away. I wish I could make the sadness disappear forever. I wish my life was more like the times I close my eyes and imagine him here, running with Georgia, curls flying amidst squeals of laughter. My family is incomplete. I imagine I will always feel this way, this hollow ache in my stomach when I think of him, tears when I least expect them. I keep waiting for the magic of time to soften the edges of the pain but I'm coming to realize that time doesn't do that, it just keeps the pain at bay for longer stretches of time. It still hurts just as much, just not as often. I know I'm not the only one feeling the sting of sadness during the holidays, it's just that time of year. I wish I knew how to fix it, for me and for you mamas who are also hurting right now. The best I can do is to wish you all peace and hope that the love that surrounds you this Christmas soothes the ache in your hearts. Me, I'm gonna go stuff my face with cookies....