Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I'm Back! For Real This Time. I hope.

I'm so sorry for letting so much time pass between posts.  Gosh, lately I feel like that's all I'm saying.  "I'm sorry for not finishing that."  "I'm sorry for not calling."  "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry."  And while I am trying to get caught up on a lot of things, life has also been crazy-busy as well.  Plus, the reality is that I'm reaching a point where I can't use Mom as an excuse, even if she very much is the reason why some things haven't been done.  So, in an attempt to update you on everything, I'm going to write an epic post.

- I'll start with Mom's memorial.  Let me say that it was everything I could have hoped it would be.  We had the perfect number of people, and things flowed so smoothly.  I had a lot of help in planning it out, and I'm so grateful to the people who did help.  Without them I doubt I would have gotten anything done.  I'm also extremely grateful to the people who came long distances just to honor Mom.  My aunt came from AZ, a friend came from CA, and some friends came from TN.  That's quite a ways to go, but it tells me that Mom meant a lot to them as well.

One thing that really amazed me was how much of a release I felt after the memorial.  I thought I was handling things really well, but after the memorial I felt an actual weight off my shoulders.  It wasn't until after the memorial that I could even think about tackling paper work like calling banks and paying bills.  I'm not saying it's easy now, but it's definitely doable.  I finally felt like I could breathe.  I felt like I had actually said goodbye.

I should say, though, that I still miss Mom every day.  I talk to her all the time, and I'm often brought to tears thinking of her.  The hardest is at night, when I'm rocking Anna to sleep.  I'll sing lullabies to her that Mom often sang to me, and it makes me miss Mom so much.  There's one in particular that Mom tried to sing to me about a week before she passed.  She couldn't remember the words anymore, but she tried so hard.  Thinking of that makes me both happy and sad at the same time.  I hope Mom knows how much I loved her.

- As I said earlier, the day after Mom's memorial brought a new-found lightness.  I felt happy.  I felt release.  That was, however, until the evening.  That night, a friend who was staying us for the memorial received news that her sister and nieces had been murdered.  We were with her when she got this news, and we did our best to help her process and get home safely.  I was shocked at how much this affected me.  Admittedly, I think it would have been a lot easier had I not been dealing with the death of my own mother, but my reaction still shook me.

I think I suddenly became acutely aware of just how fragile this life is.  I had little panic attacks whenever I had to leave Anna.  I still took her to daycare, but I would often drop off late and pick up early because I just needed to have a little more time with her.  I would hug her ferociously and give her lots of kisses.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the panic that fueled it was.  I had to figure out what to do.

So, I finally faced that fear.  I was / am scared of losing those closest to me.  Some psycho could take them from me, or cancer to strike again, or heart disease could hit, or a simple accident could take those I love most.  Or, it could take me from them.  This is horrifying.  So, what can I do about it?  Well, I could shutter myself in my house and only eat organic greens my whole life, but that's not any sort of life I want to live.  Or, I could cherish every moment I'm here.  I could cherish every laugh, every tear, every hug, every kick from Anna.  I could cherish every moment Hans and I get to spend together.  I could cherish every day I'm able to work and every day I get with Cody, Lollie, Kyla, & Alex.  It's not always easy, and there are certainly times that I want to pull my hair out, but all I have to do is take a deep breath and say, "This moment will pass and will never return.  How do you want to handle this?"  I personally feel it makes me a better person.  It also makes me less apt to tolerate B-S.  I don't have time to deal with mean people or lazy people.  I'm going to address things head on instead of trying to put up with them.  It has really helped.  I mean, I still have little panic attack moments, but they're getting better.

- In the realm of 'living in the moment,' Hans and I actually, finally, got a vacation.  We spent the last week with Anna, Cody, Lollie, and Hans' family at the beach in North Carolina.  That was definitely an amazing, WONDERFUL experience.  We went kayaking, biking, running.  I tried SUP (something I've always wanted to do).  We finished each day exhausted, but beyond happy.  Anna did as well as she could, although I think she was sometimes overwhelmed by all the people (yes, she's my child).  Really, it was fantastic just having so much family time.  And, the big news is that Anna started walking!  I honestly feel as though we left for the beach with an infant and came back with a toddler.  The transition was sudden (time is fleeting), and amazing.

Super happy baby's first time on the beach.
Best kayaking buddies ever.
Trying SUP for the first time.  Cody was a champ!  I love my dog!
So tired after the beach.  She slept on my chest for about 30 minutes.  It was wonderful.
So, I'm living life to the fullest.  I'm trying to see friends more.  I'm treating my body better by eating better, but I'm still enjoying little treats (like the doughnut I had this morning).  I'm keeping a better house, because it makes me feel good about myself.  I'm not perfect, and I still have moments where I sulk or get really cranky, but I'm working on it.