Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On the 9th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

I know, traditionally the 12 days of Christmas are celebrated starting Christmas day until Epiphany in January but I liked the idea of celebrating it leading up to Christmas.  I got the idea from a blog I read pretty regularly.  The main point is to just bless your husband in some way on each of the 12 days leading up to or after Christmas.  I must tell you that this has been so much fun for me and by day 6 I could really tell he was enjoying it too, wondering what he would be getting each new day.  I didn't spend much money at all, as a matter of fact most of the things would have been stocking stuffers, and I just had to get creative with some of the other days, but it has been so fun to give him a little something everyday relating to the number of the day.  So, here is what he has gotten so far:

Day 1 - Love and Respect book (he had asked for for his birthday)
Day 2 - gloves
Day 3 - 3 chocolate bars
Day 4 - 1 box of poptarts has 4 packs in it.  A yummy treat!
Day 5 - 5 pack of underwear
Day 6 - 6 bottles of Henry's Root Beer
Day 7 - 7 letters.  Matthew has 7 letters so I wrote him a name poem.
Day 8 - 8 oz can of peppermint hot cocoa
Day 9 - 9 I love you notes that he will find in various places around the house and online today! (maybe he will write a note sharing where he found each of his "I love you" notes later.)
Day 10-12 - shhhhh... it's a secret, I can't tell yet.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Dark Days

Photo Credit
As I write this I am not sure why I am writing it, except to let my feelings out and possibly help others who are on this path behind us, which I guess is why I started this blog in the first place.  So, if you are one of those who have been asked, no, forced (because we had no choice in losing our loved one), to walk this valley, these are some emotions that you most likely will encounter... And if you are reading this just to hear how we are doing, thank you for understanding our roller coaster emotions.

Somedays I just need to cry.  Somedays the emotions are so overwhelming I don't want to get out of bed.  If not for Lucy there are days I am certain I would have stayed in bed.  Crying, sleeping, trying to make the real world go away, feeling sorry for myself and dwelling on my little one taken from me, wishing she were in my arms again.   I'm sure many of you know what I am talking about.

November 19 marked 3 months without Aimee, November 21 was my birthday and November 24 was Thanksgiving.  A dark week indeed.  Most of it I felt like crying.  If anyone even mentioned Aimee, although I was glad they were thinking of her and wanted to express that, I would tear up.  In order to have a "happy" Thanksgiving I made Matt and my brothers and sister play games with me all evening (luckily, they didn't really mind).

But those are the days one would expect to be having a difficult time.  The days that I know will come and will have to somehow muddle through.

I was surprised at the emotions that came when I went for my postpartum exam, even just sitting in the waiting room was VERY difficult.  I expressed the emotions to my doctor and he said it is very normal and to be aware that it will probably happen with every thing I go back to doing as I start entering into 'normal' life again and he let me leave the office through the "secret door".  Sure enough, the first time I took Lucy back to story time at the library was hard, the first time I subbed at day care again was hard and I had even seen the kids and Andrea (my friend and the owner) prior.  Going to the dentist, of all things, was difficult.  Why the dentist?  He and his wife are on the same 'baby schedule' as Matt and I.  They have a boy a month older than Lucy and I knew they were expecting a girl a month after Aimee.  Getting back to "normal" is difficult.  In the beginning it was hard to see babies that I could tell were about the age Aimee would be, however that seems to have gotten better, so when I went to peak at a newborn of a woman I had met I was not ready for the overwhelming emotions that came.  I could hardly contain my grief and was in a public place!  I'm sorry I put her in an awkward place but am so thankful for my friend that was standing right beside me to help me through.  I have also realized it is not a good idea for me to linger in the infant aisle like I used to. (Why does all the toddler stuff still have to be with the infant stuff?)

At other times the emotions just come and I can't understand why.  Like yesterday.  I will seem to be having a great day with most things going well and all of a sudden it hits like a wall and becomes very difficult to function.  I have a hard time playing with Lucy or even being up and around.  All I want is to go to bed and sleep and cry the day away.  I feel like the world is moving happily along and yet I can't put one foot in front of the other.  I'm sure others can see the grief in my face, posture, or weakness of body but it is hard to talk to people about my feelings when I am in the midst of it because I know it will make me cry more and if I cry more it's not only exhausting, it hurts more from the headache it causes.  So, I trudge on and try to stay up and alert and not fall apart too much in front of Lucy.

I have always been a pretty emotional person and have never really liked that, I've thought of it as a weakness to overcome.  Over the last year I guess I have really learned that I need to be ok with my emotions.

I found this at the end of one of those mass emails I was sent awhile ago.  I thought it was perfect for this post:
'Life isn't about
how to survive the storm,
But how to dance
in the rain.'

And how does one dance in the rain?  Reflect on God's goodness and the things He has given me.  Try to engage with my Lucy, or just sit and watch her play and listen to her laugh.  Hug my husband and allow him to comfort me or cry with me, whichever he needs to do that day.  And if I really need to let my brain veg out; watch a TV show or read a book.

How about you?  What are some ways you learn to dance in the rain?