01-11-11 / A Much Needed Good Day
I find that most of my ramblings are pretty sad and sorrowful and I don’t want to be the sad point in everyone’s day so I will stay up late and report on good days along with the bad. I crossed one of the hardest bridges yet today; I walked into my job and faced so many people that love me more than I think I realized. I brought my trustee sidekick, Aaden, to protect me. As ridiculous as it sounds I honestly felt safe and confident because he was with me, this poor little guy has quite the job taking care of his mommy. If I couldn’t have Aaron there with me, he was the next best thing. My parents offered to go, as I wrote in the previous post, but they have really endured so much already I thought I would spare them this little thing. I had a horrible feeling in my gut when I pulled into the parking lot; I really thought I was going to vomit. This is a place I hold very dear to me, full of people I love so much and here I am dreading our first encounters. I honestly almost drove straight through the parking lot and back to I10 to head to the comfort of my home; I’m so very thankful that I didn’t.
Before we left the house this morning Aaden decided he wanted to bring his giant T-Rex that his Aunt Amber had gotten him for Christmas; I have no energy for arguments so the T-Rex made the trip to Orange. I was hoping we would get to school and he would be so excited to be there that he would forget about his “toy of the day”; I wasn’t so lucky. I had to unload T-Rex first and then Aaden would agree to get out of the car and put his jacket on. Turns out, T-Rex was his own little blessing in disguise. When a 3 year old, that refuses to be 3 because he wants to stay 2, is carrying around a giant dinosaur it has a way of breaking the ice. We walked in the door and I had my “I’m going to be alright” smile on my face and out comes Mr. Smith, my boss and Aaden’s other Paw Paw; I have to admit that same sick feeling overwhelmed me and my instincts told me to run and hide. There was a man waiting out front to talk with Mr. Smith and part of me was hoping he was coming out to greet that man and walk him into his office; it’s amazing how many thoughts run through your head in a split second. The man was standing there with his hand outstretched to shake Mr. Smith’s hand and Mr. Smith walked right by him and right up to me to wrap his arms around me; that’s a boss you simply can’t replace. He then squatted down to get on Aaden’s level to talk to him about his T-Rex, never asking me any questions or making any pitiful faces that would induce tears, he just showered us with the same love he always does. Mr. Smith and the man that was waiting to meet with him along with Aaden and T-Rex proceeded to Mr. Smith’s office, Mr. Smith was carrying that stupid dinosaur like a child on his hip; Paw Paws do that kind of stuff for the babies they love. When Aaden comes to work with mom, he’s the boss, he runs things around there and he loves it. He stayed in his Paw Paw’s office for what seemed like hours to me, I’m not sure exactly how long but Mr. Smith never came and asked me to get my child and the only time he sent him out was when one of the students was getting pops. At one point I looked in his office and he was at his desk, Aaden was in a chair, T-Rex had the other chair occupied and the lady that was in there meeting with Mr. Smith was standing for lack of a place to sit. I’m sure if it would have been a lengthy visit Mr. Smith would have made T-Rex get up, but his patience and understanding with my boy are things I cherish in him. After Aaden spent forever monopolizing his Paw Paw’s time, he got to spend a good amount of time pretending to be a kindergartener. Heather took him on as a new student for a while, she even let him make a snowflake with her class and she hung it right in the middle of the bulletin board in the hall. She said he wanted his snowflake to have triangles in it, which is the only shape he cares to talk about; his has plenty of triangles in it. Needless to say she had to shower him with gifts to make him leave with me, those gifts consisted of a sucker and a pair of scrap booking scissors. Thanks to Heather, the fake scissors we let him play with at home are no longer sufficient. I am thankful that he had such a fun day, I think he thought today was all about him; then again, what day isn’t?
At this point, the ice had been broken! What a relief! Judy had come out to greet us too and walk with us into the office where I spent the next several hours. I couldn’t physically bring myself to walk through the halls; it’s amazing how quickly you become paralyzed in situations like this. It worked out just fine because people came to me. I have to say I only got one really severe look of pity and I know she meant well but that’s “the look” I so dread. The look that says, “oh you poor girl”, I don’t like it. The ones that know me best just hugged me, yelled at me and even had one punch me in the arm; it might seem a bit harsh to some but it made things easier to bear. One of my sweet friends came to see me; I think it took her a while to get the courage to walk to the office because she was simply able to walk in, hug me tight and then had to leave; she was clearly fighting back tears. She told me that she had a little something for me in her room but I was a little scared to go down there because I hate upsetting people. I hate thinking that people are crying because of me; I know I shouldn’t worry about that because they cry out of love for me but it kills me to know I’m the source of anyone’s pain. She assured me that it was safe to enter so I worked up my own source of courage to enter our huge, never ending hallway and walk to her room; that wasn’t easy on me either but I did it and that’s one more hurdle I don’t have to leap over later. The little gift she gave me is a book I will always hold dear to my heart; she’ll never know how much it means to me that she took the time to research other people’s stories and find just the right book for me.
As I was sitting in the office I noticed a little piece of paper taped behind Judy’s head; it was a heart with angel wings and a halo; I couldn’t help but think it had something to do with my situation. I never said anything about it but she finally brought it up and what she said struck me as thoughtful but odd. She asked if the angel wings bothered me; I am not bothered by them, it is quite the opposite; I am very touched that they would do that for my little one and myself. Some might see them as a constant reminder of my situation but let’s all be very honest right now, I have a constant reminder wiggling around inside of me 24/7, there isn’t anything more constant than that. I look at those wings as a reminder to those that aren’t carrying my child, I see them as a way for people to think of me and maybe offer up a tiny prayer on our behalf throughout the day. I love where I work and what we all stand for, a family by choice. We choose to love each other the way we do; we all get under each other’s skin at times but we just truly love each others guts (for lack of a classier way to word it).
I was also greeted with floods of emails concerning a fundraiser that our other group of friends will be hosting. How honored we really feel at this point. These are friends that I’ve had for a very long time and though we’ve been through some rough patches; we love each other and they are here for us now. We have “grown up” together so to speak. Most of us did not meet until well into our adult lives but we were all still very young and very dumb; we’ve all watched each other blossom into what we are now. Anyone that knew us in the past would say that we are nothing short of a miracle. This experience has shown me how much I need all of these people in my life; from my WT gang that I have had for so many years to my work friends that I’ve only had for a short time. I need those daily texts; at this point I need to know the exact moment people are thinking of me. Does that seem a little selfish? Maybe. People will never know the impact that a “thinking of you today” text has on someone in mine and Aaron’s shoes. I’ve sent them myself in the past but I’ve never been in such dire need of hearing those words; I now know how important it is to let my friends know that I’m thinking of them during tough times.
One person said to me today, “other people have it way worse”. This might strike a cord with some of you and make you think, “how dare someone say that to her at this point in time?” but she is so right. Aaron and I have sat and talked about the ways that our situation is still better than that of other people. Our minds seem crystal clear when we talk through these things. God has given that gift of clarity to us. We know that our baby is going to die, there are some moms out there that lay their healthy baby down at night or even for a nap to find them nonresponsive and not breathing; to have and hold my baby for months and unexpectedly lose him would be a pain that I cannot wrap my mind around. I am losing my baby, this is a pain I’ve never felt and I pray to God I never have to feel again; but I am well aware that my pain could be worse. I am well aware that God has granted us peace, comfort (even on the worst days) and clarity of thought to be able to process the hand we have been dealt. I cannot imagine going through this as a nonbeliever; I’m not so sure I had full faith in the power of prayer until this particular time in our lives. I can testify to the fact that we physically feel the prayers, there was a marked difference in our outlook from the time we were facing this alone to the moment word got out; it spread like wildfire and people hit their knees. I know some people just say, “you’re in my thoughts and prayers” because that’s the right thing to say; I’ve been guilty of saying those words and not following through with them myself; but people are praying, we feel it.
Today was not only a good day; I would call it a very good day. I can’t go so far as to say a great day just yet but I know that is coming. There are good days and bad days ahead and those will be there for years to come I’m sure; I know one thing is certain; I love where I am in my walk with God and my relationship with my husband. I love the friends that have been strategically placed in my life and I love the bond we will always have because of my precious baby boy.
Tomorrow is a new day, I pray it resembles this one!