Sunday, April 27, 2014

7/4/10 July 4th

Today was one of those blindside days.  Once again, just like they talk about in the grief books.  And once again, it’s so different to experience than read about.  At least I know it’s normal, one advantage of educating myself - maybe I’ll end up with a Bachelor’s in Grief.  They have those, right?  As long as I don’t get a PhD in it, maybe I’ll survive the program.  Unlike Mother’s and Father’s Day, Anna’s would-have-been-1/2 birthday, etc etc, this Fourth of July took me by surprise.  It hasn’t been on my radar at all, just another day, just like in years past.  Except I woke up this morning cranky - like, teenage cranky.  No good reason, just testy and wanting to be left alone, stick my fingers in my ears, squeeze my eyes shut and sing LALALALALA just to shut everything out and everyone up.  Brad and I worked in the yard a bit, accomplished a couple of things that have been on our To Do list for weeks.  After a shower, I couldn’t deny any longer that it was sadness I was fighting, a wanting of something I can’t have, a deep dark cry from my soul that our daughter wasn’t here to dress up in red, white and blue and experience her first fireworks display.  Would she be startled?  Enchanted?  Would she pay attention at all?  Even be awake?  Would it be too hot to even venture out with her?  Would she have fit in that bright tiny hand-me-down swimsuit hanging on her crib?  And oh, how much fun we would have had at our friends pool-party yesterday, getting her used to the water and letting her slap and kick away with awkward and uncoordinated limbs, discovering herself in the water.  What would she look like, who would she be....the same questions we’ll be asking ourselves for the rest of our lives.  For the first time in what feels like a long time, I stopped trying to rise above and just let myself cry, long and hard and ongoing, until the tears became a trickle instead of a storm.

Brad, bless him, as if he doesn’t have enough emotion on his plate, sat with me and shared that he too, was having a hard time today.   This was a holiday he’d looked forward to when we were pregnant.  He’d wanted to take Anna up for a neighborhood parade, one of his own favorite childhood experiences and memories.  Share his own childhood, create ‘next generation’ memories with his daughter.  Share her with old friends and neighbors.  Maybe especially poignant given the possibility that his Dad may need to leave their childhood home at some point in the next weeks, months or year.  (Or not.  No one quite knows, yet.)   For as potent as my own grief is, it loses it’s umphf for me in the face of Brad’s dreams for Daddy-Daughter moments.  I wish I want I wish for him to have those... the same mechanism that wants to protect him and help him through Father’s Day and this health/aging stuff with his Dad.  

Speaking of which, there was a grand total of 4 people that acknowledged Father’s Day to Brad.  Myself, my parents, someone in our support group and a member of his family.   He says he wasn’t really looking for alot of recognition, and I know it’s really none of my business.  As long as he’s okay it should all be okay.  But the truth is, I’m angry.   I didn’t figure a jillion people should or would be knocking on the door or sending texts or cards or whatever, and I’m fully aware that most people don’t acknowledge any other father than their own.  It’s not like we send cards or call all our friends who are fathers that day.  I just thought that this time, this first Father’s Day, there would be a little more of a show of support, an extended gesture of recognition that this day would be so sad and difficult for Brad.  Especially from those men who are fathers and whose children mean the world to them.    I’m just mad, disappointed, frustrated, wanting to protect Brad and wanting to control something I have no control over.   Fruitful way to spend my time and energy, I know.  This is a prime example of this blog being part update and part journal!!

The picture of all that food above by the way, is at Father’s House in Kiev, a feast the staff put on for the mission trip members of August 2008.   Still don’t know exactly why God was so strong about having me go there...another part of this mysterious path we’re on.  

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