Friday, November 30, 2007

What it feels like

Why is it that, everytime I sit down to write something happens? A phone call, my son...choosing that moment to have a blowout (he has, for such a sweet boy, a horrendous temper), a headache etc... So, here I am with 45 minutes left to go to say that I did it (!) I posted every day. It did make me realize that I could never, not ever, do a novel in a month...even though I've signed up two years running. Sigh...

I have been thinking of (or being haunted by) this. This that has happened to us. About the days that led up to this. About what it is or isn't to be me anymore.

It feels like being a ghost. Being tied down to this house...this half family...and knowing that I have to be whether I want to drift away or not. I sometimes stand in front of the medicine cabinet, looking at all of those meds thinking,"It wouldn't be so very bad...and think of the savings in copays..." and hearing or thinking of my children and mentally slapping myself for wanting so very badly to give up so many times. And so the medicine goes down.

I hate having to explain to people that my husband is gone. I hate having to face the reality of that. I will be the crazy lady who never took her husband's name off the house...because she didn't have to.

Driving down streets...stopping at the light on the corner and looking at the door of the bar he used to walk to with Luke (and took me to once). Envisioning him, holding that door...and then realizing for the 800th time that he's not in this world with me anymore.

"You were the only one who ever believed in me, trusted me and loved me no matter what... and I'm sorry I didn't always realize that..." Sometimes he would run to his mother, even though he had been let down so many times by them, to take care of. Because that is who he was. That is what he said,"I'm sorry" for that night. But it was okay...because I was the one he came home to every night. But it ended up being not okay.

Not okay because I think back to times he asked me to go with him and I didn't want to deal with the sometimes sad moments experienced...the personal pain for me. I think back on those times and want to change them. I want to have gone because it would have been one more hour I would have spent with him.

It is hearing the jets fly overhead and thinking back to that day of the airshow and how wonderful it was...and yet not wanting to think about it because it seems like yesterday only he's not in this world with me anymore to remember it with.

"I am a burden to you..." said the man who saved my life, who sat in countless hospital rooms, woke up every day (never taking a sick day) at 4:30 to work for us. Coming home to mow, and trim and fix, repair or replace anything before sitting in his chair smiling over at me and saying," I love this life..."

Two and a half days, 60 hours,(God that sounds so much less than it felt at the time) destroyed my life, my love and my future. Bitter, bitter, bittersweet memories of hands in my hair, hugs, listening to his heartbeating under my head on Friday night. Talking through the morning...afternoon...and evening on Saturday. "We'll start looking for land on Monday" "I can't wait to teach James how to drive." "We're going to take a vacation..." "You are the best mommy in the world." "I don't ever want to lose you..." and my returning,"We have to die on the same day because I cannot imagine life without you." And picking up James from our friends', because he wanted him home. Stopping to have a cup of coffee as I often did and having him call. "Are you guys coming? I miss you and I want to see my boy." Watching Charlotte's Web together with James and,"You are such a good boy...we are lucky aren't we Mama?" and then a headache came and he couldn't sleep. So I put cool washrags on his head, kissed him so very many times and gave him a benadryl. Going to bed later than I should have (God I hate myself for that) and realizing he wanted me there in bed, my big strong man, so that he could fall asleep. Of being blissful...not realizing that we would never share that bed again and it would, in a day's time, become the collector of all the things I didn't want to look at at the moment...and there are so many that even that cat can't lay there and cry for him anymore.

I think about waking up to a happy,"I slept really well, once you came to bed." Having coffee (too much as always) and watching him out the window as he worked on the lawn with James. James wanting to go to the zoo and his daddy saying,"that sounds like a good idea." I remember the clothes I grabbed to head for the shower. I swear, when he opened the door to talk to me he said,"We're running to the store, do you need anything? I'll be right back" Finding it funny that he didn't rip back the curtain as he always did, but stood in the doorway with his head turned away. Thinking about that as I finished rinsing away my face wash. I remember hearing noise as I got dressed and saying,"Hang on guys...I'll come with." and opening the door to James saying,"Daddy left without me." Later I found out he had sent him out to "get something..." so that he could leave without him. At least James told me,"Daddy told me to run to the garage for-" what it was I can't remember.

I sat at the kitchen table (the light is better there) to put on my makeup, having decided to be less frumpy and more of the girl he fell in love with. There came a time when I realized that he had been gone for 45 minutes...not so very long, but it felt like forever. The house is/was never "right" without him and the children there. Even James noticing,"Daddy's been gone a long time. The phone (my cell) rang and it was him. I expected it to be,"Run down to the furnace room and look at the filter size" and/or "coffee's on we need any" It wasn't. (God this is so hard to write but I need to...for me) It was,"I love you. God I love you so much. Tell Nik I love her and I am so very proud of her. Tell James I love him and I am so proud of him. I love you Laura...I love you so much. I never wanted to hurt you. I don't want to hurt you..." me trying to ask him what he meant, begging him to come home, asking where he was...Being drowned out by" I love you so very much..." and the beep-beep-beep that happens when a phone gets hung up. Trying to call him back. No answer. Begging him to tell me what was going on on his voicemail. Calling his best friend to go get him. To talk to him. Never once suspecting. Because that was not the voice of a man who wanted to die. It was the voice of a man with a twisted sense of duty, obligation and protecting his family. I hate his father for that. For making it okay.

I remember calling my girlfriend (the wife of his best friend) as I drove to him, asking if she had heard from them. I remember turning that corner, seeing the ambulances...and the police. And screaming. Screaming so loud. Feeling my heart rip free from my chest and begin a painful bounce. Engine running. His truck...running to him... being stopped by a policeman who wanted to "talk." I didn't talk, but I couldn't get to him. His best friend,"I'm so sorry... and what the hell?" The scratch of the carpet under my face as I clung to the floor..."she needs sedation..."

"I NEED my baby...I want my husband...bring me my baby..." and they never did. And I never saw him again on this earth. Only his hands. And the pain and the shock...and all of it. Stigma of trying to get people to believe that we were happy. No hang ups, no addictions...just a normal family. Our general practioner, in disbelief, saying he couldn't understand it. He was healthy...both physically and mentally. Replay, replay...replay... How can I change this? How can I fix this? I can't believe that I can't.

All I want is my husband. My anger toward his father for making this "okay" is great. Telling his mother that he never once blamed her for leaving when he was 12...but not being able to say that neither did I. All I want is to start the last 15 years of my life over again.

I know "why" which most people don't get the luxury of in this situation. I just can't wrap my head around the fact that this was after everything was going to be okay...

The day his father died, he promised me. And I believed him. I still do.

I did write this entry for myself. I had to. To spill some of the horrible, horrible pain out somewhere.


Anonymous said...

We love you Laura...I don't know what else to say except that we love you, and we're here... *hug*

-Heather & Mike

Anonymous said...

My heart weeps for your incredible loss.

Anonymous said...

I am so very sorry.

Laurie said...

I love you too Laura and my heart is just broken for you. I am so sorry you have carried this heart wrenching burden all alone. I love you more and am praying you get a glimpse of peace in your heart tonight. This took so much courage for you to share. I am here for you. Praying for you, asking God to hold you in His arms and never let you go.
Peaceful sleep for you tonight I pray,
Love, Laurie in Ca.

The girl left behind said...

We will all help you carry it. I'm so sorry, Larua.

griefshapedheart said...

When a close friend of mine died, I remember seeing things she had touched or worn. I couldn't understand how these useless things had outlasted her. I wasn't able to get it through my head how these small, temporal items were still here when the beautiful, vivacious girl I had known was gone. How could the mundane outlast the special and extraordinary? I still don't understand.

Kesha said...

Laura, I have no wonderful words of wisdom only much love and caring for you. I'm so very sorry :(


Haylee said...

Dear Laura:

God bless you, my friend.

I hope you reap some well-deserved peace for your efforts -- that spilling some pain will make room for other - better - things.

My heart hurts for you.

jessica said...

Oh Laura.
I am so sorry. I wish I could take your pain away.

Sending love and healing thoughts.


Marsha said...

Congratulations for getting that done and out, good for you. You are very brave and very strong. I love you too.

Rebecca said...

Oh God honey, I am so sorry. You don't have to carry this alone. I don't know you and I don't know if anyone else here does either, but look at the love and support you've got here. Don't carry this alone, let us help.

Big virtual hugs to you sweetie. You're so much stronger than you know, than any of us ever suspected. And as you can see, so many are here for you.

Betts4 said...

I think that was about three days worth of posts.

The memories are strong. Glad that you were able to write them, for some that helps.

Sending Hugs and warm thoughts your way.

Angie said...

I really hope it helped you to get this out. It was so very brave of you, and I for one, feel honored that you would share something so personal. I really hope you feel all of the love pouring out to you.

Anonymous said...

Came by chance on your blog. I feel your pain and all I can promise is that I will offer up my mass and communion for you this Sunday. It might not seem like much but if you believe in it's value, like I do, then Laura, you will know that I send you my very best gift and wishes. Will check your blog from time to time. God bless.

Woli said...

Laura -

Does Leonard have a cousin named Kathy Woods? I have chills right now. She is new friend of mine, whom I cried with over the devastating loss of her cousin. She described him as very happy and content man who was so devoted to his family. They never imagined he would leave this world like that. He passed away in the same manner on or about the same day as Leonard.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Andrea said...

Laura, I've been reading your blog for awhile now. I feel as though I knew Leonard - you are increasing his legacy through this blog.

You are stronger and braver than you realize - and your children (and you) will benefit from that. Through your honesty in grief you have helped me to fully understand that it could happen to anyone at any moment - thank you for the gift of realization.

I pray for peace in your soul, Laura, and in your household. That God would give you grace enough for each day, and that He would begin the process of healing your heart, little by little, each day.

Jeanette said...

Oh honey..I am praying for you.

Laurie said...

Hi Laura,
Just checking in on you this morning to let you know I love and admire you so much. For the first time in a very long time, I woke through the night with you on my mind. So I just prayed for peace and comfort for you. I am hoping in my heart that you spilling your pain out here has relieved a little pressure for your devastated heart. I am always here for you and all you have to do is ask. My heart is heavy for you sweet friend.

Love you, Laurie

J at said...

Your post broke my heart. I'm so sorry for your loss, and the burden that this has placed on your heart. I'm thinking of you and wishing you well.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry. As everyone has already said, you are so brave to get this out. I hope it brings you some small measure of comfort.

Jess in Nebraska said...

I am so, so sorry. I can't imagine how much pain you are in right now - I hope writing it down helped even a little. You have so many people on here who don't "know" you in person - but care about you tremendously, and hope we can lighten the load in any way possible.

Jess said...

Laura, I am sorry I am late in responding. I admire you so much for posting these very personal thoughts. You are a beautiful person and I am sorry you are hurting so much.



Gina said...

Laura, there are no words for me to say how sorry I am for the loss that you have suffered.

The pain of not knowing must be too much for you to bear.

I hope that sharing this has lifted a bit of the burden off of you.

We do indeed love you, and you are not going through this all alone. It may feel like it, but know that you are not.

Emblita said...

Oh Laura, reading this makes my heart hurt for you. I really really wish that we could make it better.
I do hope that writing about it helped you, if only just a little. I think all of us who read your blog like to think that we can lift your burden a little.
Hugs and all my love

Maya's Granny said...

Dear One, I am so sorry that you have had such a burden to carry. It is good that you have been able to share it; I hope that there is relief for you in having done it.

Donna said...

Don't hold it in...let it all out. Sending lots of love to you and family....

Sharpie said...

Oh Sweetie - well, no wonder the pain is still so fresh - there are just so many unanswered questions left there - out there. I just can't imagine the depths of your pain. I am sending extra virtual hugs tonight.

Misguided Mommy said...

my dad did this when i was 12. for a long time i thought it was okay to when things got hard. but then i had kids. and now reading this helpes me see its never okay, thank you for finally sharing. i'm thinking of you. your sharing helps us keep a clear head!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry, Laura. Your writing helps me, a little, understand what my mom went through, though it will never make complete sense. For my mom, it never got better, and it has been a long, long time.

I know it doesn't at all make sense, but I am so very sorry for you.


Scott said...

Laura, I'm so sorry that you have had to experience this in your life. Like everyone else here I wish I could put you back in time to return to the life you had. But I want to thank you for being as strong as you can be for your kids, although they may not say it your being there for them during the most difficult time of your lives is exactly what they need. And may prove to be exactly what you need as well. Take care.

Jess T said...


Just came in from being out of town.

I'm so very sorry. I hope talking about it helps you. You are NOT alone. I don't even know you, but think of you EVERY day.

Big VA hugs!


The Stevens Family said...


I just had a chance to read your posts from the weekend. I hope this helped to get it out. I'm glad you got your card when you needed it and just know if you need anything, do not hesitate to ask. Hugs to you!!!

Shelly said...

Oh my God, so devastating. I'm so so sorry.

Michele said...

If there is a right or a good thing to say right now, I'll be damned if I know it. I am so sorry, and I understand so much more now about your loss and all of the unanswered questions.
So many hugs and prayers coming your way.

Julie said...

Laura, I am so sorry. Those words are so inadequate for how I feel. I wish there was anything I could say or do to comfort you. All I can think of is to say that you are loved by people you've never met. I hope we can lessen those burdens as time goes on. I also hope you know how often you are in my thoughts, as well as the thoughts of so many others. I have to believe that you can feel those thoughts and loving wishes.


Emily said...

I found your blog through my friend Rachael's (Fancy Hannah) I am so sorry for your devastating loss. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers.