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 help...to pay...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 sale...do 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.