I've been submerged in a grief I did not know could exist or did exist. I'd never lost anyone on this level, personally. I'd lost people who'd had great influence on my life but as a teenager, and we're so resilient in our youth, aren't we. When you bury a parent you are forever changed and learning who you are again is not for the weak.
I have amazing friends who continually remind me that this journey will be unique. I won't find a book or blog or a podcast that will detail how I come out the other side of this a whole and grown and better human. I won't find a one-size-fits-all bandaid for my healing or magic spell that gets me from A to Z within a few weeks or months. This unfortunately is a journey that I have to travel all on my own. Others can guide and offer me hope and comfort and shoulders and listening ears (and couches when my own just seems too much) but they won't really truly be in it with me. That's how grief works. You walk it alone.
The one area though, where I find I cannot come to grips with my failure in this new world I'm living in, is motherhood. It's like I'm juggling 1000 balls at once but no one ever taught me how to juggle... and they're cubes not balls... and they're on fire. Like that awful blue fire from the Zombie Dragon in Game of Thrones. I'm going to drop so many things as I grapple with this new reality but I kind of thought motherhood wouldn't be one of them.
My sons birthday is in 4 days, his party is in 3. I've sort of haphazardly invited 10 kids through weird handwritten notes that Logan has had to secretly pass out to his friends after school and through text messages to phone numbers I've gathered by hounding other people. I completely forgot about a cake and texted my amazing cookie lady (cause maybe that the best we can do this birthday, cookies not cakes!) on Monday, less than a weeks notice and crossed my fingers she could get me in. She couldn't but knew someone who could. God bless that angel who is making my kid a cake AND cookies (guilt is real y'all) and offered to deliver them to me.
I AM NOT THIS PERSON. I am a calendar pro. I book thing months in advance. And I didn't even book this party. I threw it at my husband as I hopped a plane to Mom 2.0 and gave him the amount we normally spend and hoped he got it right. He did. Thank you itty bitty baby Jesus. I haven't planned a menu in months, I haven't cooked a meal from scratch, the only laundry getting done is the bare essentials, the only reason my house is clean is because I have ladies who do that for me, and the piles of nonsense and junk mail are just being moved from the top of my desk to the guest bed and back again, forget sorting through them.
I sleep until the second I have to get up and take my kids to school... but I do get up and take them. I just gave up on making lunch and am pretending the the school lunch is healthy. Or I'm not pretending actually, they're fed and that'll have to do. I wait until the last second to leave for work. Some mornings I do complete some menial tasks and some I just stand in my bedroom staring at The Today Show, I'm not even sitting. I can't even dive into how I know I should be working out but the energy for that... I don't know where to find it. SO MANY THINGS NEED TO BE ACCOMPLISHED, but I'm not doing any of them.
But I had a friend recently ask me a hard question. You know the kind that stops you in your tracks, leaves you speechless? Yah, one of those. I was practicing the above negative self talk out loud, to her. And she rolled up with a, "What do you want to me to say to that? Seriously, how do you want me to respond?". < blink, blink, blink >
Rhetorical questions are the catalyst for personal reflection almost always. There isn't a response is there? I don't want you to agree with me really, because I'm not in a place to deal with unkindness. And I don't want to be lied to, or be made to feel better, it wouldn't work anyway. What I want, what I need is to change the way I'm speaking to myself, both in my head and out loud. So here goes:
I heated up some pre-made turkey burgers and through together a salad for my family and our besties on Sunday night. Go me!
I threw caution to the wind this past weekend and went somewhere I've never been. We played Uno with the kids and drank wine and appreciated scenery and laughed and I took a glorious car nap. The world did not end over our spontaneity.
Last night I went to a workshop and made a blanket for the birthday boy who's been begging for one of the hand knitted blankets I made for myself since before Christmas. His birthday party may not be much this year but I gave of my time and my heart to make something I know he really wants, and thats what I hope he remember this year.
I'm throwing my hubs a graduation party in a week. It will not be my usual from scratch affair. I am going to use all the pre-made food I can find. I will not go over board with decorations. My house will not be up to par. But I will show him how proud of him I am and we will celebrate and laugh and enjoy time with friends.
And that's enough. It has to be. Because I am enough. Just as I am. Right where I am. Right now.