A new year has begun and the world keeps moving along even though I feel stuck in a horrible nightmare. Life goes on without my precious son and I hate every second of it! Time can be both my worst enemy & best friend. As days, months, and years go by, it’s that much longer since I’ve heard Andrew’s voice or saw his precious smile. One of my biggest fears is to ever forget what my son’s hugs feel like or his laughter sounds like. But on the other hand, I have somehow survived one year and five months without my child and each day I get through is one less day to feel this emptiness and allow my deep wounds to heal. The scars are there forever but I pray one day to be able to breathe normally again.
Every morning I wake up and dread beginning another day. It’s like I put on my armour and trudge through another day even though what I really want to do is stay in bed and hide from the world! People see me out with my make up on and hair done and functioning through my day to day routine. I can smile and look like I’m doing okay, but sometimes looks can be deceiving. I’ve been told how strong I am but I am no stronger than anyone else. I do what I have to do to survive because I don’t have a choice. No parent asks for this, it’s just handed to you!
When my younger son was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, I witnessed many mothers & fathers losing their children. I thought how I couldn’t imagine their pain and prayed I would never have to know. I thank God each day that my baby, Michael is a heathy 19 year old and thriving in college. However, I still got to experience the pain I prayed I would never know when my middle son died in a car accident and it’s worse than I could have ever imagined.
We unfortunate bereaved parents just do what we have to do and are no stronger than anyone else. Nobody thinks they could handle losing their child, I know I certainly didn’t! We do what we have to do to continue to live for our other children, spouses and the memory of our deceased child. It’s our job to honor their short lives and keep their memories alive. We need to live the life they didn’t get to. So we wake up and face each day the best we can. We even have moments of joy and laughter….that’s not always pretend. But it isn’t the same joy we once felt because the pain and emptiness never leave us.
This was our second Christmas & New Year without Andrew. We took family vacations both years and that was what has worked for our family. My other 2 children are now 19 & 26 so we don’t need to decorate and Santa doesn’t come to our house anymore. Going to a tropical warm island over Christmas is what helped us survive the holidays without Andrew. Feeling the warmth of the sun on our skin and putting our toes in the soft white sand and the teal blue ocean is very healing. Most of all, just being together is the best gift we could receive. It’s a nice escape from our sorrowful reality and a much needed distraction.
But then it’s back to cold, grey and dreary Pennsylvania for a long depressing winter! Now it’s a new year and time to continue facing each day with courage & grace! UGH! I don’t want to!!!!!! I am feeling very sad, alone and unmotivated to get back to life and time is not helping….not st all!!!!!! So I decided to write and share my truth!
It’s 2:30 on a Thursday (I think) and I’m still in my pajamas! I need a push and to hold myself accountable to keep living a meaningful life which is why I’m writing this blog! I am hoping this will help me to get the strength I need to get back to my goals for this upcoming year. I have much to accomplish, for not only myself, but for my son Andrew who I miss more than words could ever explain! I am not strong! I am not an inspiration! I am a struggling mother in pain who is just barely holding her head above water! I read a quote today that said “you drown not by falling into the river, but by staying submerged in it.” I don’t want to drown in the river, I want to keep paddling and fighting my way out even though it hurts!
So here I go….starting back to life in 2019! I want my family complete and I can’t have that! My son is in heaven and I’m here and there’s nothing I can do to change that, so I will just keep trying to face each day the best I can! I refuse to drown so I’m learning to swim again, one day at a time!