Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Gatorade

It is time to commit to my writing again.  I think my life is all about recommitting on so many levels and mostly everyday.  I refuse to feel guilty for the time I needed to let the ideas tumble around without catching any (except very private ones in a very private journal) on paper.  I did NOT want another snow day and yet, I told myself last night that if it happened, I needed to recommit today.  And so it goes.  As I thought about what message this post should hold, I realized that I did not need to try to so hard.  That the experience I needed to write was at the tip of my brain waiting to be realized on paper and that people would take from it what they needed. 

And so it begins on a random, relaxed Saturday at Wegmans.  Recently, I have been attending a bereavement group and thanks to the connections and advice of these souls who are also experiencing grief, I am better able to sleep through the night in the last two weeks without reliving every minute of my sisters last days of life.  This extra sleep means I am happier and better able to face the day with happy and positive thoughts.  But, per usual (and I am sure my faithful readers miss it) I digress.  Back to Wegmans.  Eric and I had a wonderful Friday night at home with steaks, wine and books and now we were perusing the Wegman's aisles with no cares in the world as Krista was at a friend's house.  I have to admit to you right now that grocery shopping with Eric is one of my favorite things.  It is stress free and fun. 

So, there I am enjoying it all and Eric reminds me we have a 5k on Sunday and I probably want some gatorade.  It happens that we are right at the tip of that aisle and so I head down and turn toward the gatorade and just stare.  Without any warning at all, my face turns red, a bump forms in my throat and all I see in front of me is my sister telling me that purple gatorade is the best drink.  The night before she died as Eric and I were leaving she asked if I could get her a purple gatorade. My brother  Michael stayed with her while we went to the downstairs cafeteria.  However, all we could find was blue.  Michael texted me to "hurry up with the gatorade."  I grabbed the blue and booked it upstairs.  When we arrived Michael said, "Oh, she decided she doesn't want it anymore," and Kristin turned to him with the "Kristin Look" and said, "That is not true."  We all laughed and I admitted that there was no purple and I had brought blue.  She of course let me off the hook and drank down the blue.  As we were leaving she seemed to become more and more awake which was perfect because her husband Joe and daughters showed up.  I remember looking back and seeing my beautiful sister so happy to see her girls, and that gatorade sitting right there by her side on the tray reminding me that she was still very much alive.  

Back at Wegmans, I held back the tears as best I could.  I could not speak for fear my voice would dissolve into salt water.  As soon as we got to the car I let it go and go and go.  Last night I shared this with my bereavement group and one of the women there said that she has heard them called "griefbursts."  It is the perfect name as it came out of the blue and hit me so hard I did not have any defense ready.   But slowly I am learning to take it all as it comes.  There is no right and wrong in missing someone.  You just do.  And you miss them because they were wonderful.  And you hope that a little piece of wonderful has stayed behind to shine with and through you.  And when you can't buy the gatorade because it just feels too hard, you wait until the next day.  And you run the race and you drink the gatorade and you keep moving forward.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Taking a Detour

Two weeks after my sister, Kristin, died I updated with a post that said I wanted to get back to writing.  That was the truth and I did get back to writing.  My other blog about my health journey is back on track for the most part and my classroom blog for my students' parents is also back on track. I have a secret though.  My Morning Coffee is the blog that has my heart.  It is the blog I take pride in the most and the one that feeds my soul. 

The reason I struggle with a new post is because I was on a path of reliving my mother's illness and death and right in the middle of that journey, my sister started her own path of illness and died and I am left here to wonder...."What is my bigger purpose?"  I have no doubt there is one.  There is something I need to do or say to someone somewhere, but I just cannot confirm what that something is.  When I think of mom's illness I immediately go to Kristin's illness and quite honestly I am still living the jagged pain of my sister's death minute to minute.  I am not prepared to write about it because I am hardly prepared to talk about it.  It sits on my shoulder like an uninvited guest and I can only let it in when I am fully alone and often in the dark.  The reason I was able to start writing about mom is because I had finished that part of the grieving process.  The jagged edges had turned softer and there was/is warmth in the memories. 

So, I am left with having a hard time continuing to write about my journey with mom when it brings me right to memories of my journey with Kristin that are only a few months old. 

And yet... I do know my journey can help other people.  I do know being a member of the Lotane 5 (mom, dad, Michael, Kristin, and myself) and having 3 of the original five die makes me a stronger person for others and helps me have a very interesting view of death that also might help others.  But, to my loyal readers, I need to ask you to bear with me.  I cannot continue on quite the same journey with mom's hospital stay as I was before.  I will work to get back there.