Catching up

There are days when I think about blogging, days I think about doing laundry, days I think about taking the girls to the movies and forgetting everything else that needs to be done around here.
There is so much to be done, so much stuff to unclutter.
There is a lot of mental cleaning I need to do too, and I find that to be the most difficult.

Right now, Carys likes to believe that Chad is at work and is on his way home.
This is especially difficult for me to handle.
She knows he is not coming home.
But it helps her to believe that he is, usually around dinner time.
We always had dinner together, at the table. Every single day.
And I know that is a particularly hard thing for her.
She wants our family back, as do I.
I am not indulging her fantasy, but try to talk to her about it instead.
We have an appointment with the children’s grief counselor this week, so I hope to get a little assistance in how to handle this.

Cailyn is doing very well, although she does pretend that Chad is all around us sometimes.
I suppose that he is, technically.
But she likes to pretend he is in the car with us, at the store with us, out to eat with us.
She doesn’t get weepy or upset; but she does insist that he is playing a game of hide-and-seek with us almost daily.
Again, I will be getting some help with this later this week.

I definitely understand that Chad’s death is more than they can handle at times.
It’s more than anyone should have to handle.

Last week, I happened across a bottle of Chad’s favorite cologne.
Cool Water.
He wore it all the time, until the scent made him nauseous over the last year or so.
So, he wore it sparingly until the bottle was empty and we never bought any more.

I purchased the bottle and brought it home, intending to share it with the girls (and myself) when we were having a particularly difficult day remembering the details of Chad.

I sprayed my wrists with it and got teary-eyed each time I would catch a whiff throughout the day.
Cailyn noticed the scent too, and before I knew it, I was spraying her tiny wrist with “Daddy’s smell”.
Of course, Carys followed suit once she got home from school.
I’ve caught them in my bedroom, standing perfectly still, taking turns inhaling the intoxicating aroma of the cologne.
They understand it’s special and they genuinely feel comforted.
As do I.
Scents definitely bring back intense memories.

And me?
I am doing the best I can.
Even though I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the holidays like I normally do, I was thankful I had something in which to focus my time and energy. I had Christmas shopping, tree decorating, holiday parties. There was always something to keep me busy.
Now, it’s just quiet. School is in, friends are back to work, traveling is over.
It’s so very, very quiet.
Just me and my thoughts.
Which isn’t the best situation – I need something to do that doesn’t include cleaning the house or rearranging memories and furniture.

I’ll be completely honest in saying that the emotions seem to hit me out of nowhere and make me feel like I am losing my mind sometimes.
I feel generally impulsive, sometimes detached, sometimes alive, sometimes super-sensitive, sometimes I lack patience, sometimes nothing at all.
I say and do things that aren’t me, things I don’t fully understand. I feel things that I didn’t expect.

Like anger? Not really.
I guess that is hard for some people to understand, but I’m not angry at God or at Chad or at anyone else.
I have so many other emotions that I don’t think anger has a place to fit in around it all.
In my weakest moments, I am more disappointed than anything else. But angry? No.

I think my lack of anger has a lot to do with the way Chad chose to handle this whole situation.
He had a brief period of anger, which he had every right to experience.
And then one day, he just decided he was spending too much energy being angry over something he had no control over.
This time period was shortly before he was given a terminal diagnosis, when he was unable to work or drive or provide for his family in the ways he thought he should be able to.
He told me that there was sense in being angry and that life was never promised to be fair; “It is what it is; life keeps on going.”

It would not be helpful for me to sit around and be angry.
Probably like it’s not helpful for me to sleep as much as I can and never get out of my pajamas unless critically necessary.
But I think sleeping and pajama time is a little less damaging than being angry all the time.
At least I like to think it is.

This week I have a goal to focus on: the girls & I need insurance.
We haven’t had insurance since the end of November, when Chad’s policy ran out.
And I am extremely thankful that no one has been sick or has needed anything other than a band-aid or a kiss to make it better.
It just makes my stomach twist in knots to see the premiums we’ll pay. Talk about something that does make me ANGRY…
We could carry over Chad’s insurance, but I’m not convinced it’s the lowest rate for us. So, I’m on a mission.

This week, pray for me to find insurance that won’t make me physically ill each time the premiums are due.
Pray for me to find the focus to feed my children healthy meals – instead of offering cereal or takeout.
Pray for me to find my patience, even in increments of 5 minutes per day.
Pray for me to find sleep at regular hours, instead of spread throughout the day – when I should be doing something else.

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8 Responses to Catching up

  1. Amy says:

    I wish I had words to comfort you, but I'm not really sure what would be helpful right now. So here goes.. you are doing the right thing by having the girls see a counselor. You are doing everything you can but sometimes someone outside the situation can have a insight or idea that noone has thought of to help the girls.
    I have known people who got angry with God when they have issues similar to you & Chad, I am so glad that you are not feeling it right now. It didn't help them & only made the healing that much harder. Like I said I don't know words to help you, but just know that I pray for you & the girls & am a email away.

  2. Sherry Owens says:

    Well. . .you sound like a woman and mother having a 'normal' day considering all you have been through. Time is a wonderful thing. Not that it 'heals' all wounds but it softens the blow and allows you find a way to live with it. As for the pajama days. I can't find a thing wrong with that. It is a time for you to slow the pace and heal a little. As time passes you will actually become bored and dress for the day even if nothing is pressing for you to do. Take the time, heal yourself and grieve. You have to grieve or it will never get better. As for the girls, they are coping as children often do, by pretending. The outcome is the same, dad doesn't come home, but they pretend it is for some other reason and that is more acceptable. One day it will stop as they get used to his absence and they move through their grief. You are a remarkable person and I have seen your strenghth through these pages. It is ok for you to stumble, to break down and to fall apart. If you didn't you have no feelings at all. I'm glad you have help for the girls but do you have any? You could benefit to confide in someone and show your fears to without having a negative impact. The girls will follow your lead. You have been strong for them and maybe you need to let go and have someone be strong for you without them being there. Does this make any sense to you? I Lost a baby when Heather was very young and I never cried around her because I wanted her to know it was all going to be ok. So I had to do my grieving in private. She pretended sometimes that her dolls were 'the baby'. Broke my heart but it was a real event and she had no way to actually say goodbye. She dealt with it on her terms in her own way. I always encouraged her to share her feelings even though I could not share mine in a way that done me good. So. . . .? I know you will be ok one day. I know you are a great mom. . . I have never met you other than one these pages. . . and I know. 'To thine own self stay true'. Hope it all smooths out soon. Before you know it, it will be better. I think of you often and have cried a bucket of tears for you. I wish you love and happiness and lots of time.

  3. Mary says:

    I remember that time of day from my childhood– when the light was softly fading and Mom was in the kitchen and we were all quietly playing and everything is just waiting for Daddy to come home…

    I think Carys is brilliant for trying to pretend her way back there. I know it must be so so scary for you as you imagine reality crashing back around her over and over every time she pretends, but maybe it gives her a place to relax and remember and cherish.

    Maybe she's going to be a writer like her mother 🙂

    Our thoughts and hearts are with you as always– hoping the insurance straightens out soon. And cereal is good food!! Full of vitamins and… fiber! Good stuff like that. You're an amazing mom.

  4. Alison says:

    Hi Skye.

    I just wanted to comment on your latest post because I have a few thoughts to share that you may/may not find helpful. When my father died when I was 9, I didn't have nearly the amount of things that you seem to have around your house. My Mom pretty much bagged everything up and took it to goodwill. For her, the material things were not important – It was the memories. What she never grasped is that for us young children, the memories weren’t connecting. I am so glad that you have the physical gifts (like the necklace with the fingerprint of Chad and the cologne) so that they can make connections and their memory of their Dad is theirs when they choose to pull it to their consciousness. So, although the behavior is surely different than it used to be, you’ll find that they adjust more and more each day. I just want to tell you that you’ve done an amazing job keeping his memory alive.
    Regarding insurance, my husband went on his own recently as an independent contractor. To carry his old insurance (through Cobra) would have been $1450/month. It was insane. We found a great plan that seems expensive but it will end up being great. It’s a high-deductible plan with otherwise great coverage. We pay the first $6,000 in medical bills/pharmacy (which are still at contracted rate, not like paying cash for meds and services)…after that, everything is covered at 100%. So, maybe look up “high deductible” private insurance. I know for us, it beats out Cobra after only a few months.
    Take care of yourself.
    Alison from MN

  5. Andy Lancaster says:

    Skye – call me at 919-816-7084 when you get a chance.

    Andy Lancaster

  6. tonya says:

    Skye, I stumbled upon your blog about 3 months ago and just haven't felt like I had the right words to say. I still don't, but I wanted to let you know that I'm praying for you and your darling girls. I don't know the ache, sadness and pain you're all going through. I can't even begin to imagine it. I just wanted to say that I'm so sorry and you're in my prayers.

  7. Slcabascango says:

    Skye –
    You, Carys, and Cailyn are consistently in the boysss' and my prayer in the morning before school.

  8. Jodi says:

    Hey Skye, I have been so busy lately that I have not had a chance to check your blog, but my mom works at Triangle Insurance and although she does not sell health insurance,one of her counterparts does, my brother and his wife got it through up there. My mom's name is JoAnn Hardee, and the main number is 553-7103. She will not be there until Tuesday of next week, but you could call and find out who sells the health insurance and tell them you are friends with me. At least they can give you a quote… and you can check other places as well. They are located right beside the old Winn-Dixie where the CrossRoad Church is now. Anyway, good luck with your insurance quest. I know that is the only reason I am working now is to have insurance for our family, as my husband is self-employeed and we pay more money out then I make for childcare!! CRAZY, huh? My number is 278-8879 if you need any other information about Triangle Insurance.

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