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Getting easier

Dear Momma,

I’ve noticed that in the last couple of months life has gotten a little easier for me.  I still miss you like crazy, and I still get sad when I think about all the things you’re missing.  But for the most part I wake up, get the kids dressed and fed, and I do the whole “mom” thing.

But every once in a while, I catch myself staring at your picture and I can’t help but feel overcome with grief all over again.  It’s like you die again, every time I see that picture.  It feels like a semi truck has parked itself on my chest.  It gets hard to breath and I start to shake.   I feel like screaming, but I’m afraid if I do I won’t be able to stop.  I want to break things and punch the wall.  I want to lock myself in the bathroom and never come out.  And the scariest part?  Not even my kids can snap me out of it.

Momma, I wish I could say I’ve moved on and that I’m happy.  But I’m not.  And it’s worse because Dad thinks it’s ok to parade around the “her.”  And I understand you told him it was ok to be with “her.”  But Momma, you’ve only been gone 9 months tomorrow.  Nine months.  That’s it.  And I know they’ve been seeing each other for the better part of a decade, but you were the one he spent 30+ years with.  You’re the one he had children with.  You’re the one he vowed to love and honor.  I can’t stand to see them splashed all over Facebook together.  Did you  know they went to Cover Bridge together this year?  I was CRUSHED!  You always LOVED the Cover Bridge Festival!

Which brings me to Thanksgiving.  How the hell am I supposed to get through Thanksgiving without you?  That is your favorite holiday.  I remember going to dad and your house every year.  I’d watch you finish up the cooking.  And you and Dad would sneak pieces of food.  And you’d fight over the wish bone.  And Dad would usually beat you.  Well, except the year you cheated!  Which was awesome!  Haha  I didn’t think about it then, but now I kind of wonder if your wish came true.

If I could have one wish this Thanksgiving, it would be to somehow afford to make a trip to Kansas to spend Thanksgiving with my sisters.  It’s not like I want Dad to be alone that day.  Not at all.  But I have a feeling he’s going to have “her” over that day.  And I DO NOT want to see “her” on your favorite holiday.  And not to be mean, but she does not cook as good as you do.  I don’t want “her” Thanksgiving dinner.

Oh Momma.  That heavy feeling is back and I’ve got tears in my eyes.  The kids are playing on the floor in front of me, and I don’t want them to see me this way.  I must have been lying when I said it was getting easier.  This is not “easy” at all.  It will never get easy.  I’m going to live with this pain the rest of my life.  Seven stages of death, my ass.  I’m past the anger, but I don’t think there’s any way past the sadness part.

Baby L is calling for me.  He’s probably hungry.  Again.  Jesus, I wish you could see that boy!

I love you Momma!  I’ll always love you.  Forever and ever.

Love,

Re

He’s 6 months old now

Dear Momma,

I often wonder if you know that I had a baby since you’ve been gone.  His name is Lucas Leo and he’s absolute perfect.   Just like my older two.  But then, you already knew that about my other two kids.  You were there when they were born.  Going through labor without you was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

You were in the room with Jake was born.  And you stood right outside my door when I had Kadence.  I feel like such a bitch for not letting you in that day.  I wish I could turn back time and let you in to see Kadence be born.  I’m sorry I made you miss it.  You were the only person from either family to come when she was born.  Which was amazing since you had just been released from the hospital that morning.  But come  hell or high water you were NOT going to miss it.  And I think that’s why I’m so heartbroken that you would miss this one.

Lucas was a HUGE baby, Momma!!  I couldn’t believe it!  He was 7lbs 15oz.  Can you believe I’d have such a monster of a baby?  Haha!  But things didn’t go so good with his delivery.  I think something was wrong with him, because they didn’t put him on my chest after he came out.  They took him straight to cleaning station thingy and they had to give him oxygen.  It took him a little while to cry.  I was so scared, Momma!  I know that if you had been there, you’d know exactly what was going on.  But you weren’t there.  I was there alone.  Of course Daniel was there.  And Michelle and Tessa were in the room too.   (Yeah, I can’t believe Tess would want to stay in the room, either.  But she did.  She’s the one that asked if she could stay!)  Dad was outside the door.  He didn’t want to come in, couldn’t bring himself to come in the room.  But I FELT like I was alone.  I needed you, Momma.  And you weren’t there for me.

His first apgar was 5.  That’s the lowest score any of my kids have ever gotten.  His second apgar score was 8, which is fine, but still fairly low for my kids.

Afterwards Lucas did great!  We all held him.  We all kissed him.  And then Debbie brought J and K up to the hospital.  And we all held L again.  And we all kissed him again.  And J was instantly in love with his little brother.  Instantly.  I wish you could have seen the love on his face.  I really couldn’t ask for a better big brother to K or L!  He’s the  best!

And K loves L too!  It’s so great to see them all together.  I wonder if you’re able to see them?

Anyways, L was a very “sleepy” baby.  He wouldn’t wake to breastfeed, but I was told that was normal and that he’d start to wake up soon.  Then he was circumcised and they said it would make him sleepy, so I’d have to be extra aggressive to get him to wake to nurse.  Then we went home.  L had jaundice, which is nothing new to us.  You remember both J and K had it also.  But L had it bad.  So bad that I had to bring him back to the hospital where they had him admitted to the peds ward.  I was crushed.  I was scared.

Dad did his best to comfort me.  But we were at Union Hospital.  Dad has a hard time going to Union Hospital.  He HATES going up there.  I think it hurts him too much to be there.  But he did try.  He did come and visit.  I was crying when Dad came up the first time.  And I could tell he felt so helpless, too.  I knew he was thinking of you, Momma.  So he didn’t say anything.  He just sat with me and we both cried.  I miss you so much, Momma.  I’d do almost anything to get you back.

So, long story short, L is perfect now.  He is such a great little boy!  Extremely handsome!  I just know you’d be head over heels in love with this boy!  But I’m so lost without you!  You’ve always been there to reassure me.  You were always there when I had questions.  This is my third child and I’m 25-ish years old.  You’d think I’d know what I was doing by now.  But I don’t.  I need you to tell me that it’s  ok that L just started rolling from belly to back.  I need you to tell me that it’s ok he can’t roll at all from back to belly.

I just need YOU, Momma.

I love you forever,

Cherie

Today is a “good” day

Dear Momma,

Today is a “good” day.  I’m not as tired as I have been, although I did have a little cat nap at 9am this morning.

My car is broke again.  Stupid belt.  My car guy is looking at it now, hopefully he’ll fix it soon.  I miss my car!  You know how hard it is to not have a car!  Because my car is broke, I haven’t been able to take Kadence to school.  Today is the second day she’s stayed home.  She’s ok with it for now, but I worry about how she’s going to act if she doesn’t get to go tomorrow.  You know how much she loves school!

Jake brought home an awesome report card the week you died.  I know you would have been so proud of him!  Daniel and I gave him $2 for bringing up all of his grades and Dad bought him a new Spiderman action figure.  We were all so proud of him for doing so well!  But then the very next week he lied to us about not having any homework.  So he’s been grounded since then.  Hopefully he’s learned his lesson and can continue to do well in school.  (And don’t be mad that we grounded him!  Jeez!  He lied to us and it’s not the end of the world, he’ll be un-grounded soon!)

Baby L is getting bigger.  I wish you could have felt him kick!  He’s been busy flipping around in there.  I’m really surprised that he’s not under my ribs yet, but I’m sure he will be soon.  Kadence and Jake (especially Jake!) loved to park their little butts under my ribs!  LOL  Do you remember that?  I’ve got 11 more weeks until I get to see our baby boy!  I know you’ll be there, you wouldn’t miss it for the world!  And there’s no way I can kick you out of the room this time!  LOL

Michelle made homemade chicken and noodles and peach pie for us!  She made some for Dad too.  Not quite as good as yours, but it’s still good.  Reminds me of you.  Makes me miss you so much!  I don’t think anyone can ever cook as good as you!  I really want some of your chicken dumplings!  Those are often imitated, but NEVER duplicated!  You really did make the best dumplings!

I miss you every day, Momma!  And I love you a ton!

Love you forever,

Cherie

I hope your at peace now

Dear Momma,

I’ll never forget the call I got from Brandi telling me to get over there.  I was so scared, but I knew I had to be calm.  The kids were in bed, and Daniel didn’t really want me to go alone.  But there was no way for him to go with me.  I told him I’d be alright.  You know I can’t drive at night (something I got from you).  So I drove as carefully as I could.  I got about halfway to Michelle’s house when Brandi called me again.  She said you were gone.  I don’t really remember driving the rest of the way, but I do remember feeling numb.  I remember walking into the house and seeing Brandi and Michelle sitting at the table crying.  I remember walking in farther and seeing Misty crying.  And a little bit farther I saw Dad sitting next to your bed, his glasses resting on your leg, holding your hand, his head on the bed beside you.  And I remember seeing you.  Well, not YOU you, but the woman who took over your body after your kidneys shut down.

I remember I didn’t look at you for very long.  I didn’t want to think about that image every time I though of you.  So I walked into the other room to be by myself.  I sat on the couch and cried.  By myself.  Because I’m not the type of person that likes to cry in front of others.  Did you know, Momma, that to this day (almost two weeks later) that I’ve still not let Daniel see me cry?  I just can’t do it.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t cry for you.

I cry because I miss you.  I cry because I think you’re mad at me.  I cry because you didn’t ask to see me during those last few days, but you asked to see Tessa.  I cry because just 5 years ago you were coming to my house weekly with new clothes for the baby.  I cry because I don’t think you really knew what you were doing when you stopped dialysis.  I cry because after days of being too weak to make a peep, you screamed not once, but twice before you took your final breath.  I cry because I wonder what those screams mean.

I love you, Momma.  And I really do hope you’re at peace now.

With love always,

Cherie

One Week

Dear Momma,

It’s been one whole week since you left us.  I’m able to sleep now.  And by “sleep” I mean I don’t have to cry myself to sleep anymore.  When I close my eyes, I’m able to see YOU, not the woman that was laying in that bed.  I know now that the woman in that bed was not my momma.  I’m beginning to remember the little things about our time together.

For instance, Danny and I went out to eat at Applebees the other day.  We sat in the bar area.  And for some reason I remembered the time you took me to Applebees.  We sat in the bar area, back by the kitchen.  We ordered mudslides and we ate.  You took me out because you said I never took time out for myself.  You said I was always stuck in the house and you wanted me to get out for a while.  So we ate and drank our mudslides and laughed.  I’ve been to Applebees a million times since that day, but I somehow remember it like it was yesterday.  It’s kind of funny how that happens.  I miss you, Momma!

Jake has good days and bad days.  His good and bad days mainly rely on whether or not I’m having a good day or bad day.  Jake does a good job trying to make me feel better.  And I feel bad getting upset in front of him, you know he’s so sensitive.  But I tell him it’s ok to cry.  And it’s ok to get upset.  And it’s ok to talk to me or Daddy about how he’s feeling.  I wish there was something I could do to make him feel better, but I can’t even make myself feel better.  Does that make me a bad mom?  Jake misses you so much.

Kadence doesn’t really understand.  She didn’t know Mama like Jake knew Mama.  She knew the sick Mama.  And she knows that Mama isn’t sick anymore and doesn’t have to go to the hospital.  She does her best to make me feel better too.  I wish she could have known the REAL mama!  I bet she would have been just as attached to you as Jake was!  God knows how much you love your grandkids!  And you’d be so proud of how good she’s doing in school!  Kadence is very excited about the new baby.  I wish you could be here to see how she does with him!

Momma, I’m trying very hard not to be angry with you.  I know you were in pain all the time.  I know you hated going to the hospital.  I know you were depressed.  I know you missed your sister Sandy.  I know all of that.  But I’m angry that your children weren’t enough for you.  I’m angry that your grandchildren weren’t enough for you.  I’m pissed off that you won’t be here to see Baby L.  I’m pissed off that you took your own life and didn’t take anyone else’s feelings into consideration.  How selfish can you be?  While you’re pain free now, the rest of us are suffering, hurting.  How is that fair?

I’ll work on not being mad at you.  I know you only did what was best for you.  I love you, Momma!  And I’ll see you again someday.

Love always,

Your daughter, Cherie