Thursday, January 31, 2013

Unsettled, Loss

I find myself unsettled and under a blanket of sadness this morning.  It's hard to put it all together in a coherent post, but I'll try.

Three waves hit this week.  We lost an amazing woman - my best friend's mom and a second mom to me.  She made the most of every moment of her life.  She was an example to me about joy and openness and acceptance.  I'm convinced that when my own mother was dying of cancer 15 years ago, they had a moment -- maybe spoken, maybe just understood between mothers -- where Mary agreed to watch over me.  She was there for every milestone.  Threw me a sweet sixteen surprise party in her basement. Took me shopping for my prom dress.  Welcomed me home from college.  Helped us move into our first apartment.  Threw my wedding shower.  Celebrated good times and supported through bad ones, always with the right balance of compassion and humor.  I found myself with hot tears streaming down my face into the wee hours last night, missing her already.

In the midst of this, I'm preparing to go back to work.  It's something that I've known was coming and I was afforded a longer maternity leave than expected, for which I am deeply grateful.  I'm convinced of my role as a working mom -- I'm a better mom and spouse.  But putting this special child, with his special heart, into a daycare setting is unsettling to me.  So many unknowns flow through my mind, under the surface of my daily routine and last minute errands.  We'll do everything we can to keep him safe and educate the staff there, but *I* won't be there for the first time in his life.  It's hard.  As an added layer, Olivia will be transitioning to this new school.  She's never gone through such a major change and I worry that it will be hard for her.  I worry.  I'm unsettled.  It's a lot to do in a couple days.

And lastly, Caden is displaying some cardiac symptoms.  I honestly didn't expect this to happen for a long, long time.  He has done so well throughout this process -- such a strong little guy.  But this week, he's cough from the RSV is lingering and I've noticed little things.  His hands are more clammy than usual.  His forehead gets cold when he eats bottles.  He's eating less and losing weight.  How much of this is related to his infection?  I have no idea.  Found myself emailing the doctor at 1 AM last night and now waiting to hear back from him.  He woke three times last night and made it through smaller bottles.  I rocked him for longer and kissed him and wondered if Mary and my mother were able to share in his beauty now.  In between feeds, I found myself reading today's news from the heart groups of babies who lost their fight and won their wings yesterday.  Beautiful children who weathered so much.  Devastated parents, numb and bewildered from the pain.  And his cold forehead worried me more.  And I hugged tighter and lingered longer.

So, I'm tapped.  Tired and dulled.  There are a dozen bottles to wash, two loads of laundry waiting for me, and a long list of supplies to put together for the kids' first day at school.  And I'm in my pj's typing away.  If experience serves, I need to just break through this with brute force.  Dive into a task, hyper caffeinate, maybe go and see a friend.  Otherwise, it will linger and taint the last days I have unadulterated with Caden.  It's hard to do.  I'm feeling very still right now.

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