Monthly Archives: January 2016

Tolerance

Since the accident and Zachary’s death, I know I am different. I know that I have closed a book I never intended to close and been force to restart a new book. A new book of life after the accident. My life will forever be separated into before and after.

Due to this event, I have learned a great deal. I have chosen to be more compassionate to others. I have chosen to be grateful for every moment I have. I continue to chose everyday to make my life count towards something. Even if it’s just to smile more or laugh more. I try to be a good person and live life positively.

The thing I didn’t count on was that my tolerance of others frustration with the small things would be minimized. Don’t get me wrong everyone has the right to be frustrated, irritated, angry and/or sad at times. I don’t have a right to judge anyone’s journey. I do, however, have a right to call people on their rudeness and ill will towards others with the pure intention of being mean.  Mean people are everywhere. Mostly it is ignorance that makes them act this way but I can’t tolerate it anymore.

I have recently had experiences that have taught me that toleration and acceptance of behavior are two different things. You can tolerate someone’s reaction if it is emotional. You do not have to accept or tolerate someone who tries to make you feel small. My tolerance is gone when someone thinks they can judge your walk, specifically my walk. What my pain is, how I am coping, or my knowledge. It’s  just not ok.

My experience makes me pause and look at what has this person experienced to led them to act this way. Are my expectations to high of human behavior? I don’t think so. I hope not.

Tolerance of other people’s reactions to what seems minor to me in the after mode that I am living. The minor silly things that bend you out of shape. The way someone looks at you or the tone of voice are ok. It is when someone tries to speak with authority about something they have had no experience to compare to just to minimize you. For example, someone said to me, “You are too young to know what pain is really like!”. I was mad because they don’t know me or this journey.  Another time I was told, “it’s been 2 years, should you be better by now?”. How do I just bite through my tongue and not rip into them. It haven’t although I’ve wanted to.

The moral of my story is that you don’t have to tolerate it. You are not the problem, they are. Never judge someone else’s journey until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

 

 

Where am I now?

Where am I now? It’s been almost 22 months since the accident. I have been through surgeries, therapy sessions, days in a skilled nursing facility, sleepless nights, unending pain, frustration, depression, sadness, grief and the inability to comprend that this is my actual life. Waking up each day without his little voice to say, “Good morning mommy”. So, where am I now? Surviving and trying to live while he is gone.

The first year after the accident was raw and deep with pain. I worked through it a day at a time, even a second at a time. Trying to get back my life again. Fighting to sit up, move without help, and walk a little more each day. I was in survival mode. Grief was a study for me not a reality. Marking milestones like car transfers, standing for 2 minutes, birthdays and anniversaries. I felt successful in my grief. I could do this. Armed with the study of other parents who are grieving, reading posts and books. I learned to grieve openly through writing in Capture your grief project. I didn’t know how deep my grief was until it was examined. It was raw and beautiful. I felt for the first time in many months of holding it back. It was freeing.

After the first year anniversary, I felt inundated with the task of doing it all again. You reach the top of the mountain and learn there is another mountain to climb and it will never stop. Grief never stops. It just goes on into infinity. How do you grasp that concept. You can’t fix it. The is no breathing room. It feels like drowning, I stop writing for a while and just let the grief overwhelm me. I couldn’t keep going. Until I decided to do the project again in October. Again, examining my grief and learning the depth of sadness and the beauty that lives in it. I am a bereaved mom. I will always be.

Now, after yet another surgery, I had time to breath and examine me. I’m a mom of a beautiful five year old girl, Grace. She was well named as she bring grace into my life. Refocusing my energy into myself and to being her mom. I write notes for her lunch everyday to encourage her, just like I did everyday for Zachary. I read to her not one book but at least five until she’s ready for bed. I snuggle more with her. Encourage her. Hug and kiss her. She’s my daughter who lost her mom and her brother. She has watched me fight to come back to this mom. I will fight for every moment we have the joy to spend together.

So, where am I now? Living not just surviving. Finding joy with my husband in watching her dance. Laughing at her witty naming of her rocking horse, Charlie Horse. Fighting the grief by honoring his memory of light. I’m here and I’m fighting. That’s where I am now.

Happy New Year

We made it through another year. I celebrate all that we have done this year. Trip to Boston, bought a house, got married, went to Maui,  family here in Washington, continuing to heal and increasing my independence. I also recall all that  we have lost. Mostly, Zachary. It was a whole year that he wasn’t with us. It doesn’t seem possible. I have no 2015 memories of him other than the grief.

The new year brings promises of new beginnings. It’s a wonderful time for most. As a bereaved parent, it’s another reminder of time marching on without him. I just want him back. It’s an unfixable problem with a heart wrenching answer of “I can’t” from the all powerful.

The holidays were hard for me. Looking at the presents under the tree. Stockings hung on the mantle. His right in the center still where it always was. It was empty like my heart. I took the opportunity to make it magical. I carefully wrapped a small set of toy story toys (his favorite movie ever) and placed it in his stocking. The label read “To Grace From Zachary”. I felt joy seeing his stocking with a treasure in it and excited to see Grace open it.

On Christmas morning, Grace saw Zachary’s stocking was full. She said, “Santa didn’t forget Zachary”. I gave her the gift and told her Zachary have a present to Santa just for her. She was so excited that her Zachary have her a present. When she opened it, her eyes were bright and happy as she said, “Toy Story and Jessie! Thank you Zachy”. My eyes filled with tears of sadness and joy at the same time. My present was feeling his presence.

After multitudes of beautiful gifts being opened, I started to clean up the stockings that were on the floor now. When I picked up Zachary’s stocking, it was heavy. My heart dropped. What was in here? I saw a gift marked  simply “Mommy”. I opened it with the same excitement Grace had with her gift. It was an angel ornament from 2014 with the word Believe on it. It was perfect. A little Christmas magic from my forever 6 year old who left us on 2014. I knew it wasn’t Santa who did this but my mom. I cried for the magical feeling that my mom gave to me during a hard day. My mom gave me the magic of his presence as I tried to give my daughter.

My hope for this year is to continue to feel his presence in our life. To look for the small blessings that remind us that his spirit is still here and lives through us. Blessings to all in this new year.