Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reisterstown, Maryland
Thursday, September 30, 2010 10:01 AM, CDT
Me again... “Surprised?”
Some days I have to wonder what my state of mind is. Currently, I think my mind has left the state in which I live in and has traveled elsewhere for a mini vacation. My guess it's somewhere relaxing on the island of Sicily, off the tip of the boot in Italy! (Right? Makes sense?!) I say that my mind is missing because I have been prone to acts of complete mindless behavior lately. Lucky for me, I get to blame it on the grief...it's not my fault! I'm not usually this bad. I will admit to having bouts of mindless behavior from time to time, but that's just because I am not perfect. Perfect people keep their minds in line. Me? I lose track of mine often! My mind has a mind of its own!
Here's my proof. Last night, I took a hot baking sheet out of the oven. I used a sweet little pot holder made by one of the kids. Whenever I grab one of these loom weaved little pieces of love, I have eyes peering over my shoulder to see which one I am using...was it one of their own or one made by a sibling? This is mainly the practice of Elias, so I have to make sure I rotate the use of these colorful little creations to keep life fair. It's all about keeping life fair...equal...balanced! I placed the hot piece of metal on the cook top, quickly decided it needed to be moved, and with the pot holder in my left hand I proceeded to move the baking sheet with my unprotected right hand. Huh? I can move pretty quickly in the kitchen when I have to so I opened the freezer door and grabbed “boo-boo bear” (or what eventually became renamed to “booty bear” as we used it to numb a certain area of Sicily's body before giving her white blood cell boosting shots). I applied the innocent bodiless bear head shaped icepack to my three affected fingers and thumb. Yes, I really grabbed the pan with gusto, apparently! Patrick, noticing my quick moving actions, inquired what I was doing. Still surprised with my own level of dysfunction, I explained to him what I had just done. He said, “I didn't even hear you say Ouch!” I think I'm past saying “ouch.” Physical pain doesn't hold me in it's grips like it seemed to in the past. Emotional pain passed it in the relay race a long time ago.
I apparently wasn't done attempting to mutilate my skin. This morning I helped Isabella with her hair by using a straight iron. Those things should be considered a deadly weapon...or at least they should carry the same warning level of danger when in use as, say, a pair of numb chucks! If you use one, your chances of getting hurt are considerably high...especially if you are functioning or not functioning the way I am these days. Once again, allowing my hands to work without my mind present proved to be a huge risk, but I wasn't aware yet that my mind had completely deserted me. Everyone knows, or I'm guessing that most people should, that when you apply extreme heat to hair, the hair usually retains some of the heat for the next few seconds, if not longer. My hands have not yet learned this lesson. I pulled the flat iron down a chunk of Isabella's long, blonde hair, and immediately grabbed the chunk again into the palm of my left hand. I felt pain but the word “ouch” still did not surface. Maybe this incident was my right hand attempting to get back at my left hand for the previous evenings accident. Who knows! All I know is that I was running to the freezer again. This time, instead of grabbing faithful boo-boo “booty” bear, my stomach forced me to grab a frozen waffle instead, killing two birds with one stone. Maybe my mind fell to my stomach because I considered that a great thought...first aide and breakfast! I used the cold waffle to aid by burning hand, then popped it into the toaster. I think I just located my mind...it's living further south in another area of my body. To make it work in the future, I may have to bribe it with food! I am well aware that both my mind and my stomach like chocolate, so maybe we can work out a deal.
I was more than happy to eat a waffle for breakfast, or as Sicily referred to them, “Faffles,” (which stands for Frozen Waffles). I think of her every time I do, so eating “faffles” makes me feel close to her. I eat it the same way she did...naked and wrapped in a napkin. The waffle is naked, not me...I'm not that far gone! ; ) By naked I mean without butter or syrup. Sicily liked to eat it this way so she could get away with eating it in a chair in the living room and be closer to the tv (I normally don't allow food to be eaten in the living room. Sicily knew how to tweak the rules!). She truly had life figured out! So I can admit that I love faffles merely for this reason! Faffles make me smile! Burns on my hands...not so much! ; ) I think for the time being when I am around heated items, be it the oven or a flat iron, I should consider wearing oven mitts...the kind that go all the way up to my elbows...on both hands. It may take me twice as long, or longer, to assist Isabella with her hair, but better safe than sorry is what I always say! It's incredible that I am still able to type. Physical pain can't slow me down...emotional pain, I hit a brick wall!
This is one of those journal entries I felt like writing just for the fun of it. I'm having fun writing and sharing my journey on this crazy grief road. I hope as many people as possible are able to “craugh” (cry and laugh) right along with me. There is strength in numbers and mental health benefits in “craughing!”
I'm probably better off staying away from getting behind the wheel, except for maybe a quick trip to see Wally (Wal-Mart) less than a mile down the road, until I renegotiate the terms of existence with my absent mind! I can handle small tasks. Ones that require a lot of thinking may have to be rescheduled or temporarily put off! A word of caution...if you ask me a question that requires more than a “yes” or “no” answer, please be patient. After downing a handful of M&M's, you may get an answer...no promises, though.
I know I am not functioning at full capacity when Elias asks, as I am driving him to soccer practice one day last week, if the speed bumps we are going over were made so big so they would be that much fun-er (and yes, “fun-er” is still a legal word in the impressive vocabulary of a third grader, but not for much longer. Soon he will have to erase it and speak correctly, but I still like to hear it!). My first inclination was to go into details and explain why the speed bumps were there and necessary, but decided against it and simply answered, “Yes”...especially the way mommy drives over them... “oops, was that a speed bump?” We usually get a little air under the tires! Who needs a ride at a State Fair?
On a more somber note, I want to take the time to write about something a little more serious. This requires very little thinking because it's coming straight from my heart. I forgot to share one very important experience from last week. Before we headed home to Broken Arrow, OK from Wichita, KS, we stopped in Wellington to give grandma Zeka a hug and to visit Sicily. I don't know when a visitation to Sicily will ever be easy, but at the same time, I crave sitting at her graveside on a daily basis. It's probably a good thing that she is buried two and a half hours away from us, or I might consider pitching a tent so I could stay near her for long periods of time. That, for sure, would not benefit my healing process. Never the less, I can't approach her little spot of land without pipes of tears bursting! Corinthian, Isabella, Elias and I stopped by to see her on our way out of town. Her grave is still meek but sweetly decorated with silk flowers and gossamer butterflies, along with other mementos loved ones thought she might like. The kids and I brought little gifts to leave with her so she knows she is still loved beyond what lies beneath the six feet of Kansas soil. Elias wiggled off his orange “meet and greet” wristband that he had previously stated he wanted to keep and leave on forever. He gave it to his little sister without thinking twice. Corinthian left her a piece of gum, a favorite life sustaining food group for Sicily (“I don't need to eat, I have gum!”) and Isabella gave her three tic-tacs...which Sicily would have immediately chomped on and in a state of shock announced, “those were HOT!” I kneeled down and tucked a ticket stub, with NATASHA BEDINGFIELD written in bold capital letters, under a little concrete garden angel. I told Sicily “thank you” and assured her she was with us at the concert, and we knew it! She is with us, always!
I am anxiously awaiting for Sicily's majestic gravestone to be placed. We ordered it in July and were told it could take up to five months, or more, for it to be complete. It was going to take three months alone for it to be shipped from over seas. I know it will be worth the wait. Some of the extra waiting is due to my own procrastination...trying to figure out just the right words for the epitaph, not only for Sicily, but for Patrick and I, as well. The gravestone will cover all three of us, so it's been an interesting experience, to say the least, to choose the words I will be able to read at my own grave site. If that's not mortality staring you right in the face, then I don't know what is. It does not bother me at all. We all have to die sometime, but it's not every day you expect to see your name engraved in a stone that will mark your final resting place. Funny as it may sound, it brings me peace. I'm ready to see it! More than anything, I will find comfort in seeing it written close to Sicily's name so as to surround her with her mommy and daddy's love forever! That's why Patrick and I decided to go ahead and take care of our “stuff” at the same time. It's one less thing the surviving spouse or our other children will have to deal with at such a difficult time. More than anything, though, like I said, I just didn't want Sicily's name there alone. I just needed us to be with her, somehow.
I have a request of anyone in the Wellington, Kansas area, or for anyone who finds themselves traveling down I-35 in south central Kansas for that fact (because the cemetery is located just a few miles off the interstate)...please visit Sicily from time to time. If you need directions, email me and I will “attempt” to give them (the cemetery is not hard to find, but asking me for directions right now is not a “yes” or “no” question...I will do my best)! It would mean the world to us if we knew people were visiting her, whether you personally knew her or not, because standing in front of this little girl's grave can be quite profound. Pray by her, laugh by her, cry by her...read her a book. Manicure her little rectangle until her gravestone is placed so the grass doesn't smother out the little gifts left for her. I would be there every day if I could, but I can't. “It takes a village to raise a child,” and we had numerous villages and neighbors consisting of family, friends and complete strangers who played a role in her “raising!”
I will close with the epitaph I finally came up with that will appear on Sicily's stone. After doing long searches on the internet, I had one of those “DUH” moments when I finally realized that I should pen the words myself. Yes, I'm a little slow sometimes (I can hear an echo from my husband, “Sometimes?”) ; )
"She's our Pocketful of Sunshine,
An angel with a smile.
Created in God's perfection,
Beaming light on us all the while.”
Everyone have a very Blessed day!