The kids have started their summer routine. They are staying with my sister
in-law for the week and it’s been a very awkward week. On one hand it’s nice to come home and see that the only mess I find is the one I left that morning. It’s nice to be able to get a few little things done that are more difficult when I’m toting around the children. But on the other hand it’s unsettling to not have them right at my side; to have the house be so quiet. I’ve always known that my children help me immensely in dealing with Mindy’s death, but it is becoming more obvious just how much.
Initially I thought that with the kids out of school and staying across town for a few days that I could get a little more time in the office and get caught up on things. That has yet to work out. The last few nights I’ve ended up an exhausted lump on the bed. Too tired to do anything substantive, and yet not quite able to fall asleep. I thought the nights were long in the preceding months but the when you reach the point where night is now morning you know your in for a long day. When that happens on sequential nights…well it’s been a realy long week.
I knew that if I got up one thing would lead to another and I’d be up all night.; it always works that way. I think I can just do that one load of laundry, or just get the various Wii objects (remotes, games, etc.) back into place. Before I realize it I’m going full steam and the night escapes. But that isn’t the case this week. I’ve laid in bed staring at nothing in particular as my mind raced for hours at a time. Last night I fell asleep near 3a only to wake again at 5a, then again at 6a. Finally I just got up and out of bed to get ready for work. That was one of the better nights of the week.
Initially I thought I did the right thing to quit the anti depressants. I didn’t really notice any positive change. But now I’m wondering if I just coincidentally stumbled onto grief’s easy street for a few weeks. Maybe I was just too busy trying to make it to the Kindergarten graduation, plan a birthday party, and run around my Teen and her friends to notice that things hadn’t really changed. I’m contemplating giving them another try but I’m hesitant.
So here I was again, in the dark, wondering how my life will play out in the following years.
I’ve come to grips that while death is an event, it’s one that changes your whole world. It gives you new perspectives on a lot of life’s twists. It makes me more appreciative of things I once took for granted. It makes things that were significant in my life of before seem petty, and the reciprocal; making insignificant things of that life seem heavy. I have finally settled with the idea that I will never have that life again. I had clung to statements that time could heal, given the right actions and circumstance. Maybe the statement is true, just my definition of heal doesn’t fit.
I always felt that God gave me the gift of endurance. I’ve never been the fastest or most flexible in nearly every sense, but I could always find the steam to keep going. For the first time in these last couple of days I’ve really questioned my ability to keep this up, and not just because of the lack of sleep. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not giving up or admitting failure. It’s just the first time that I can’t fathom at least one scenario of life that seems acceptable.
When I ran my first half marathon I wasn’t sure I could finish. The longest run I had completed prior to the race was 5 miles. As I passed the 6 mile marker in the race I wasn’t any more confident that I could reach the end. It wasn’t until I was about 500 yards from the finish that I entertained the idea of completing that race. I felt like such a champion, I had met my goals. I wanted my wife to see me cross that finish line but she wasn’t there, but that could be another post in itself. She made it up to me though. She showered me with praise the rest of the day and nothing feels as good as a spouse lifting you up.
I think my recent doubt about my life now is that I don’t really have any goals. I want to be the best I can be for my children, I want to be there for them at every milestone in their lives to remind them how much they are loved, and how special they each are. But there is no path to run on, no mile markers to pass, no destination to reach. No spouse to cheer me on. It’s just today; and who knows how many more “todays” I have to complete. Maybe I’m just fighting against living in the past, or maybe I’m fighting against what maybe waiting in tomorrow. Either way it’s a long, long night.