I'm reading the book "Making Toast" by Roger Rosenblatt. It's a true story of how his daughter died suddenly so he (Roger) and his wife Ginny move in with their son-in-law to help take care of the three grandkids who are 7, 5 and 20 months. It's been nice to read and it hits on a lot of the same things that mom and I are feeling. His title comes from how he became the toast making connoisseur in the family. I feel like our family dinners have become our trademark. We try very hard to have them at least 4 times a week, sometimes 5 or 6. In fact mom and I are even contemplating trying to pull off a Seder for tomorrow night but that is up to Joshua if he wants to have one or not.
Anyway, I read this line in the book that the nanny told Roger when he and his wife first arrived to the house and their lives were crashing down upon them. She said to Roger, "You are not the first to go through this and you are better equipped to handle it than most."
Now obviously we aren't the first family to have to go through an out of order death in the family. And the fact that we are all so close, I think, makes it harder. But also in that respect, we ARE better equipped to handle it. We are all looking out for each other. We all want to protect each other. We all think the other person in the family has it worse off than we do. None of us have been through anything remotely like this so we're all fumbling along, but we're fumbling together.
I had a huge milestone today. I went out to lunch with a friend......without sissy. It was the first time I've been to lunch with someone, just me and a friend, and sissy wasn't there in I don't know how long. On the drive to the restaurant all sorts of thoughts and emotions were crashing into my brain. I even cried a bit when I first got going. But the closer I got to the restaurant, the more I realized that I WAS doing it, I WAS going to get through this and I WAS going to enjoy it. It was a big step for me. I'm glad I did it because I had a lovely time with her and it was so nice to just sit and talk about everything. I was able to hear about her life, hear about things that she had going on, not just what I'm going through but to be truthful I did use her a bit as a therapist, lol.
One other thing happened that I had been putting off. I pulled down all the winter/red things in the house (curtains, rugs, lampshades, etc....) and replaced them with my spring/summer/teal/beachy things. I dreaded it because it marked a change in season.....without sissy. It was actual, physical proof that we are moving on without her. That idea is still so foreign to me. To be honest I think we're all still in some stage of shock. The whole scope of what has happened can't be realized in only 2.5, almost 3 months. It's not possible. I canNOT look forward to the future, that is much too difficult. I mean Easter is a week away and we still have no idea what we're doing. Then again, this is us and we are infamous for making five sets of plans for any holiday and never deciding what we're doing until that day so I guess this is nothing different. And yet it is.
Anyway, I just want everyone to know something. We are all broken beyond repair. We are all different people now. I do not recognize the life I had prior to January 9th, 2010 because it takes all of my energy to deal with the life I have now. But we ARE living. We ARE going on. We ARE functioning. And most of all, we ARE having fun with the kids! They are truly our saving grace. It is still difficult on them, how can it not be? But they help us much more than we help them. I take that back, Joshua does an amazing job with Asa so those two are in a league of their own. They are both incredibly brave people who are tackling something no one should have to and they are doing it with such grace and strength that we all get strength from them. Mom and I call them "the boys" but really, they are helping anchor our family.
Physically, we are down one member. It is no longer the eight of us, it is now the seven of us. This is never more evident than at the family dinners we have.
But we are having them.