We were the closest family possible. Our world was turned upside down on 05/03/09 when my best friend, the person I love most next only to our children, my sister Trina was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Her body gave out on her on 01/09/10 but she will ALWAYS be a part of our daily life and will continue to be in my posts. I started my blog to chronicle our daughter's international adoption from Guatemala and have continued to use it as a journal.

What you will find is my family trying to adapt to our new lives that were handed to us.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Grief And Quotes

I was watching "Criminal Minds" last night and was struck by the opening narrative quote:

"Man, when he does not grieve, hardly exists."

- Antonio Porchia

That is so true.

Here is why.

Last week Beya and I went to Target while the kids were at school. We had actually gone the day before but Valentina had thrown an epic fit so we had to leave without buying anything. I was literally dragging her out. Yes, I was that mom with that kid. Trust me, the stares and dirty looks I was getting were not fun but hardly the worst thing I've been through. So yes, Beya and I went back to the scene of the crime to actually BUY the things we needed.

As we pulled into the parking lot we were laughing at something that I don't even remember what it was. But the fact is, we were laughing. And that brought me back to over a year ago when mom and I went on our first Target run without sissy. It was horrible, it is one of the few memories I have from last year. Mom and I sat in the car and sobbed. Mom kept repeating "we just have to get through this moment" and I replied "but it's too hard. This moment RIGHT NOW is too hard." Beya and I just sat there, cried and then managed to pull ourselves together to go in.

Last week we were laughing when we walked in.

Part of me was hesitant to write this post because people see us laughing and assume that we are all better, that we have grieved (past tense) and have "come out the other side". That has got to be one of the worst and dumbest ways to describe grief because you are never done with it. Grief never goes away. One of the truest quotes is:

"You are never ok again,

you just become more ok with things being shitty."

- Holly G

I have the best and most truthful friends.

Mom and I find it easier to laugh with each other because we know that we are both still thinking the exact same thing at all times, "if only Trina was here. How is it possible we are doing this without her?"

Sunday the six of us (Norm, Beya, Papa, the kids and me) went on a two night getaway. Norm had meetings for work so we all packed up and left our metropolis for another metropolis that is about a 2 1/2-3 hour drive away. It was the first time I had been there since sissy had died. The four of us (Trina, Josh, Norm and me) had gone there several times for weekends away and had always had so much fun. There are so many memories locked in that city. When Trina and Josh were dating and he still lived there, she would go spend the weekend with him. She was also self employed in sales and the head office was based up there so she would have to travel up there for work too. As we drove past the exits my mind wandered back to not just our trips up there but to when sissy would call me while she was driving that stretch of freeway. We would talk for an hour (easily) about everything and ever so often she'd read off which exit she had just passed. There were so many memories, each one more stabbing than the last, that I cried for about an hour in the car with Norm (Beya and papa drove my car with the kiddos).

I thought I had been through the worst of it but oh no, I woke up in the middle of the first night literally sobbing. My face was wet with tears. In my dream sissy and I were on vacation in that city, laughing, having fun, excited for the upcoming U2 concert and then sissy was sick and when I woke up sissy was dead. I hate dreams of sissy because we are always having fun and it just slaps me with the reality that that will never happen again.

But we did have fun on our little trip. We did touristy things with the kids, things that I hadn't done in the city since my first trip up there when I was about 14. The only thing that sucked was the snoring. Oh, and the uncomfortable beds. And the face that they were mini beds. Queen size? Ha! They were like twin beds! Even my ambien couldn't get me to sleep (as Jen can attest to and yes, ambien is to make me sleep, as much as my behavior contradicts that). We got home Tuesday afternoon and I'm so glad we went. Once I get my pictures downloaded I will post some of them.

Valentina's surgery is scheduled for next week. After taking her to the ENT he confirmed that Valentina's tonsils and adenoids are so big that they are blocking about 85% of her airway. Her voice is going to change because for the first time she will be able to breathe normally. Of course no mother wants their child to go through surgery but then I think of the countless surgeries Aviana has been through (actually I'm sure Jen could tell you the exact number she's had) and I realize how minor a tonsillectomy is. Of course my mind also meanders back to when I took Trina to the doctor for the pain she was having, he listened to her and then informed her it was normal pregnancy pains. On her trip to the ER on May 3, 2009, the worst possible diagnosis we thought was a blood clot.

"When you hear hoof beats think horses, not zebras."

"Sometimes it is zebras. Sometimes it is."

- "Off The Map"

Sometimes it is. But sometimes a tonsillectomy is just a tonsillectomy.

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