Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I've written this blog a million times in my head.
I've shared this blog a million times at meetings.
But I've never been brave enough to share it here until now...
For some reason, this has been the message that is swirling in my mind and I know it won't go away... until I write it down, so here goes...
I am a blue.
Teachers and anyone who has had 'colors' training' probably know what I am talking about, but the gist is... I care. I want you to be happy... I want to have peace... I want to be liked... I am outgoing and outspoken. I will be there for you. I am a "glass half full" because I want YOU to feel that way.
That's who I am.
That's not quite who she is.
And from the day I met her, I felt I was trying to win her heart, just as I had won her son's- but he was the baby and I felt I had my work cut out for me. I think that she liked me... She always respected me. But at the end of the day, I married her baby~ took him out of his home town~ and brought him to mine. I never felt good enough. I became the "daughter-in-law" and now (having three sons of my own) I know how scary that must be to have another woman suddenly become the number one woman in your son's life (thankfully I don't have to think of that for a while).
My story begins:
A month before they were born, she was diagnosed with cancer. It was not good. She was very sick. She could not make it to the hospital. I know I made the calls but can't recall if I talked to her or him. I had told them they were boys- that one had died. No. Their son couldn't talk. He didn't have a voice. He couldn't speak and didn't for a day. And to this day, I don't know if he ever did talk about it with them.
He was able to come and see us. I loved him so much and I do believe that he loved me. I still remember his laugh- the sound of his voice and the words he spoke to me that day, "When I came and told them I was here to see Laura they said, 'The one who had twins?', and I told them, 'No! She had one baby!' Don't worry, I set them straight!'"
I looked to him with so much love and spoke to him so very gently for I knew he was just protecting me in the only way he knew how. I knew his intentions were good.
"No. It's OK. They're right. I did have twins."
And that was it.
That's all that was spoken of it.
Over the year though, I spoke a lot.
I fit his name in everywhere I could.
I wanted to make sure that they knew it.
For they never spoke it-
Though I desperately wanted them too!
But I am blue. I am determined. And I couldn't give up.
A month after my boys were born, he was diagnosed with cancer.
And he was sick.
The cancer took him within a year of diagnosis and still today I can't believe that he is gone.
I still remember his laugh, the sound of his voice, and the way he made me feel that I belonged.
I was there when he took his final breath and left~ flew away too soon~ just weeks before September 15th.
I was in the room.
And I will never forget it.
In the year that passed, I continued to send her letters~ "Well Wishes" and "Thinking of Yous". I had already survived the first year of a broken heart and I knew that though our grief was different, we both shared that brokenness. I knew what it felt like when that phone stopped ringing and though I couldn't bring myself to call, I couldn't stop writing either.
Writing was my shield- I didn't have to see the reaction~
But still I talked.
And said his name.
I was a bit discouraged, but realized that what is comfortable for me, was probably not comfortable for her and as time went by I learned more about her, more about my relationship with her and I chose my moves carefully~ I am blue. I am determined. And I wouldn't give up.
Each time I wrote I would sign all our names~ three names~ and a butterfly~ a butterfly always attached to my son's name.
And still I waited.
The year anniversary of her husband's death was coming up and though my husband had forgotten the specific date, I knew she wouldn't... and I hadn't. I thought about it for weeks, what to do, how to say "I remember too! I know you are hurting! I know you still think about him every day! I do too!" I prayed about it.
I made a card.
I put a blue butterfly on the front and used blue chalks to blur the wings so carefully.
And though my previous cards could be quite wordy, inside I wrote just two lines:
Sometimes they fly away too soon.
Thinking of you.
The next month, on September 15th (his second birthday) I got a sympathy card and it remains my favorite gift she ever gave me. The gift of understanding. I have it still and I treasure it more than she will ever know.
I waited. And it was worth it.
And she remembered.
In her own way. In her own time.
Don't give up.
Sometimes it takes life to open your eyes.
Sometimes it take life to open theirs.
But in the end, we all feel~
And we all long to be