Another Holiday Season is upon us now. in full swing. thanksgiving with Brad’s family, Black Friday shopping and yes even a Christmas tree. Where did the year go? I can’t believe we’re inching closer to completing our first calandar year without Conner with us. He sometimes seems as if just a distant memory. I’m sure that sounds strange…see of course I remember him and have years of amazing memories to hold close…but the specifics…how he would be now as an 8.5 year old…it’s all surreal. I am amazed at all the little things Hunter can recall…about video games they played together and there are many times that I just can’t remember what he looked like cuddled on his favorite end of the couch. how does that happen? it makes me feel like it’s all just a bad nightmare. it’s hard to pick hunter up from school and his school best friend has an older brother that was conner’s bestfriend at that same age. to see how old he is now, all big in the 3rd grade and just wondering how conner would look like, would he still be my sweet boy or start to test the waters and get a little boy attitude….? I’ll never know. I think what may be hardest is this year we know he’s gone…last holiday season we were still a bit in shock and wishing that he’d be there someway, somehow…but now a year later we know he won’t. we’re not really hoping for it anymore. does that make sense?
reality is cruel sometimes.
it’s hard to really write these truths out…I feel a bit like a broken record…like maybe I’m not really entitled to hurt openly anymore…it’s been too long. maybe I’ll be seen as weak, depressed, out of hope…broken…but what I really, truly am…is a mom whose hurting. who will always hurt. a beautiful boy that meant so much to us is no longer with us but in memory and that’s something that time can never take away. I guess I hope that in some way my being honest is providing reassurance or hope to another family struggling with grief somewhere. I know my story is not at all unique. there are many moms and dads in this club…and I wonder if they too feel they have to now suffer silently since maybe it’s been awhile…but I feel that if I lie and deny the truth…and the pain that I’m really saying that he didn’t matter…that his death wasn’t the single most defining moment of my lifetime. and I’m not one to lie. nor would I ever limit his lifes meaning to just a year of mourning. how could i?
Sweet Hunter’s been having nightmares of Conner…waking up screaming in the night for me or Brad. it’s heartbreaking when we have no good or satisfying answers for him. only hugs and kisses and prayers to comfort him. seems so inadequate in the grand scheme of his pain.
there are less and less nights where brad or I cry ourselves to sleep…but the pain is still there like it was the night he left. I don’t believe that time truly heals…I think time brings a bit more reality of the situation…and you learn ways to cope. more and more I find my brain taking me back to that last day with him. I recall sights, sounds, people, laughter, tears, prayers, oxygen buzzing, phone conversations, visitors, flowers, I remember the look on his face…I remember the panic in his eyes…I remember every little detail…and it paralyzes me. then I recall the aftermath, the funeral, the generosity of strangers, burying him, all of it. before now my brain hasn’t really let me think of the details…the details are painful.
I remember the feeling of deep sadness grieving the loss of his CF docs in our lives as well. I had to let every detail of his life go. I had to mourn it all one by one. his future, his wishes, his presence, his teams of drs, his friends…and I thought that after spending so much time with the CF team fighting, strategizing, and talking together that I’d never be able to move on. to find a new identity really. the old me had to die too. what a difficult process. I held on so tightly. but I had to let it go. and now I know for sure that I have let it go. I still think of the CF team with great affection and love…but I don’t “need” them like I thought I did…like the old me did. I’ve found a new me…one with different meaning, different goals and a whole new perspective on life. I still participate in the CF walk each year and help sell CF wreaths for the holidays…but other than that I’ve taken a HUGE step back from CF. I had to decide that it could no longer be a huge priority in my new life. CF stole so much from us already, and I couldn’t continue to let it take time away from my precious living family. and I’m very much ok with that now. the old me would never even dream of doing that! but Bradyn and Hunter deserve all of me now like they never had before…and I love having some stability in our lives…not having to worry about our next trip to the ER or the hospital…
A new life full of free time that we never had before. it’s bittersweet for sure. I’d rather have Conner here with us…growing and loving with us here in our home…oh to have him within arms distance…I can’t imagine how wonderful that would feel to hug him…but now I know that for sure I won’t be able to do that on this earth. he’s not coming back. and I must make the most of the time I have here to love my family the way they deserve and the way that makes me feel whole again. if only for a moment…
Love Love Love