I have not written a thing in over two weeks, and counting my last post on the 24th of June, it has been almost a month and I have only posted 1 blog entry. My dearth of writing is attributable to two factors: 1) As a teacher the end of the school is the most hectic time there is and I had very little time to write due to the intensity of the demands of my profession. 2) My writing is fueled by my emotional state and my emotional state has reached a new plateau that I did not expect and has thrown me off a bit. If I were writing an educational blog I would bore you with the tedium of the end of school year craziness that every teacher experiences, but seeing as this is not about that it is reason #2 that I am writing today.
The past three weeks or so have found me in a different place emotionally. The daily pain I experience is not nearly as acute as it was for most of the past 8 months and I am not sure why. I find the time to smile more and enjoy the little things. The asterisk that has adorned my life* is still omnipresent, yet I find it muted and less pronounced. Samantha and I have found the time to laugh more, and I am more comfortable talking about my feelings regarding Rees to her. I notice that I do not cry at inappropriate times nearly as much: Though today I found myself balling at the end of Planes, Trains and Automobiles – a movie I have seen at least twenty times and previously only laughed out loud at and certainly never shed a tear to. I am finding solace in doing the things I used to and can smile when I see other little boys with fathers. I can go to bed some nights and just close my eyes and sleep without seeing unfortunate images of little boy that I know will forever haunt me. While I may be more content now, as I discover some semblance of inner peace, it appears to come at the cost of losing bits and pieces of Rees’ memory and for that I ashamed and scared.
One of my newest dilemmas is the price I must pay for my new found tranquility. The old axiom that “There is no such thing as a free lunch” rings true here. Apparently the cost of my inner solitude is losing my memories of Rees. I have to give a piece of Rees to get peace for myself. It’s a cruel exchange and, as far as I know, it is the currency my soul must sell in order to make myself whole again… It is almost as if it is some cruel mathematical equation: broken self – memories of Rees = Whole self at peace. To make myself whole again, I must give up pieces of my little boy to find peace and it is a transaction that I cannot avoid.
How can I remember Rees without losing my soul and my sanity in the process? If I spend time trying to remember my life with him I find myself growing sullen and filled with despair that I shall never experience that life again. If I allow myself to heal, I lose those very feelings of my life with him in it and in the process I lose him even more. It’s like climbing a mountain: the higher and higher I go, the further away my departure point becomes until it is no longer visible. I don’t want to forget my little boy, yet I don’t want to be sad all of the time. These two sentiments appear to be mutually exclusive and there is nothing I can do to reconcile them. I cannot ascend the mountain of happiness without losing site of my little boy at its base – and carrying him with me is not an option as the burden is too great. I am literally stuck between a rock and my happy place…
In many ways the climb up this hill is like riding an escalator: automatic, unyielding and ever moving upwards. If I walk with the escalator the climb is relatively faster. If I stand still I am still propelled upward. The only way down is to run backwards at a relative speed that is faster than the moving staircase. If I wish to remain in place I still need to walk backwards, but at a rate equal to the upward movement of the stairs. Going backwards is not an option in this case, and as such I already find myself forgetting that I HAD three children. It seems like my daughters are all I ever had and that there is an ever fading whisper of some alternate universe in which I had a little boy who made my life complete. It is as though my brain sees the summit only and is forced to forget what lay behind in order to ensure I continue moving upwards, unimpeded.
I do not want to move back down the hill I have climbed the past eight months. I also do not wish to forget my little boy. As I move forward into my uncertain future the only thing I can change is the present. Presently, I find myself more at peace than I have felt in the previous 8 months, yet I have found I am forgetting what my life with Rees was like. Perhaps, rather than trying to fight that upward movement I can accept that the summit is my ultimate destination and my journey has only just begun. I may be losing site of what was left behind, but I can always use a looking glass to bring those distant sites closer. Maybe the best way to make this climb is to keep moving forward and look back on my time with Rees with a rose-colored glass, keeping focus on only the things I want to see. I know the summit is somewhere up there, and who knows? – maybe he is already up there, carried by angel’s wings, waiting for me at the top…
I couldn’t help think that when you felt happy, or smiled and laughed that Rees was grinning ear to ear, he is with you always and I think he is happy you are feeling joy.
Memories are something no one can take away.
Enjoy your family and your life, Rees is right there with you all.
Peace and Love,
Rees will always be in your heart…hoping your memories will become the happy spots of a day <3
Rees will always be with you all. He is over your shoulder telling you its ok. For all the special times you had with him he will always be there when you need him. As always our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
so glad that you are coming to a place where you can find some inner peace. you have the wonderful gift of being able to express yourself so perfectly in a way that others can understand. you still HAVE 3 children- one just walks with the angels- that doesn’t discount the fact that he once walked among us- he is just further along on the journey than we are. hoping that as the nightmares recede they are replaced with wonderful dreams where you all share the wonderful times of Rees’ life together- and thank you so very much for allowing us to share this journey along with you. prayers and thoughts remain with you
Nice to hear you are finding an inner peace. I agree, you will never forget your little angel, but part of the healing process is being able to live and enjoy life — including your beautiful daughters. your family remains in my prayers.
You cross my mind every day my friend. Love your writing, love your honesty, love you! Glad to hear that you’re smiling a little more, and your family is as close as ever. (Hugs)
Your ability to express yourself is beautiful and amazing. I can totally understand what you are saying and it makes perfect sense. The balancing act of life is never an easy task, but you seem to be handling as best as anyone in your situation could. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings so publicly. I believe there are many people, along with yourself, that you are helping by putting your thoughts out there for all to see.
My prayers for your continued journey forward…
Beautiful blog as always…although we both work in Smithtown, we don’t know each other…what I do “think” that I know is that you will NEVER forget your son…it seems you feel guilt for healing, but it appears that this is a gift Rees would want to give to his sisters and mom…my thoughts are with you and your family as you navigate this healing process together
Beautifully said…beautifully said.
Glad to hear your feeling better