Let me put it this way... yesterday and today were jam packed with Mommy and me activities and I didn't take a single photo. As a matter of fact, I didn't even BRING my camera with me anywhere.
Those that know me well are thinking right now: "Uh oh. Something's wrong"
Not taking photos - especially when there are photo worthy moments (like, uh, all the time) is a sure way to expose my state of mind. When this happens it's bad, folks. Real bad.
I'm exaggerating... slightly. But you can consider the above a warning that this post will be pretty depressing, pretty whiny and devoid of any photos to take your mind off of the darkness. Apologies in advance.
Yesterday and today have been bad days for my Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. While I would have loved to theoretically spend the day in bed... that's something that just isn't possible. Literally. Spending the day in bed sounds awesome and you'd think it would be just what I'd need. But for someone with arthritis, spending the day in bed - or spending too much time even "still" is worse. It causes more stiffening which defeats the entire purpose.
And another reason why I can't just "check out?" Brian.
Yesterday we shipped Daddy out of town to enjoy his Father's Day gift: guilt free alone time. (Seriously - isn't that the BEST Father's Day or Mother's Day gift? A day off, guilt free??) I didn't say anything about my physical issues because, knowing Ed, he would have stayed home and given up his Father's Day. That wasn't happening. So I planned an afternoon with my Mom at her place.
But there was still the morning. It takes me quite a while to get moving on days like this. I endured a long morning of "Mommy, I'm lonely. Mommy, I'm bored. Mommy, I want you to get down on the floor and play with me." and on and on...
We made it to my Mom's retirement village and he had a great afternoon... and so did I. My Mom's place has an indoor (heated!) pool so Brian and I went swimming for a while. Fortunately, being in the water is good for your joints! Right? Unfortunately, continuously catching a flying four year old off the edge is fun at the time, but causes a painful physical hangover the entire next day. Lesson learned.
Regardless, the pool was fun and Brian impresses me more and more with his attempts to swim. He starts two solid weeks of daily swim lessons June 24th so the timing of his newest passion is perfect. After swimming, we all got dressed and had dinner in the fancy dining room! Brian was such a good boy... and we both LOVED the food. My Mom is living the high life, let me tell you! This place has everything.
When we got home, Ed was just pulling in from his "day off" and we showered him with kisses and cards and then Brian was off to bed. By that time I was spent in every way. I could barely think, let alone write a blog. I feel awful that I didn't have the energy to write a Father's Day post. Especially since I happen to think I chose the best possible Father for my children. But Ed couldn't have cared less... he's so not about that. (I still feel guilty.)
I suspected that I might wake up feeling worse... and I was right. And as I sat in my pajamas at the kitchen island trying and trying to get myself in gear... and listening again to the chorus of "I'm lonely. I don't have anyone to play with. I don't want you to have your "achies" today, Mama." I finally had to leave the room and cry. And cry.
These are the things that went through my mind:
Why hasn't my RA gone into remission?? My last couple pregnancies it did - and quickly. Why not now? It feels like it's getting worse!!
How is it possible that Gavin is dead?!?
These are the days I really miss having help at the house each day. It was such a giant help for me physically. And it ensured that the boys were both entertained... among many other things, obviously.
What am I going to do about Brian? On one hand, I don't want to be enslaved to his need for constant entertainment. He needs to adjust to our unfortunate new normal - for now, he's an only child. There isn't a built in playmate around here - even in me. And with the baby on the way, I need him to really understand that I won't always be available to him when he asks.
But on the other hand - this child has suffered a profound and devastating loss. He misses Gavin terribly and truly IS lonely. Which is why I feel so torn and so guilty when I don't spend time with him every waking moment. It is such an intense guilt trip.
I've received lots and lots of great suggestions of ways to keep him busy this summer... and I do plan to take advantage of a lot of them. He'll take swimming lessons at the YMCA (Mommy gets to sit on the side and take pictures)... a mini gymnastics camp for two weeks in July at the YMCA... we're going to go to the beach a few times... play dates with neighbors and friends... among many other things.
How is it possible that Gavin is dead?!?
I calmed myself down and came back to Brian and decided that I needed to take him somewhere. Preferably somewhere that Mommy could sit her decrepit body down and watch the fun. And, by God, I hit the GOLDMINE this morning.
I don't know how I didn't know this place existed in my backyard. On their website it showed they had an "Open Bounce" session from 10-12 for $8.95. It was 9:30. I got us dressed and we headed over right away. At first, we were the only ones there! It was a big room with four HUGE bounce structures. Slides, rock walls, basketball, etc. Within fifteen minutes, two women showed up with their four boys. The boys (aged from 4 to around 10) introduced themselves (unprompted!) to Brian and took him into their group. For the next two hours I watched him run, laugh, play, sweat, high five his new friends and jump. I'm sure the two other Moms might have wondered why I kept wiping tears away, but I was so relieved... so happy... and so exhausted.
When we got home, he gobbled a huge lunch and then... ready for this?... he laid on the couch for an hour. Bounce U has a summer passport for $50.00 - unlimited open bounce sessions. Yes, please.
Brian and I had two hours to recover before his friends, Seamus and Molly, were coming by to play in the backyard. They played on the slip n slide, in the baby pool and water table... it was a total Gavin afternoon. How I wish he was there with us. I just sat, mostly, next to my good friend Patti and watched in a daze as the kids splashed and laughed and ran around.
I don't know what I'll do if my RA gets worse. I'm not sure how I'll function. I am usually able to handle this so much better, but now it has me completely overwhelmed. I am tired... Gavin died... I'm pregnant... I'm buried, so to speak, under a mountain of those to-do's that are still not ta-done. I know everyone says "It can wait! Don't worry about it!" but they don't understand. Seeing that mountain of funeral items, memorial gifts, unwritten thank you notes, un-returned dishes, perfectly intact photo boards from the funeral... it's all very difficult to see every single day. I want to get it all done - and put in a proper place - because maybe, just maybe, it will help me move forward just a little bit. Just a little bit. But there never seems to be the time... or the energy... or the un-distracted attention that I need for these tasks.
I am not looking for anything with this post. I'm not fishing for sympathy or advice or praise or criticism. If anything, I ask for your positivity and perhaps a prayer or two. I'm struggling.
How is it possible? Really. How is it possible...
In other news, tomorrow is a big day. Beyond an ultrasound in the morning where I'll get another glimpse of Hope... Ed and I are headed back to the Emergency Room to meet with the entire team that was in the room working on Gavin on April 10th. I requested this meeting and I'll explain more about it after the fact. It will be very different than our meeting with the folks at Gavin's hospital, DuPont. There will be no cameras, no hospital P.R., no video of our talk. I am viewing this meeting as a very sacred event so if you could send a prayer my way that this goes the way I envision it, it would mean a lot to me.
If you got this far... thank you.