“DW – do you know what today is?”
“Sure – it’s St. Patrick’s Day, the anniversary of our first big fight,” DW smirked.
“You jerk! Yes it’s St. Patrick’s Day, the anniversary of our engagement!”
Not only is it a day of green beer and corn beef with cabbage, but it is today’s guest blogger’s birthday. One of the things I like about Brook is her transparency. Her posts are raw, honest, and insightful. She is also a wealth of information about ADD, and eager to offer support and encouragement. Brook has a unique outlook on life, and in spite of life’s unexpected mountains, she finds ways to come out stronger on the other side. She has a heart for her community and for making a positive impact on the world.
You may need some tissues while reading her post today.
Be sure to check out Brook’s blog to be dancing…a novelty yarn and wish her a very Happy Birthday.
A Little Bit About Brook
Hi, I’m Brook. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’m turning 35 today. I hope that means I’m a little wiser, a little more focused, a little taller. Well, maybe not taller. But the other two would be nice. I’ve been married to my “former” Marine husband for 11 years and we have an eight year old son. We live 15 minutes from a small town on 5 acres with 5 horses and a dog. I have returned to school (an hour away) to pursue my degree. If all goes according to plan, at the end of next school year I’ll have my Bachelor’s of Fine Arts. I read somewhere recently that this is the Year of the Rabbit which is normally marked by calm compared to the tumult of last year, the Year of the Tiger. I certainly hope that holds true, because I’d be hard pressed to take much more of the tumult that finished off 2010 for us. Between September and the New Year, my mom died, my husband almost died (over Thanksgiving which happened to be the week before finals), he then had a surgery, and we had the flu and weird rashes during the week he was gone for it (the week before Christmas). But, don’t worry, I’m feeling much better now. So far the Year of the Rabbit has lived up to it’s name and I am SO thankful for the breather.
My Worst Pajama Day Ever
If ever there was a day to put my pajamas back on and pull the covers over my head, it would have been September 21, 2010. It was a Tuesday. I was at school.It was the first week of the term and attendance is mandatory in order to keep your place in your classes. The exception to that is extenuating circumstances like a death in the family. It was the day my mom died.
My husband called me. He said to come home right now. He didn’t want to tell me on the phone and he wanted to make sure I could make the hour drive home. But the not knowing was (almost) worse than just being told. I didn’t know if something was seriously wrong with our son or what else it could be. He ended up telling me so I could stop imagining what it could be and just be sure.
At first, I was in a bit of denial. I kept thinking it was just some awful prank someone was trying to pull on us. After all, it was only my husband who had told me about it. Surely, somehow he had gotten erroneous information? Of course, that was not the case. As we pieced together from the various medical and law enforcement personnel involved what had happened, it became obvious that this was not a cruel prank. It was the truth and I had to come to terms with it.
When I arrived home, I only had a few minutes before our son would arrive home on the bus. He was already on the way home so I wasn’t able to pick him up from school. It was good to have a couple minutes to myself before he got there, though. My husband had gone over to our neighbor’s to see if they could help babysit over the next couple of days while we did the official chores that go along with not only a death, but a suicide that took place in a mental facility, no less. There was a lot of confusion as to how she had gotten there and what had happened.
I sat on the end of my bed gasping for breath. I screamed and sobbed for those few minutes and then I prepared to do the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I waited for them to come home from the bus stop. Because, make no mistake, as hard as it was for me to hear that my mom was gone, it was infinitely harder to have to tell my baby, my child, my heart, that his grandma was gone.
We sat down on the couch with him and told him as best we could that she had died. He started crying. It was a kind of screaming, almost howling cry that tore my heart to pieces. He jumped up and ran into our bedroom to weep uncontrollably on our bed. We followed him in there and lay down with him, holding and rubbing and patting him. Offering what little comfort there is to be had. Knowing all the while that there really isn’t anything we can do. They were best pals and she was gone.
After a few minutes, he asked how she had died. We didn’t feel like he needed to know the specifics of how she had died. We also didn’t want to tell him she had died in the hospital for fear of causing him undo worry when Daddy goes into the hospital, as he does fairly regularly. But we had to tell him something.
We told him that she was tired and sick and sad. That her body got so filled up with being tired and sick and sad that it couldn’t take it anymore. We saved the details for later when he is bigger and ready to hear it. It isn’t a secret, but he’s a little guy and doesn’t need to carry that yet.
Eventually, he cried himself to sleep and my husband and I were able to gather up the tattered remains of our hearts and start the work of stitching our world back together. My heart broke twice that day. I would take the pain of it from him if I could. But, as we all know, that is not possible. All we could do was hold on and love him and each other through it.
That is the story of my worst pajama day ever.
Learn more about Brook at her blog to be dancing…a novelty yarn