Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I've been struggling so hard the past month and a half. Trying to distract myself with every little thing. Working out, reading, putting on my happy face online and with everyone I speak to. As the weeks have passed, it's becoming harder and harder to distract myself. Just sitting and watching television isn't enough if I have to sit through commercials. Sitting online isn't enough when I take a moment here or there to think. Reading and working out, provides a steady stream of distraction. But I'm flying through books too fast to keep it up. With this depression I have no desire, whatsoever, to leave the house, so exercise isn't quite doing it's job. And the pure laziness I feel when I get like this is keeping me from doing anything much at home.

I have no desire whatsoever to do anything besides the bare minimum. I don't want to leave my bed at all. Yet staying in it is even worse. So I make myself get up before the hubs and go sleep on the couch. It's the only way I've been able to get up and take care of the kids in the morning. The mornings, I stay in bed until they wake I fight the most intense battle. My mind tells me to stay there. Don't worry about anything, just grieve and cry and sleep. My heart reminds me I have three precious children I need to take care of. My heart tells me she wouldn't want me wasting time reliving the past, feeling guilty, feeling angry, feeling that low.

I know things would be easier if I just made myself do things. If I just made myself do the mundane household tasks, play with the children, work with the children, leave the house, things would be easier..

Lovely. Just lovely. As I sit here typing what is so hard for me to get out, so hard to explain, while I fight to get the words out, the song comes on. Her song. Stopped my trying, dead in it's track, mid-word. "Every little thing's gonna be alright."

You see, New Years Eve 2007, just 3 hours before 2008 would begin, I got a call. Nana had a heart attack. We were having a party at our apartment. Since I was just 18 days away from my due date with Collin, I had the only other sober person there come with me to the hospital. On the way there Bob Marley's Three Little Birds came on the radio. I thought nothing of it at the time. Nothing at all. Just a couple days later she had another heart attack. Again, the song came on. Again, it didn't phase me. I hadn't even noticed that I heard it the night of her first one. On January 19th, two days after my sweet Collin was born, I got a call while I was still in the hospital, "Nana's in surgery, her entire colon is being removed, C-dif, not sure if she can pull through with her heart still healing from the bypass." Just a few pieces I remember from the conversation... I called my doctor to rush the   discharge. I needed to get to the other hospital. When I climbed into the car, with my brand new baby boy and my husband, he was turning the radio dial and stopped on the same song. "This is my message to you-ou-ou, saying, don't worry, 'bout a thing"

I was too worried to think much about it still, but it did calm me down enough to stop crying. I never made it to the hospital that day. The song came on a couple more times during my visits to her. On her birthday, February 9th, we left our 3 week old son with a sitter, for the first time. With the c-dif and being in ICU, my boys weren't able to come. Tom and I parked pretty far from the hospital. Just as we were about to get out of the car, it came on. I immediately cried. We were being tossed around with the doctors words. Every other day it seemed we were being told she was strong. Was going to pull through. Every other opposite day we were told she was weaker, and wouldn't. After listening to the song, and crying my eyes out I had the most intense sense of calm. We walked the 8 blocks to the  hospital in silence. That night we were told she would be in the ICU for a couple weeks at most, then moved to a different floor, then moved to a rehabilitation facility, then could come home if she had help. Two days later my entire family made the decision to pull the plug. She was bleeding internally, the pneumonia caused her lungs to be 80% filled with fluid. Her kidneys were failing. All of the machines were living for her. She was in and out of it. While she was "there" she would shake her head no to every question, never opening her eyes. The 11th was such a long day. We had all, except my husband who stayed with my boys, been there with her. The hospital staff didn't dare speak against us for breaking the two visitors at a time rule. Finally a little after two pm it was time. The plug was pulled. We all crowded around her bed. Crying and watching. Struggling to catch her breath.. Finally a very, very close family friend, scratch that, a member of our family, went to her. "It's okay Betty-Girl. Go see Frenchie." She said a few more words, and we all cried more intensely. She looked around the room. Into the eyes of most, if not all of us. And that was it. None of us wanted to leave. I tried so hard that day to remain strong. So strong for my mother. I couldn't, absolutely could not let her see me upset. Finally, after hours I left. As soon as I started my car, it came on again. I laughed. What kind of cruel joke is this? Every thing is not going to be okay. It will never be okay.

The day of her funeral, I was in a daze. I couldn't cry. Nana wouldn't want us to cry over her. She'd much rather us gossip, and be nosy. To laugh at our memories of her. And I did. Well, when we weren't in the car anyway. When leaving the funeral home to head to the church, Bob Marley played on one of the radio stations. When leaving the church for the cemetery, again. When leaving the cemetery, again.

She was never told she had her own special song.

It's been almost three years since her death, and this year has been the worst since it actually happened. Maybe it's because my mind is clearer now than it was the last two years. I don't know. I just know I'm really struggling. This battle is continuing deep in my soul. Half wanting me to give up. To do anything to soothe the pain, even if it causes more in the long run. The other side keeping me from diving into the deep end again. Fighting to keep me strong. Fighting to keep me here for my family. For myself. Fighting to keep me safe from myself. Fortunately, I know that side will win. It's only lost one battle and has gotten strong over the past couple of years. But it doesn't make it any easier to know that I will get through this. It doesn't make it any easier to know things will get better once I start doing things again. Once I start seeing some sun.

All I have to do is remind myself one small thing: "Every little thing, is gonna be alright."

I guess this post turned into a completely different one from what I intended, 
all because this one little song started on the television behind me.
I saw this video for the very first time after arriving home from the funeral. 
This take on the song perfectly shows my view on the song. 

1 comment:

  1. I guess I was somewhat lucky on my mother's side for my grandparents, they slipped away from us over years, slowly becoming incapable of taking care of themselves, my grandfather becoming senile, my grandmother becoming unable to move. By the time they came to death, they were mere shadows of what they had been for me growing up and they were struggling so hard with their old bodies that were simply worn out that we were happy to see them move on to better and happier places. I didn't cry for either of them; they had lived wonderful lives and had moved on.

    I think you're right when you say that she wouldn't want you to mourn like this -- not like this. Not in the debilitating sense. Not in the giving-up sense. She seems (from what I read) like the sort of person who, if she was around, would happily kick you in your ass and tell you go to hug your kids and enjoy your life and make sure you don't miss a SECOND of it by crying over someone who has moved on to better things and happier places.

    I believe fully in celebrating people and not mourning, to preserve their memory by dwelling on the happy parts of it and not the sad or bad, as that's the way their life can be a constant, future inspiration to you and your family and the people around you. Otherwise, you do a wonderful person dishonor by not making sure that everyone knows that you're a better person because of her.

    Hug your kids. Kiss your hubby. Tell them about what kind of person she was and what she did for you. It WILL be all right. Use that song as your motivation to springboard into the rest of life and the challenges you face -- because I think she left that behind just for you. What a wonderful gift.



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