I’m mad. Brian’s sister and he were in a fight over the phone and she yelled, Yah, well, you two have been in Loni & Brian Land, so you wouldn’t know! I interpret this to mean we are selfish and uncaring and don’t give a hoot about anyone in our family, except ourselves.
I was offended.
She is kind of right, though. I don’t have the physical capability nor the emotional heart to make myself change and that is the truth. I try to care about others, even a teensy bit, but in my heart I am cold and barren and broken. Perhaps if I admit this, I will be able to change and feel again. When I take pics like this, it looks like I’m me, my old self again, showing off a shiny new barrette, or eye makeup, or whatever. What am I supposed to do, take a selfie of me puffy-eyed and crying into my son’s blankets, like I do on any old random afternoon? I don’t think so.
Had to stop writing there for a sec, my stupid toilet was running and it was driving me bat-shit crazy. It has been like that for umpteen weeks and there is no point in telling our landlord because we will get that look that says, ‘Really, you texted me and made me leave my home for a running toilet? You’re pathetic and can’t fix anything yourself’. Nope, don’t need that, I’ll just be mad.
It’s not exactly how my sister-in-law feels that has me upset. It’s more that she actually said it out loud. Who is she to judge me and my husband? My son died on April 14th. That is, let me check my 2-year pocket calendar, um, 149 days ago, or 22 weeks ago, or 5 ½ months ago. However you want to slice the date of death pie, there you have it. I’m just a bit bitter as I write because I’m just curious…when do YOU think I should be out of Loni and Brian Land?
My husband replied: “You hold your dead son in your arms and then you tell me how that feels. You have no clue how I feel”.
He is a better communicator than me, sometimes. I would have screamed. Flipped my lid. Lost my shit. Flew off the handle. Split in two. Blew a head gasket. And all the other colorful ways to express shifting out of your normal self and elevating over your psychotic screeching alter-ego.
I came home and sobbed. What a week. I outstretched my mental capacity with my students. I overstepped my own boundaries and worked during break and lunch. I took narrative blah one-page essays and geography quizzes home to grade each night. By Friday, I hadn’t much left.
When I finally reached my driveway this afternoon, I could feel my shoulders loosen their pinched grip on me and I hung my head way down deep in my chest. I let my tears fall and I called for my baby. Wyatt. Wyatt.
I want the world to see how special and unique our lives are. To stop and recognize how desolate our family is without Wyatt. Just once, for my friends and family to maybe allow more mistakes and forgetfulness. To not harbor resentment and anger becau356…(that was Harry walking across my keyboard.)
Let’s try that again. To not harbor resentment and anger because I have forgotten an important doctor’s appointment or texted too late for someone else’s birthday. To just give us time and love and also some more space on the sidewalk as we walk by…and maybe pick up our tab, too. Physical things to tell me you know that my heart is broken. It all seems so silly how I search for this extra attention, but I do. Like the quiet kid at the family party over by the Swedish meatballs, who really just wants to be invited into an adult conversation. I’m busy eating. I’m busy staying busy. We take our boat to the river. We go wherever we can and do whatever we can. It’s desperate, at times.
I don’t know what I’m talking about.
I just know that hearing about Loni and Brian Land pissed me off. How dare people make judgements about me and my husband and how we are handling our son’s death. I know we go on weekend trips, I know that we post pics on FB and I know that the happy texts we relay to family is how all of this has happened to come back and bite us in the ass. What are we supposed to do? I have NO vacation time left because I used all 28 days I had saved up, while laying in antepartum, waiting for our son. Then, once he was born I used the remaining 14 days to stop my life and sit next to him in the NICU. When that was over, my co-workers pooled their sick days and gifted me more weeks. Incredible support.
Now, I have nothing. No baby. No days. So, when I take these elaborate vacations, I go after work on Friday and drag my ass back to work on Monday. Exhausted and grateful to have given my mind a fucking break from heartache and loss and grief and emptiness, I return.
How was your weekend? They ask, enthusiastically.
Oh, yah, great. It was nice to get away. I mutter.
5 more days of work. Repeat conversations held in the lunchroom coming up. I want my baby back. I want the life I was working so hard to get. I want my little family. I want all of it.