Sunday, November 25, 2012

Not an easy road

It has been a very long couple of months for us. Oct and Nov have been 2 of the hardest months we've had since Tyler died. Dawson tied the pumpkins and Halloween stuff to that time of the year, and he remembers a lot more than I realize sometimes. Last year, they had a Halloween party at the Autism Center, then that week was his last week of school. So this year he got horribly moody, acting out, screaming, crying, wetting the bed, hitting teachers, etc. Then he asked me if it was the last day of school and I realized that he was reliving last year, along with the rest of us. I couldn't help but think each day what we were doing last year. There were many dates that stuck out, many horrible events leading up to his death. I'd find myself subconsciously thinking about it, I'd have a bad feeling some days and after a while it would bug me too much, so I'd go to Caringbridge and find out what it was. It was always a big thing that happened.

Dawson got better after Halloween, but not me. I thought once we passed that dreaded day, Nov 2nd, that it would get better. It still continued though. I woke up the next morning with the same heaviness that I did last year. The week leading up to the funeral, I kept thinking about plans, did we do everything right for him? Did we make all the right choices and decisions? It really doesn't matter now, and I keep telling myself that, and honestly there's really nothing else that could've been done. The Dr had said that as well, yet we still wonder. They say this is normal.

From the time a baby is born, we keep track of all their firsts. Our family pic, them sitting up, smiling, etc. I never knew one day I would be thinking about all the lasts.

Our last family picture
The last time I held him
The last time I saw him
No parent should have to stand by helplessly as their child fights for 2 years, suffers, overcomes so many things, then still ends up dying. No parent should have to hold them as they gasp for air for 30 minutes, silently begging them to just stop. No parent should have to leave their child, after holding them for hours, feeling them get stiff and cold, and wondering how we ever got here, and why us?
The 1 year anniversary has passed, but now the holidays are here and I would just like to hibernate for a few months. Thanksgiving was tough, I was just not in the mood and certainly not feeling very thankful. Though I know we do have much to be thankful for, it is hard when the biggest thing at the moment is pain. They say the 2nd year is worse, because the numbness is gone and we are expected to move on with life somehow and we don't even know where to start. We do things, we go places, but still feeling stuck in place. Our kids are growing, all but one. It's hard wondering what he'd be like. I know many kids who are Tyler's age and they look so huge to me. They are talking, and have such cute personalities. What is looming the most, beyond that 1 year mark, and the holidays, is his birthday in February. 4 years old seems so big, so much more mature. It seems impossible that he would've been 4 already. He was only 2 1/2 when I saw him last, and the size of a 1 1/2 year old, so 4 seems huge! I've been trying to come up with ideas for the boys for Christmas, but I walk down the toy aisle and halfway down I see the toys I had planned for Tyler last Christmas, and by the end of the aisle, everything is all blurry again.

Thankfully I have a group on facebook that I created a year ago for other grieving parents who's child had cancer. I have a few other friends who have lost a child as well who have been very helpful. They have been an amazing support group and I honestly don't know how I'd be doing today if I didn't have them to tell me that all these things are normal feelings. I asked them if anyone else feels like Psycho-Grinch, because this is beyond Grinch, this is irrational and I feel like a crazy person half the time! I see posts on facebook about black friday, or pictures of all the toys they have bought for their kids and I just want to scream. Who cares! They are just objects, half that they will play with for a week and forget about. All I want is my little boy, or maybe even a sense of peace and ability to move on and enjoy life somehow.

Dawson made me smile the other day when I asked him what he wants for Christmas. He said "Go to Grandma's house!". I asked if he wants toys for Christmas and he said "um, no, just go to Grandma's house!". I'm glad someone has their priorities straight. :)  Our apartment hung wreaths last week, and he lit up and said "It's like Christmas!". He has been excited ever since. Since Thanksgiving there has been a lot of outside lights going up as well. We ate at Pizza Ranch last night for supper, and driving back in the dark he was so excited. It also snowed this week, started on Thanksgiving. I think the snowfall has hit me hard as well. Tyler loved watching the snow fall, and seeing the boys watch in excitement has been fun, but hard.

This week has been harder than most. I haven't gotten out of the house much, Dawson has been home most of the week and has been out of routine and constipated as well. He had a couple buns at Thanksgiving, plus some pie crust, and other snacks he got into during the week. The last couple days he has just been in a rage, but today he seems a bit better. That of course did not do good things for my mood either. I've been having horrible mood swings as well, which is mostly what led me to catch up on my blog, it helps, writing therapy. :)  So to catch up with pics from Oct and Nov...

 Dawson finished Horse Therapy. He loved it so much and I'm looking forward to the spring session! Here he was doing stretches. He has pretty good balance. He loves riding with his arms up.
 Gabriel is a little horse boy as well. He has attatched himself to this stuffed horse I made in middle school. He wakes up in the morning and the first thing I hear is "neiiiiiigh".
 We got our pictures taken with Dawson's horse. It's a fundraiser they do to help with the costs of maintaning the horses, since it's a fully volunteer-based program, but they do need to eat. He loved doing the photoshoot. Gabriel was a bit mad that he couldn't just ride the horse, but Dawson was very amused that his horse was being a bit uncooperative.
 Dawson was showing his excitement!
 Sonjay figured out there was hay under there. Dawson was giggling at her.
 She was also giving Dawson horse kisses. He found this hilarious and was giggling so hard. It really tickles.
 Still laughing at the horse
 Fun with props! This was totally Dawson. We were wrapping up, and we looked over to see Dawson had arranged the props into a nice hat for himself.
 Love this pic of the boys. It's one of the only ones where Gabriel was smiling.
 A nice smile! Those are hard to come by with him.

 In October, our friends came back for a week. I picked them up and we all surprised Dawson when he came home from school. He was so excited!
 We went to a pumpkin patch together. Getting them all to sit and look was tough, and Dawson was just not happy about being told to sit still, so he was making sure to express that for the camera!
 Gabriel really enjoyed the pumpkins
 Rain and Dawson. He was happy to have his friend back for a bit. He doesn't make friends easily, she's only the 2nd non-sibling child he's attached himself to. I did just hear there is a boy at school who he has been gravitating toward lately, and he happens to live at our apartment! I haven't seen him around, but hopefully by summer they can figure something out and play together!
 Gabriel loved the petting barn! They had sheep, goat, llama and a horse.

 We didn't do much for Halloween, but we did go to a local event earlier that week. They had a few animals to pet, some booths with candy, and a jumpolene.
 My puppy Gabriel. The costume lasted about 10 minutes though, the floppy hood was too annoying for him.
 The highlight of the afternoon was the jumpolene. He did this at the state fair as well, so he totally lit up when he saw this. He was waving at me everytime he got high up.
 We did a babysitting swap with a friend. They have a dog, so Gabriel was very excited about that.
 I love this face! Seriously, this child needs to stop looking so cute. Can I order about 2 more of these, please? ;)  So far he's been such an easy little guy to deal with. He sure has his moments, but they are nothing like Dawson's moments! So after the first 2, Gabriel is a piece of cake.
I love fall and it's pretty colors! The snow is pretty too, but it's so cold, and sloppy. I'm not a big winter person, it's too cold, cloudy and depressing.
 They were walking up and down the steps. It's so much more fun moving and not being told to sit still!
 Afterward we went to the dam to watch the "waterfall". He was impressed.
 My budding photographer took some pictures of Gabriel and I. He was getting chilly, so we were cuddling for a bit.
 I helped a friend move, and she gave us this adorable chair! It even reclines. Gabriel is very impressed and loves his little chair. Dawson sits in it sometimes too.
 Dawson today, he was playing with his mini pool table. Balls with colors and numbers. lots of different ways to sort and line them up!
I'm hoping to update this more often! I'm looking forward to getting back to a normal week of Dawson in school and me having some Mom stuff to go to. On Tuesday Dan and I are going to a parenting workshop about grieving children. Thursday is Dawson's yearly IEP meeting at school. On Friday I have a get-together with some of the most amazing ladies, my cancer moms group. Because even though some of our kids are gone, we will forever be in this group. The world of Childhood Cancer changes who you are, it changes your way of thinking and looking at the world, it changes how you parent, what you view as important, etc. Hopefully this will be a better week than the last. I liked this quote from a grieving page I found. It seems the whole weekend so far has been a big emotional release! Hopefully it will be less soon.
"You made it through Thanksgiving. The day has come and gone. Whether it was easier than you expected, harder (or both), the day is over. Often the day after has an emotional release. Rest today where you can. Be gracious to yourself, and tender. This is not an easy road."

No comments: