Tuesday, August 30, 2011

And The Beat Goes On . . .

No no, I'm not composing a suicide note. This scene, though, from Beetlejuice, often bubbles up to my consciousness when I'm thinking about how sad I am. Like, what else can I say? I'm really sad, my daughter is dead, she's never coming back, let me write about it, I'm really sad . . .

You know? I'm like a freaking broken record. That scene up there is ridiculous, as is that whole movie (" . . . having jumped plummeted to my death . . . ").  And when I'm looking for news ways to say how sad I am, or how hard living without Calla is, or how someone doesn't get it, I feel like Lydia Deetz writing the perfect ending.

It just sucks sometimes.

Ahem, all the time. The hurt heals over, but it's never all the way gone, and then I start picking and picking and picking at it until it's in full-bore ouch.

Like when I found myself sobbing at a wedding this weekend during the father-daughter dance. Never mind their song was Landslide:

Fortunately I have a short attention span so when I found this cool dyson hand dryer vortex thingy in the bathroom, I was amused enough to regain my composure.

Anyway. The little things, the big things, life . . . everything and anything reminds me of her. Of her missing.

Stop me if you've heard this one before.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Home Again

We just got back from a week-long vacation. Not exactly a stay-cation, as the kids are calling it these days. More like a close-cation. After our trip down to DC in the spring, we realized a long car ride with the boys was, um, not even close to being a vacation. So we spent a week in nearby Ellicottville, NY at a ski resort. It's only about an hour away from our house, and the weather was really mostly good, and there's a ton to do with little kids at the resort and nearby.

Coming home, I always feel a little exhausted. No matter how relaxing the vacation might have been, and no matter how great the house/cat/dogsitters were, there's always cleaning and unpacking and laundry to be done IMMEDIATELY UPON ARRIVAL. I'm not the best at letting stuff sit around. I need to open mail while feeding lunch while planning the laundry while organizing the toys. Yes, this is not really necessary, but it's how I stay sane amid chaos. So right now I'm forcing myself to sit down and sip my Vit.amin Water Ze.ro (seriously, how good is that stuff?!) and recall the fun we had this past week.

There's always this disconcerting feeling . . . wait, we live here? Where again does the peanut butter go? And how exactly does this washing machine work? Did I remember to repack the sippy cup lids, and if so, where do I put them away? It is the exact opposite of the feeling I get just before vacation when I am in a tizzy getting everything into its exact place and making sure everything is packed just so until I can't take it anymore, and start throwing things into any old bag and into the car.

We got home about three hours ago and already the clean clothes are mostly put away, the dirty clothes are in their sorted piles in the basement waiting to be washed, and the boys have trashed the living room with their toys. The toys we brought, however, are neatly put away. The dog's already sick of us again.  After a week of eating dinner and most lunches in restaurants, I am more than ready to cook again, but I know by tomorrow night I'll be banging my head against the wall trying to figure out what to make for dinner.

It's funny, being on vacation. There are so many times when I can just let go and relax and forget for just a moment that I am a medusa in mom-colored clothes, carrying around a piece of reality most people never would guess or even want to hear about. It's sad sometimes having fun, making the memories that one little baby will never be a part of.

So anyway. We hiked, we swam, we explored, we ate. It was a great vacation. Here are a few pics, and if you live near me, or even if you don't, this is a cool getaway for summer.

Golf cart. Hells to the yeah.

At the top of a ski slope. That we all hiked straight up.
Only two of us were whining.

Again, hells to the yeah.
Using binocs to check out construction progress on the mountain coaster.

Mountain coasting. Super awesomesauce.

Bortherly . . . love? Rassling? Both?

O with his new favorite delicacy: pretzel rods. 

Griffis Sculpture Park. The dopest.

Hell yes I can climb stairs.

Little Rock City.

So, I am not a camper, really. I used to be, but I guess I've gotten spoiled by my sharp knives and nonstick cookware. Bottom line: I didn't cook in our condo at all. Before I go make dinner now, here are the trip highlights:
O sleeping through the night (sort of?) and getting his first tooth (finally!) and learning to crawl up the stairs (zoinks) and discovering the deliciousness (gnawliciousness) that is pretzel rods, taking E hiking up some pretty strenuous trails (yes I wore bronzer and earrings, sue me. I am tired of looking like a complete troll in pictures, so there), riding the new (just finished while we were there) mountain coaster--and it was hella fun. The most amazing cheeseburger I've ever had in my life.

It was a great trip, and I'm glad we're home again. Back at it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Missing You

Yesterday I managed to be the stay-at-home mom I always thought I would be. It only took me three plus years, but who's counting? We played, O crawled around like a nut, when he went down for a nap E and I baked bread and did a sticker project together, then we all went to the zoo with friends, we ate lunch, napped, I cleaned most of the house, made dinner, the boys got up, everyone ate dinner without a fuss, baths, bedtime, time with C. I baked cookies. Watched an episode of The Wire, which we just started. No one, not adults, kids, or any combination of the two, raised voices in frustration or even huffed.

Why can't every day be like that? Because for several moments in that day I actually felt like a normal person. Not someone who's inadequate, who's grieving, who's always playing catch-up with life.

I don't know what hit me today, but most of it was pretty good. Until it wasn't. I don't know if it's because I'm exactly 19 months away from the worts day of my life, which was, ironically, the best and only day I got to spend with Calla. I just found myself in the shower tonight sobbing, nearly screaming (except O and E were in bed so I held myself back). Why did she have to die? I just can't understand it, and somehow tonight in the shower it just came to me. She's always going to be dead. Forever. It doesn't seem fair, does it?

In spite of how much I love my boys.
In spite of how much I love my husband.
In spite of how much I love my life.
In spite of my abundance of relative good fortune.

In spite of all of this. I miss and want her so much. Somehow the memory of her birth, so painful, and primal, and awful, bubbled up to the surface of my brain tonight. And I wanted to scream for my little girl. Just like I did in that hospital room 19 months ago.

My little girl.
She's gone.
My little girl.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Change Your Tune

We went to an amazing concert this weekend. Living in Buffalo we are so very lucky to have quite a few fantastic venues for live music. Not the least of which is where we were Saturday, down at the harbor. Right on Lake Erie. It was a beautiful, warm, clear night; one of our favorite bands from way back in the day, and from Canada, was playing. It was a phenomenal show.

We saw these guys:

I've said before that music is kinda the way I live and breathe. Going to a concert, especially one of my favorite bands, is like being part of something bigger than myself. Everyone there is transfixed by the music, singing along in one voice like a wolfpack baying at the moon.

It's disconcerting to hear a song, suddenly, that brings me back to the immediate aftermath of Calla's death. Music does that to me--maybe I feel some songs too intensely--but certain of them just put me RIGHT. BACK. THERE. Well, I guess right back anywhere, depending on the song (I'm looking at you, "Moondance.").

Anyway. The winter of 2010 was filled with lots of new tunes, and whenever I happen on one it's like I get the wind knocked out of me. So here are a few songs that are carrying me along these days.

Hope you find some new favorites, or an old friend.