June 21, 2010

It’s a chilly, gray Monday and I sit here wishing that June could, you know, act like June.  We had a really great week, full of visitors and activity, and while there’s something sweet about the chance to tidy the house a bit and catch a moment or two of quiet, I miss my Mom, my SIL, my nieces.  I miss the hubbub that kept my brain too busy to think much about the fact that it’s summer and that the two-year mark of Teddy’s loss is approaching.  So, if you’re passing through the eastern part of the Northwest, let me know.  Come stay at my house.  Bring some noise.

There are things I don’t write about when it comes to N.  He doesn’t read here, and I don’t want to tell his stories, but Saturday I held him and felt his shoulders shake with grief and tears.  His son is gone.  His chance at fathering his son is gone.  He is struggling with his relationship with his own dad and it’s especially hard sometimes, now that he’s lost Teddy, to see how his father could have left him. I, lucky child of two parents who still really like being together, am ill-equipped to help with these old scars and hurts.  I hold my partner, my husband, my favorite person in the world, and don’t understand why he’s had to bear so much hurt in his lifetime.  Of all the things I am angry about, this is the most enduring.

We see Teddy in Dot now, more and more often.  She looks like her brother around the eyes, around the chin.  She wears his tiny Cubs hat.  I’m happy and sad and about these glimpses of who he might have been.  I still worry, perhaps too much, over the pain and confusion he may have felt, but the bulk of the mourning now is for me and for N, for the games of catch, the walks in the park, the bedtime conversations, the moments of hilarity and frustration that will never be.

Our niece, who is three, is grappling with the limitations of words to describe thoughts and feelings and she’s fastened onto the word “complicated” when this happens.  She was fascinated (fascinated!) by an old barn we drove past last week.  “How did it get old?”  “When will they paint it red for the animals?”  And I think she was a bit saddened by it, too.  She wanted to see it, to take a photograph of it, to walk up to it and see why the roof was falling in.  But she couldn’t explain why.  What she said was, “I’m going to be a bit complicated about the old barn for a while.”  I feel a bit complicated about many things, myself, these days.

The craziness and noise of three children in the house is, it turns out, something I can get used to.  By the third day N and I were taking it more in stride.  By the third day, I was thinking, “I could have done this.  It would have been hard, but I could’ve.”

Damn it.

I hope it’s sunnier and more pleasant wherever you are today.



  1. I too live in the Northwest and I am wondering if we will have a summer this year. I love your niece’s use of the word complicated. I’ve been feeling complicated since Charlotte died and I think I am going to feel that way for the rest of my life. I know this weather makes it difficult to remember what sun looks like. Wishing for sun for you.

  2. Yes it IS all a bit complicated, isn’t it? I crave busy in the same way you crave noise.

    It has been an all too rare sunny day here. Sunny but not especially pleasant. I don’t seem to do pleasant that often. Not on a Monday at least.

  3. I’m starting to see Hope in Angus less and less. As he grows and moves towards the end of the baby stage, I fear I may be losing her all over again, as she’ll only ever be a baby.
    I’m sorry you got a June day like one of our June days.
    Sitting with you as we wait for August again.

  4. ((hugs)) Erica. I’m in a rough patch myself and sending you some warm sunshine and better days ahead.
    Sometimes I am not sure if I see Ferdinand in Lyra becoz it is truly there or because I just want to pretend that it is there.

  5. Damn it. I feel that way too. Sometimes I wish I was 10 years younger so that I could have 3 or 4 more…

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