Monthly Archives: April 2009

Back from Atlanta

I got back from Atlanta this morning.  As I exited the gate and headed to baggage claim (my fellow traveler checked her bags), I saw the empty seats where just last October Dan and Alexander were waiting for me when I arrived from Kansas City.  I could clearly see Alexander sitting on his daddy’s lap with his face covered in face paint from the neighborhood fall festival they’d just attended.  I knew Alexander wasn’t going to be waiting for me today but I was still sad that he wasn’t there.

For the most part, Atlanta was good.  The conference kept me pretty busy. In one of my workshops on public speaking, we all had to speak for 2 minutes about our passion for the Junior League.  As I began to talk,  I started to break down.  I wanted to share how the friendships I’d made through the league helped me get through these past few months. I took a few seconds, composed myself, and quickly dicussed league friendships before discussing our community programs.  

During the week, I did cry several times when I was alone. Inevitably, when you get a group of women together, the talk turns to family (i.e., children).  My heart was breaking as I walked through the hotel and heard the conversations the other women were having about their children. I know people are going to talk about their kids and it doesn’t always bother me.  I think it bothered me this week because it was such an overload of conversation from so many women at once.  

One friend did recognize that I was getting upset and suggested I come up with a code word so it would give her a clue when it was becoming too much for me.  That’s a good idea. I’ll have to think of something that I can weave into a conversation without it being a noticeable conversation changer.

This week was an international conference.  I socialized a lot with the other women from my league and the 7 other NJ leagues.  I’m not sure if all of the ladies from the other NJ leagues knew about Alexander but none of them asked me about children.

The only time anyone asked me if I had children was during my pedicure.  Even though Alexander is no longer here with me, if asked, I will say I have a child and then explain that he passed away on December 20.  It might make others uncomfortable but for me I’ll always be Alexander’s mother and he’ll always be my son.

Dan was away visiting friends in Dallas this weekend.  When I got home, the house was so quiet and just a bit lonely.  After watering our very thirsty outdoor plants, I ran a few errands.  While I was out, I visited Alexander.

All the trees and flowers are blooming in the cemetery.  Despite my sadness of why I’m there, I must admit that it is beautiful to see all the greenery.

Losing a piece of myself

I was watching tv tonight and saw the preview for a show being aired later in the week.  I’m a fan of crime dramas but won’t be watching this particular episode because it involves a missing child.  One line of the preview definitely made me tear up: Losing a child is like losing a piece of yourself. 

I’ve experienced a swirl of emotions the past few days and I can say that I feel a big piece of me is gone forever. 

I miss my baby so much and wish he was here.

I’m going to Atlanta tomorrow for a few days to attend a conference. Part of me is looking forward to the conference.  The other part of me is so sad because I won’t be able to visit Alexander each day.  I know I carry him with me everywhere I go but his graveside represents his final resting place.  I usually end up in tears when I go but somehow I’m strangely comforted at the same time.

4 Months

It’s hard to believe that 4 months ago today Alexander left us.

Yesterday started out ok but by the afternoon I couldn’t stop crying.  I was missing Alexander so much.  I’m a little better today.  I’m not crying as much but I’m still very sad.

Alexander’s loss continues to be unreal to me.

Slow week

Not much has happened this week.  I had a few meetings and we had dinner with friends a couple of nights.  The whole time, Alexander was always on my mind.

I continue to see my therapist.  It’s good to have someone to listen to me.  I know many friends would be willing to do the same but it’s different.  I can’t explain but it just is.

I had to tell another person last night about what happened to our family.  When Alexander and I would walk around in the neighborhood, there is a woman who was often sitting on her front stoop who would say “hi” to us.  I knew eventually I would have to tell her but I hadn’t seen her in awhile.  As Dan and I were walking last night to a neighbor’s house, there she was sitting on the stoop.  She asked, ‘The baby must be walking by now’.  I walked over to her and quietly said that he passed away.  Either she didn’t hear me or didn’t understand what I meant so I said, “The baby died in December”.  As I mentioned before, I really don’t like using that word when referring to Alexander but in this case, I had no choice.  She expressed her sympathy and I walked on to meet up with Dan.

I also got a message on Facebook yesterday from a high school expressing her sympathy.

I know these kinds of encounters will continue to happen.  I also know that someday it will become less difficult to deal with them.

The azalea bush in the backyard is starting to bloom.  Every time I walk past it, I think of Alexander’s first birthday and how we were rushing to get the backyard complete for his party.

Oh, how I wish, he was here right now.

Easter Sunday 2009

Our neighborhood hosts an egg hunt during Easter weekend.  Last year, along with some other moms in the neighborhood, I helped to decorate 6 dozen or so eggs for the hunt.  We didn’t go to the hunt because Alexander wasn’t walking yet and I didn’t want him to get trampled by the other kids racing to get the eggs.  This year, I was looking forward to decorating eggs with Alexander and taking him to the hunt.  Much like he enjoyed decorating Christmas cookies, I know he would have enjoyed coloring eggs and seeing him “hunt” for eggs would have been so much fun.  I didn’t decorae eggs for the hunt this year, but I did give them 2 dozen treat-filled (candy, whistles, parachuting bunny, etc.) plastic eggs.

Alexander hanging with the Easter bunny at the Trenton Country Club (2008)

Alexander hanging with the Easter bunny at the Trenton Country Club (2008)

Last year, Dan, Alexander and I went to country for Easter brunch.  This year, Dan and I have discussed making a lamb stew.  He’s supposed to go fishing with a friend today so I’ll probably go get the ingredients and then throw everything into a crockpot.  It’ll simmer all day and be ready when Dan gets home this evening.

 

 

Last year.  This year.  How could my life have gone so wrong in such a short time?

Last night, Dan told me he’s never going to watch the movie the Ten Commandments again.  It is (was) one of Dan’s favorite movies.  When he flipped to it last night, it had just been ordered that all firstborn, male children be killed.  Not something that someone who’s recently lost their firstborn, male child wants to see.  I won’t say that I’ll never watch the movie again but it’s going to be a while.

I’ve been missing Alexander so much this weekend.  I watched some videos of him last night because I wanted to hear his sweet little voice.

This journey through grief is so hard.

Speaking to me through flowers

A couple of years ago, Dan and Alexander planted flowers in window boxes outside the kitchen bay window as a Mother’s Day gift.  Those flowers lasted a season but we never replaced them.  In addition to a few tomato plants, I decided I’d try to grow some flowers there again.  While at at Home Depot on Wednesday, I shopped for flowers. 

Originally, I thought I wanted to find an orange or yellow flower.  I wanted/needed the flowers to be bright like Alexander since the flowers would be right outside his kitchen play area.  I looked at many different flowers but found I kept getting drawn to purple flowers.  I finally settled on purple (yellow-centered) violas which I planted after I got home. 

Later that afternoon, I went to visit Alexander.   Imagine my surprise when I noticed there were purple flowers sprouting around him.  There were just a few flowers beginning to emerge but they were definitely purple.  I just had to smile.  Alexander drew me to choose the violas so we would be connected through our flowers.

I miss Alexander so much and wish he was here to give me a big hug.

Volunteering with children again

Alexander and mommy having fun at a ROCKETS classroom event.

Alexander and mommy having fun at a ROCKETS classroom event.

I made a big step for me today.  I’m a member of the Junior League of Greater Princeton and our major impact project is ROCKETS.  There are several components to the program but one aspect is our monthly classroom visit to a local headstart site.  The children in the program are aged 2 1/2 – 5 years.  I usually go to the monthly classroom visit but today, was the first time I was able to return to the program since Alexander passed.

Alexander checking things out before a ROCKETS classroom event.

Alexander checking things out before a ROCKETS classroom event.

I really didn’t know how I would handle being there.  I’ve been going to this center 4 years.  At times it was hard.  The activity started out with reading From Head to Toe by Eric Carle followed by singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.  This was one of Alexander’s favorite songs and we sang it a few times a week.  It was definitely a big part of helping him learn his body parts.  Thankfully, another volunteer was in the class and she led the song while I prepared other parts of the day’s activities.

I did catch myself a few times looking at the kids and feeling sad because I know Alexander will never get this experience.  He did go to daycare one day a week but it’s not the same as going to school everyday.

Aside from being around the kids, the only part of the morning I was dreading was having to tell the gentleman who delivers the food to the site that Alexander has passed.  He’s a nice guy and every time he sees me there, he always asks boy or girl.  He knows at one point he saw me pregnant but can’t quite remember that I’ve had the baby.  We were going through the activity so quickly this morning, I thought I’d miss him and not have to share my terrible news.  As we were wrapping up the activity, I saw him come into the building.  He saw me and asked his usual “boy or girl” question.  I walked over to him and quietly told him that Alexander had passed.  He expressed his sympathy and we each went back to what we had been doing.

Our organization also provides the ROCKETS activities to another facility in the area to children in the same 2 1/2 – 5 year age range.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to return to that facility for a while because Alexander always went with me.  I have happy memories of him participating in the activities with the other kids but it would just be too sad for me to be there without him.

Alexander and mommy doing an experiment during a ROCKETS experiment.

Alexander and mommy doing an experiment during a ROCKETS classroom event.

 

Alexander playing with the other kids during a ROCKETS classroom event.
Alexander playing with the other kids during a ROCKETS classroom event.