There are some days I can stop here and have a million things to tell you and there are others when all I can do is cry. This grieving process is such a roller coaster ride.
I went to get my haircut today and the lady asked me “what happened to your hair? It looks like it’s regrowing? Were you sick?” I frowned in the mirror. Yes, I lost a lot of it postpartum and then my son died, and I lost even more because my body couldn’t deal with it all. So it’s just starting to grow back. And then she said “I’m so sorry, sweetheart. Is this your son?” And reached for Toby’s locket around my neck. “Yes, that’s Toby.” Her response made my proud. “Tell me about Toby. He is as beautiful as an angel.” I talked for awhile today, to a stranger, who genuinely wanted to hear about my son and our family. It was wonderful.
The last two days have been so nice outside. There are many small things that I pay attention to now. The morning my grandfather died in 2004, the rain poured. It rained for hours and the sky was black, even at mid-day. I remember my mom saying “It’s heavens tears. We weren’t ready for him to go.” The day that Toby died, the thunderstorms that evening were so strong. The thunder loud, cracks of lightning and the wind. I remember sitting there listening to it outside and now when I think about it, I feel like that was all my emotion happening inside me, but portrayed through the weather. I was in such a state of shock and so vulernably helpless. But I remember the way that storm made me feel, to this day. I think I always will.
Our family lost an amazing lady this week, my grandmother. Friday morning there was this beautiful sunrise on the way to work. I remember sitting at a stop light and looking around at the sky and it was this beautiful blue color. Not a cloud in sight. Just clear, calm and beautiful. And then I thought “this is for Grammy.” She is now at peace, in a place where there is no worry or anxiety. The sun always shines, there is nothing to cloud your mind.
It is remarkable to me how when you really start to replay moments in your life, good ones and bad, there are many little things, details that we don’t notice at the time or we think have no impact, but they truly do. We all see and feel and believe in different ways. That part of this human life is truly amazing. Many do not realize it and I think some only do when they experience something that really causes you to slow down and watch what is going on around you.
I am someone who did not do this until Toby died. Slow down, that is. There are many times now when I find myself in the middle of the grocery store just watching people. Thinking about them. Or listening to conversations I overhear and really reflecting on them. It is amazing how oblivious we are to so many things. It’s incredibly sad. People are missing so much of life and of people they love, because they’re rushing to the next thing.
Dan and I have learned through the most heartbreaking experience that the next moment is not promised to you. Whether you are 89 years or 12 weeks. Our time here, with the people we love and who love us, is completely out of our control. What is in our control is the way we spend the time we are given and what we do. Take the trip. Make the call. Go visit your grandparent. Play the board game. Say your prayers at night. Talk about the weather with your children. Eat dinner together. Take your child to story time at the library in the middle of the work day. Believe me, you will be so happy you did.
As I was leaving the cemetery today I had this vivid image in my head of Grammy sitting on the beach and Toby was in her lap. Toby always loved the water.
I’m sure they will be spending a lot of time at the beach. Maybe take Toby to see the carnival lights at night, Gram. I have a feeling he would love the carousel. ❤