Snack and a story is a tradition that started when Kate was a baby. When she was still drinking formula out of bottles or milk out of sippy cups, we would read her a story while she had her last bottle or cup of milk before bed. As she grew older and Peter came into the picture, the milk turned into a snack and the story turned into stories. But it was a tradition...the one thing that, no matter how crazy and overscheduled our days were, we always did to wind down before bedtime. These pictures were taken soon after Kate got her first (and only, as it turns out) real camera, during a particularly silly snack and a story.
As I look at these pictures, I still think "Really? Are you sure they're not coming back?" I truly think my brain will never accept this. I don't buy it. They can't be gone!
My greatest defense mechanism up to this point has been distraction. I have managed to stay so busy that I have virtually no time to think. So far, it has worked. Unfortunately, my body has decided it's not down with that mode of operation anymore. I've noticed that for the past couple of weeks I have been exhausted, gotten numerous headaches and just generally felt like crap. I fear my body is telling me to slow down. But I'm afraid to.
I'm afraid that as I start to do less, therefore thinking and feeling more, it's gonna get ugly...as it has on this random Tuesday night. I don't want depression and hopelessness to set in, though they most likely will. "I just want them back" is the thought that repeatedly goes through my mind. If I can have them back everything will be ok. I get it now, I'll be a better mom, I will tell them I love them constantly and I'll never, ever, ever, ever take them for granted.
One of the positive things that has happened as a result of this tragedy is that many people have told me they have a new perspective on life, that they realize what's really important. I'm honestly glad something good has come out of this, I only wish I could be one of those people learning this lesson from someone else's loss. I don't wish this on anyone, I just unwish it on me. I don't want to be the example that everyone else can learn from. I want to hug my kids a little tighter every night and spend more time completely focused on them because I saw what happened to someone else. I'm not really sure I'm strong enough to handle this. And even if I am strong enough, I just don't want to.
Unfortunately, I know in my rational mind that there is no going back, no unwishing, no undoing. The only way out of this is through it. Ugh.