Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Octagon crackers...

I'm sitting here eating some soup, because it's a soup-eating kind of day, and wishing I had some crackers to throw in my bowl. Any crackers would be good, though I would prefer some oyster crackers - or octagon crackers, as Peter called them.

As you may know from previous posts, Peter ate predominantly beige food, and crackers were one of his favorites. Most of the time he asked for crackers with cream cheese (they're pretty good if you've never tried them, though they're far from a healthy snack) or crackers with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff (in which case he ate only the marshmallow and nothing else) but he also loved munching on octagon crackers. I think he started eating them when he was one or two because they're little and easy to pick up and as far back as I can remember he referred to them only as octagon crackers. I think oyster crackers more closely resemble hexagons, but how a two-year-old knows what an octagon is I will never know.

For some reason he was pretty knowledgeable about shapes. I know he had a Diego game for his Leapster that taught him about shapes, but still - we would be out somewhere and he'd say, "look Mama, a semi-circle" or he'd rearrange his half-eaten toast (another beige favorite) to show me what a parallelogram looked like. I honestly can't tell you what's normal for a two, three or four-year old, but he always amazed me...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Treehouse update:

Since the public meeting about Kate and Peter's Treehouse back in June, planning has slowed down quite a bit. The Parks Conservancy is in the process of updating it's Regional Parks Master Plan and part of that process includes looking at many possible sites for the Treehouse. Once the Master Plan is complete we will attempt to resume planning.

This Saturday, October 2nd, there will be another public meeting at 9:00 am at Colfax Elementary School. At 10:45, following an overview and dialogue about Frick Park's current and future needs, the meeting will move into the park itself. Four possible sites for the Treehouse will be examined during this outdoor workshop.

If you feel strongly about Frick Park and Kate and Peter's Treehouse and you are available this Saturday morning, please come to this meeting. The Parks Conservancy needs as much feedback as possible before we continue to move forward. Click here to RSVP and reserve a spot. Hope to see you there!

What can I write that I haven't already written?

Everyday is basically the same. I experience same crazy kaleidoscope of emotions with slight variations in order and intensity, but really - they're the same.

I still wake up every morning and think, "Wait...what? My kids are dead?" as I wrote many months ago. That's usually followed by my best attempt at denial and disbelief after which I inevitably move into a state of confusion and anger.

Lately I've found myself asking my friends, "Were they real? Were they really here? Are you sure?!" It's been so long since I've seen or held or talked to my kids that it doesn't seem as if they could have been real.

And I fear that I'm forgetting. That's awful.

So I sit down to blog and think, "I've already said all of this." It really is the same same shit, different day scenario. And it's getting old. Real old.

This is the point at which I wish and hope and pray that maybe this is a game and someone is gonna come down form the heavens and say, "Ok, you've done enough. You've lasted a year and a half without them, you've proved your strength and now you can have your kids back." It's completely delusional, but I don't care. I want them back.

I know you've read all of this before which is why I haven't written lately. I don't want to subject you to the same posts over and over and over again. But I guess this blog is supposed to be my journey and, unfortunately, this is it.

I'm guessing that other parents who have lost children feel the same way. I'm also guessing that this is pretty much how we're gonna feel forever.

I try really hard to experience joy and happiness in my life. And I do sometimes, really. I mean, in less than two weeks I get to marry a wonderful and amazing man, who I love very much. That's exciting! It gives me hope for the future and brings me joy! Unfortunately, that hope and joy is matched by an equal amount of sadness and guilt.

I know that it's ok to be happy. I know my kids would want me to be happy. I also know that it will never feel right to be happy when my kids are dead. It just won't. And that's the way it is.

As I'm typing I'm thinking that maybe I need to stop judging my emotions as good or bad. I'll try to take a more Buddhist approach and experience them as they come without attaching a value to them. If I'm sad I'm sad. If I'm happy, so be it. It just is. I'll see how that goes.

I have about 300,000 things to do in the next two weeks, for which I'm actually thankful. I'm looking forward to this new stage of my life. So I'm gonna go get started. I'll do my best to keep writing - happy or sad - and let you know what's going on. As always, thank you for reading and commenting and praying and sending love. It helps more than you could ever know.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I can't find the words...

Last time I wrote I was getting ready to embark on a nearly week-long camping trip with Ken and some friends. Well, that trip came and went and was both fun and challenging. On our way home I was looking through the pictures I took and thinking about what I wanted to write about my experience.

We went camping somewhere north of Toronto and the only way to get there from Pittsburgh is by driving through Buffalo. We had to drive by the site of the accident (mile 476.9 on I-90 Eastbound) on the way up and the way home. On the way to Canada I was, as always, very emotional as we drove by and had nightmares and panic attacks while trying to sleep that night. But I got through it.

On the way home, I tweeted as we drove by that particular spot, "Just passed mile 476.9 on the NY State Thruway. Again. Ugh."

Within a minute or two traffic stopped completely. We were stopped for over an hour. People got out of their cars and walked around, talking about what the hold up might be. Kids were playing in the grass. Helicopters were flying overhead. I knew it wasn't good. We heard there was an accident about a mile and a half ahead.

Traffic started to move again eventually. We passed a badly damaged van that had gone off the road and hit a tree. I immediately starting searching the internet to find out what had happened.

This is what I found:
Another car went off the road and two people died. Same town. Same road. Opposite direction.

The investigator named in the article is the same man I spoke with after my kids died. It's too weird.

Since I saw this, I am plagued with so many questions. Why? How? Why was I so close when this happened? (we weren't supposed to come home until the following day, but cut our trip short because of bad weather) What does it all mean? How are people completely fine one minute and dead the next? I just don't get it.

I have no words anymore. I feel like whatever I have to say - about my camping trip or school or my wedding - doesn't matter. I mean, people died. Again. I am stunned.

I didn't see the car my kids died in. I was somewhat removed from the situation by space and time. By the time I could get there it was all cleaned up.

Seeing the scene of an accident where people just died, in such a similar circumstance, has completely freaked me out. I don't know what to say.