Saturday, March 28, 2015

Deja vu all over again

6 years out, and it's like everything is happening all over again.  As I write it's Saturday, March 28th at 8:44pm. Some random Facebook post just reminded me that it's Earth Hour, that one hour a year when everyone is supposed to turn off their lights in order to raise awareness about climate change and the fact that we can actually do something about it.

The thing about Earth Hour is that Kate really really really wanted to observe it in 2009. She went to an environmental school and sincerely wanted to do everything she could to help the environment. I was somewhat crunchy myself and admired her enthusiasm, but on March 28th, 2009 I simply wasn't in the mood.

I was tired. I was stressed. I loved my kids but I was a single parent and didn't get a ton of time to myself. I was looking forward to Easter week when they would spend their spring break with their dad and I would have my own spring break. I had no idea it would be a permanent break. No fucking clue.

I more or less told Kate that Earth Hour was a nice idea, but we didn't really have time for all that (how much time does it take to turn off some lights and light a few candles?!?!). I remember saying something about how it would be bed time and she and Peter would need to brush their teeth and how would they see in the bathroom? In retrospect I wonder what in the holy hell was wrong with me?

So here I am, it's March 28th, 2015. In 2015 dates fall on the same days of the week that they did in 2009. March 28th fell on a Saturday then, and here it is again. The ever looming April 6th occurred on a Monday and it's about to happen again in just over a week. It's hard to explain exactly why this occurrence is such a big deal, but I'm finding that it is. It brings back the memories so much more sharply and vividly. I'm guessing others who've experienced major trauma will understand.

For the past couple of weeks I've been thinking about how those weeks of March and April were the precious last few I would ever have with Kate and Peter. Of course I had no idea, no one ever does. I was wrapped up in my own head thinking about how I needed to lose 10 lbs., how the guy I really liked wasn't calling me and how I really hated being single. I was quite self-absorbed and not very present. I was looking forward to spring break when I could do some serious cleaning - both physically - by getting rid of clutter and stuff in my house, and emotionally - by getting rid of clutter and stuff in my mind. I was trying to "eat clean" (whatever the fuck that means) and "training" for my first 5k. I think I had even purchased some crazy diet plan with flash cards to help me make a new start. Good grief.

When I reflect back now I think about how I would give anything to have spent those weeks focused on and engaged with my kids. I took it for granted that they would always be there. I do have some great memories - I know we spent the afternoon of St. Patrick's Day in Frick Park because it was unseasonably warm and I remember Peter learning all about Mr. Yuck and doing an incredibly good impression of the Mr. Yuck face. But most of all I remember fretting and focusing on stupid, inconsequential things like dating douchebags and trying to lose weight. What an unfortunate waste of that precious time!

I'm not going to continually beat myself up over it because I realize that self-beratement doesn't do anyone any good, but Earth Hour threw me for a pretty intense loop. I know I can never go back and change things and I'm over wishing I could. I think that now I live very differently. I try to maintain the perspective that we never know what will happen tomorrow. I would say that every day is a gift, but I don't actually agree with that. I will say that every day is a chance to love, and my best guess is that love is what it's all about.

P.S. I did, in fact, observe Earth Hour this year.



19 comments:

  1. I think of you often. Just wanted you to know. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  2. Amy, your beautiful children cross my mind often, as do you. I wish they were here in your arms. My heart goes out to you.

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  3. i've never had children and have never experienced the kind of pain that you have. sending love to you because it is all i can do. hate that you have had to endure such loss.

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  4. I think of you and your children often. Especially in the spring and summer when I see butterflies everywhere. As the woman above posted, we don't know each other so all I can do is send you love. So I'm sending you all the love in the world to help you through this upcoming anniversary and any other time that you need it. I just wish I could do more.

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  5. I can't imagine how hard the anniversaries are. I don't think it's surprising that it's even harder when the days of the week line up the same. I think it's wonderful that you observed Earth Hour this year. You continue to be in my prayers.

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  6. Thinking of you often and sending prayers and love and peace to you. Thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful children!

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  7. We've never met face to face before - only through our blog worlds - but every year at this time, I think of you and your kids. Your words have a big impact on me today because I am going through some "stuff" right now in life and have similar thoughts about time with my kids and what they mean to me swirling. Thank you, as usual, for sharing. Sending you good thoughts....

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  8. Thinking of you often.

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  9. I think of you and Kate and Peter often, even though I've only ever read your words on this blog. xo

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  10. Thank you for sharing, Amy. This took my breath away.

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  11. Sending you hugs and wishing you peace, Amy.

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  12. Sending you as many positive, warm, loving thoughts as you need. The pain may never go away, but neither will your love for your children. I recently experienced a miscarriage, which is trivial compared to being able to actually see your child grow up, but it was (still is, kind of) tough to understand why such awful things happen. My best friend told me something that helped me bring it into perspective a little, and maybe it will help you, too.

    She told me that every person's soul was brought here for a reason - to teach us something. Some lessons only require a matter of weeks (like mine), some years. And sometimes, that lesson requires losing that person in order to learn. Learn what exactly? I don't know yet.

    But also that souls are connected over time, and when one soul leaves this Earth, when they are done with their 'purpose' for that 'trip', let's say, then it's time for them to leave ... but they never really 'leave' us. We might see that same soul in another family member, or a friend, or someone we don't even know yet. So they're never truly 'lost.'

    I hate that tragedy has to happen for us to learn. It shouldn't. It's not fair. But know that you have a whole community here to support you during your journey.

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  13. Amy, thank you for sharing and being so honest. You have raised my awareness about prioritizing and being present for my children (and others). Sending heartfelt love and peace.

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  14. I am in tears right now. Again, you remind me to never take anything for granted. It is a painful reminder, for sure. I recently lost 3 very special little people - not to death, but to shitty circumstances - and even in that case, I constantly go over and over in my head the last time I saw them and how I wish I had hugged them harder and never let go. I know my situation isn't yours at all, and I don't want to compare... because your loss is unfathomable. I do somewhat understand, though, and I want you to know that you were the most wonderful mother to those children - you loved them with every ounce of your being. Sure, you were mentally absent sometimes like all parents are, but you were an amazing mom. I hate that you have gone through this and memories like that creep into your mind, breaking your heart all over again.

    I just wish you so much love and happiness. if anyone deserves it, it is you.

    Sorry for rambling. Thank you for sharing.

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  15. Yes, I relate to this. There is nothing good about children dying. but it does chanage you, and although you would give anything to have your kids back and nothing compensates, you can still be at ease with the person you've become. I guess it's classic narrative, isn't it - a spirtual journey forged from surviving the unbearable :( Huge hug - keep going x

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  16. I know it's past Earth Hour now, but how about each year lighting a candle and sitting and reading out loud to the kids, or talking to them, or just doing something by yourself where you include something special of theirs - hold a stuffed animal, wrap yourself in their favorite blanket, etc? It's not much, and certainly can't bring them back, but maybe it can help comfort you at that time, and help bring peace to the following week of the torturous memories of April 6th.

    xoxo,
    Kym

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  17. I, too, have never met you but I do think about you and your children more often than you would expect. When I stumbled across your blog several years ago, I wondered how you manage to keep moving forward.
    I lost track of your blog for a while but reading today (in July) what you said in March makes me realize how easy it is to slip into focusing on the unimportant instead of what really matters.
    Thank you for helping me to see. Blessings to you.
    Janet

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  18. Just dropping in to tell you I think of you often - it's about this time of year I drop in but it's been quite a couple gone for me now after a divorce and the suicide of my once precious and sadly ex husband. i guess I'm just here to let you know that your children will never be forgotten and your writing is never in vain. Sending love. I can't log into my bibc account anymore...Somedays I wish I could but most days I wouldn't even think of writing again. I can barely read books anymore. Too much emotion in all those words. Hugs xoxoxoxo Lis

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  19. I'll echo the anonymous poster above: Thank you for helping me see.

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