Monday, November 10, 2008

Plan B


Sometimes I wish life were like a car lease....
when you sick of yours or don't like the way its running, you can trade it in for a new and better one.

I came across this picture and realized its importance. Because it was the last great night...The last time I would be driving my dream car. The car that had everything I could have ever wanted, and more importantly...I had an open road in front of me.
*****Back to reality*****
Today, I subbed in a middle school history class and the teacher asked me to speak about Veteran's Day with the kids. She knew part of my background and was excited to have me share. So, as I began each class I shared with them my experience. I have never had such well-behaved classes....And as I stood there and answered their questions and told them stories that I haven't told in years...it became apparent just how unique our story is.


How crazy it is.

And as I watched their faces as I told them about being in California and sending a husband off to war, they were hanging on my every word. Especially when I told them the story of Tim getting wounded. They had tons of questions, and I actually had the answers. I know they appreciated hearing about it, they told me. And I left there today feeling like at least a new generation just might have a little more respect for what others go through. But the one question that stuck in my mind was from a girl more wise beyond her years,

Student: How did you deal with it? I mean, how could you do it...what did you do?

...When you are put into that situation, you do it...because you just have to. There is no other option. And so many other people, from so many different time periods have had to endure the same, if not worse, circumstance.

And so it goes. An explanation for not only dealing with war. But also in dealing with the death of a child.

Thoughts of Iraq and the specific life changing events that happened in the Marines no longer consume my thoughts. Those have been replaced by something new. And I have entered survival mode. And we have been here before.

And I guess that's it. Not only do I feel alone in my life experiences, I'm still searching for that one person who has gone through it all...that one person who can truly relate. And for all those who haven't and who think I am doing "better" and its getting easier:

I've gotten really good at lying.
And I've gotten really good at stuffing down what I really want to say and saying what people want to hear...what they can handle hearing...Because this will never get better.
This isn't like some sickness that can be healed.
My son died and that will never change.
We held him as he tried to breath and watched him die.
And there was not one thing we could do about it.
The only thing that will change is people's attitudes towards me and how they think I should be coping...or how much better they think I really should be doing.

Screw that. No one sees the whole picture. And to everyone else it was almost four months ago.
To me? It seems like yesterday.

Its one thing to lose a newborn. Its actually the worst thing. But for me, when I think back over this year that is only part of the struggle. I was talking with a family member over the weekend and it finally came into words...from someone other than me. From someplace other than in my own thoughts.

You and Tim have been through so many things; the war, seeing that woman get killed, being so far away from family & friends during important times. I finally felt your life was going to be everything you deserved. You moved across the country to start over, bought a new house...everything you had ever wanted and worked hard for was finally starting to happen. And then, the unthinkable happened.

And in your mind, there was never a Plan B.

No plan B.
Didn't think I needed one.
Sure didn't see this coming as we loaded the moving van on a sunny day in March...
But life isn't fair, and no one promised it would be.
Some people hardly have to endure any...
and then others are consumed by it their entire life.

I have to believe that some day, all of the wrongs of this world will be made right. But right now I carry something with me that will never go away. And there will not be one single day for the rest of my life that I won't wonder what could have been.
Wonder what my life would have been like.
Wonder if I could have done anything differently.
Wonder who Will would have grown up to be...

And wonder why its going so great for everyone else...and while I want to be happy...I just can't...and that hurts just as much as all the baby talk, the baby clothes, seeing moms everywhere...hearing everyone talk about their kids and so many other heartwrenching things.
And I just have to sit there and be polite.
While I secretly want to throw up.
Because that's just it...most people don't have a clue that what they are saying...feels like a thousand pin pricks all over my body.

Just like when my mom and I went into the gap before I went to the hospital. I wrote a blog about it and never posted it back in May...

We never found a blanket, but grandma bought him his first little outfit. It was the smallest we could find and it might still be too big…but I felt we were supposed to get it. My mom was in tears as she paid for it and we both tried to keep it together as we left BabyGap. It is sad. And its not fair. Seeing all the pregnant moms excitedly buying clothes for their babies to live in…and I was buying an outfit for my son to die in.
Every day I continue to pray for a miracle. I am realistic, yet hopeful, yet guarded. How does one prepare? You don’t. And you really can’t.
Life has a way of stinging lately. Everyone has those days. I got home and heard from my friend that one of our best friends had her baby…I can’t help it, its like pouring salt in a wound.

And still, six months later...
I'm still waiting for life to stop stinging...for the salt to no longer be poured.

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