Uncharted

My in-laws have continued on in the trip to visit all 7 of their children.  We had a lovely visit and it was hard to see them go.  Their help, guidance, and love is invaluable.  It’s hard to have the house so quite again during the day.

As far as this grief journey, I have no idea where to even start this post.  I’m not even quite sure what to say.  The uncharted territory of this first year is full of crazy ups and downs.  I just wish to go back in time.  I’ve learned so much and grown in ways that would only come from this experience, but I feel stuck and broken in ways that only come from this experience.  I don’t think the personal growth trade-off is worth it.  I begged God to stop my beating heart in my chest and take me if it would allow Caleb to live.  I heaved that plea for over an hour as I crouched in the cold hallway outside the OR doors as we watched medical personnel run in and out.  We could do nothing but wait and offer our mortality in exchange for his.

I still would.

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L2 fell asleep on me tonight and I snuggled her for almost two hours while E was tucked under my arm next to me, refusing to go to bed.  L2’s head got sweaty, her ears and cheeks turned red, and it was such a bitter-sweet snug.  At 5 years old, she’s navigating what it means to be the “new” baby of the family as she mourns her Cabub.  She was 19 months old when he was born and this life is so foreign to her.  It’s so foreign to us all.

As we face anther changing of the seasons, I have so many feelings that I’m not sure how to manage.  I love fall.  He loved fall.  I love the red cheeks from a crisp breeze, the leaf piles, evenings cool enough for a good fire in the pit outside, sweaters, boots, scarves, and snuggling with those I love.

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Yet, we’re coming up on 10 months.  How did that happen?  I took him in for his initial evaluation with his ENT on October 29th.  That’s when I took the advice of his doctor and signed the paperwork to have his tonsils and adenoids removed.  It makes me sick to think about.  I feel like I’m in slow motion while everything around me is in hyper speed.  As the leaves change color and fall to the ground, it’s taking everything in me to not do the same.  The idea of shedding the strong me, falling to the ground, totally spent with nothing more to give, and letting the snow cover me definitely has it’s appeal.

But then, I can’t see the light.

So, I may hibernate.  I may not be very social.  I may not answer my phone or come to the door.  I may not be very chatty, which just might come as a welcome relief to some!  I may have a hard time talking about anything but Caleb and what life has been like.  It may be sad.  It may be difficult to hear.  I may get angry sometimes.  It will be my best, though.  I’ll always do my best.

We’re coming up on a year, getting ready to move, facing A’s first year of Jr. High, L2 in kindergarten, and Brig gone all week for work in another city.  There’s so much to process, so much to handle, and that doesn’t even factor in a fraction of it.  I may dig a snow cave and camp in the dark at times, but I still fight for the light.  I live in the light.  My nails and knuckles may be bruised and bloodied as I fight to hold on these next few months, but I’ll lick my wounds and keep fighting.  It won’t be pretty, but it’s the promise I made.  My family needs me and my son is waiting for me.

I’ve never had something so worth fighting for in my life.

-Jenelle

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