Thanks

Thanks for stopping in. There isn't really a rhyme or reason to this blog. It's just what comes to my head as I go through each day. If something I say resonates with you (positively or not), please leave a comment. It helps to know that people care. Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Charlotte's First Birthday

I can't believe it's been a year already.  Charlotte's first birthday was this past Monday, July 22nd.  We happened to be in the Outer Banks with my family.  I'm not going to lie, I was less than thrilled to learn this.  Obviously my family hasn't quite been the rock of support I wanted.  Still, it is what it is.  We were going to celebrate our way regardless.

I'm just briefly going to mention the things we did to celebrate her.  We went to the beach that morning, then after lunch we did what we wanted to do for her:

First we went to the Life is Good store.  They have one in Nags Head.  I wanted to get some of the clothes they have with butterflies in memory of Charlotte, and I also wanted to get a card from there to write down all of the things we were thankful for from her this year.  More on that later. I have a love of Life is Good. Maybe it's silly to get comfort from a line of clothing and slightly overpriced merchandise, but the central message is that there are millions of beautiful and simple things in our lives worth noticing and embracing. Who doesn't need that? Yes, it comes in the form of a $40 t-shirt....but it's a $40 t-shirt that makes me happy and is comfy. Why the hell not?

As Mia was going down for her nap, Mike read her the children's book we'd gotten from the hospital: "We were going to have a baby but we had an angel instead"  We hadn't read it to her before. It was nice to have it to include her, but it wasn't as fitting as I thought it would be. It's about explaining to a little kid that the baby died, and mom and dad are sad, but it's ok. This is all true, but the tone was a little off for Charlotte's birthday...the day of thanks and celebration we decided to make it. Still, I was glad to have it and to read it.

While she was napping, we went to the grocery store to buy cupcakes for her, and we started drafting out list of things we were thankful for.

After nap time, we went to the Elizabethan Gardens.  It's about a 20 minute drive from our beach house.  On the way, we heard Angel, by Sarah McLaughlin.  That's the song Mike sang to Charlotte while I was in surgery.  Mike has thousands of MP3s on his player, and he told me he hadn't heard that song in months.

It's a beautiful garden with walking paths and flowers and usually it's full of butterflies.  Unfortunately, it had just rained.  I worried we wouldn't find any.  While we walked through, I kept looking for butterflies. 

I had already picked out where I wanted to have the cake and sing happy birthday, since we have been to the gardens many times before. Poor Mike. I get these ideas in my head and I know EXACTLY what I want to do, and I usually forget to tell him about it. He expects it now...we've been together that long.  There's a lovely little gazebo in the back corner.  It's a little hidden, it has a beautiful view of the sound, and it's very quiet.  When we got there, I pulled the cupcakes out of my bag and we lit the candle...purple, of course.      I looked and looked and looked for butterflies


We sang Happy Birthday, just the three of us, then had Mia blow out the candle.

 We ate our cupcakes quietly.  Mia made a mess. It was insanely hot and humid, and the cream cheese icing on the (red velvet) cupcakes was melting. I had wanted everything to be perfect and picturesque, and Iwas a little disappointed with the ridiculousness of the mush. In retrospect, it tasted really good, and Charlotte is my daughter, not a visiting dignitary. She knows how we roll.

As we were getting ready to leave, we saw a butterfly flying between the raindrops. Just the one. I chased it so I could take its picture.


After the gardens, we met my family for dinner.  The all acknowledged her birthday in some way, which I appreciated.  None did so in any way I would have chosen, but I appreciated that they all remembered.  Leslie toasted her (in private to just us) with her glass of wine from the bar.

On the way home from dinner, Angel by Sarah McLaughlin played again.  We cried a little, but mostly happy tears.  We knew she was near, that she knew we love her, that she wasn't gone.

After Mia went to bed, we sat down to write out the card we had gotten at the Life is Good store. 

 It was a hard day.  I cried a lot.  I know we said that we were going to celebrate her on her birthday rather than mourn her, but it still is a little hard.  It's still a little raw.  Still, I think we were grateful and loving more than sad, which is what we want.

Mia is starting to know who she is.  That's good.  It's what we want.  Charlotte will always be Mia's (and Ethan's) Angel Sister, and it was nice to have celebrated this, even if it was a little more bitter than sweet just yet.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Signs

I need to take a moment to talk about, or rather, to write about, some of the signs I've experienced in the last few days. I feel like I spend a lot of my life looking for signs from Charlotte and when I really need them they're so blatant that I can't help but believe in them.

So, about a week ago, we decide to go to my nephew's soccer game. We haven't been to one of his soccer games in months and I have no idea why we decided to go to this one, because it was pretty far away.I took Mia to the park that morning to play, and we got home just a few minutes before we had to leave. She was hot and sweaty and being pretty quiet, but I assumed I had just worn her out at the park. So we get in the car, and we drive to a fast food place to get lunch on the way, because we're running late as usual. We offer food to Mia but she doesn't eat it. I thought this is kind of weird, but I assume she was just tired. Then I'm driving, and we get about an hour away from home, and Mia gets very very quiet. Mike turns around to check on her and she didn't answer. He started asking her questions, and she didn't respond. She starts make a really weird noise, and he said bubbles are coming out of her mouth and her face is a funny colour. I am mediately pull off at the very next exit, as we were on the highway, and as I look up I see that we are literally a quarter mile from a hospital. We get to the hospital, because she's still not responding, & I pull up to the emergency room. When I get out of the car, she starts to cry and whine a little bit, but she's very limp and kind of unresponsive, and I start to freak out a little bit more. It turns out that she had a febrile seizure, which happens in about 10 percent of kids when they spiked a fever. Mia has gone from being perfectly healthy that morning to having a fever of 105 within the span of an hour. Luckily, this type of seizure isn't really damaging, just scary. However, when we had this happen, we happen to be within a quarter mile of the best hospital in the entire area, which we are never ordinarily near, which incidentally had in it a pediatric emergency room separate from the adult emergency room. They took amazing care of her, much better than we would have gotten were we here at the hospital by our house. Incidentally, at the park that morning, we saw some butterflies. I vividly remember telling Mia, " Hey lookMia, a butterfly. Must mean that Charlotte is looking out for us today." And she was. When Mia got sick, she guided us so that Mia got the best care possible.

A little over a week after what happened with Mia, I was on my way to work when someone pulled out in front of me and I was in an accident. I was going close to 40mph, and the woman pulled out only about 10-15 feet in front of me. My car had almost $5000 worth of damage. I was transported to the hospital, and they did an ultrasound on the baby, and he's perfectly fine. The thing is, my airbag really should have gone off, but it didn't. If it had, I don't know if the baby would have been ok. My belly was right there. That morning, as I was walking Mia out to the car, we heard the windchime, and Mia said, "It's Charlotte, Mama." I guess she's looking out for both of her siblings.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Reflections: Post 2-The Vigil

I know I haven't posted in a long time...I feel bad about that.  I've been waiting, trying to finish my thoughts on Chris's death and all the ceremonies and feelings surrounding it...and it's hard to write.  It's harder than it was with Charlotte.  It's not a series of events I feel like I can write chronologically.  I got through writing about the vigil on New Year's Day, but then after that I just have a huge bullet point list of my thoughts and things I wanted to remember.  It think I just have to post it as is.  I don't know that I have the ability to turn my abstract list into prose...at least not now.  Still, here was my description of the candle light vigil...



We learned about the candlelight vigil on Tuesday around 3:30.  I was again rabidly checking facebook, desperate for signs that people cared. I saw it on the Fire and Rescue page first, though it was a reposting of the PWCPD posting.  We called my parents, and they easily agreed to watch Mia while we were gone.  I think they were relatively desperate to help us in any way they could.  I’m glad of this, because I had to lean heavily throughout the week.

I’d only been to one other candlelight vigil before, at Mary Washington for the victims of 9/11 soon after the attacks.  As horrible and sad and awful as that experience was, this was my friend.  This was Mike’s friend.  This was a person everyone knew and liked.  This wasn’t a symbol of a country’s loss and of condolences for families somewhere else.  This was for a man we knew, a man who was taken too soon.  This was different.

Mike was relatively frantic.  He usually doesn’t care about details.  He just assumes I’ll get everything taken care of and goes with it.  This week was so different.  He asked me at least six or seven times if I knew where we were going.  He left fifteen minutes early so that we couldn’t possibly be late.  He discussed types of candles to consider bringing.  I later realized that these details were all he could do for Chris.  He was craving to be the perfect mourner.  He couldn’t say to Chris that he cared, couldn’t fix it, couldn’t help.  All he could do was mourn his death with as much perfection and dignity as he possibly could.

They held the vigil in the parking lot of the target right next to the place he died.  I tried hard not to visualize the accident from the pictures I’d seen.  I tried hard not to think of the violent chaos on that street just one day earlier.  I, of course, failed miserably.

I cried as soon as I got out of the car.  This made me feel foolish.  Really, I knew him so little compared to others there.  I saw him a few times a year, that’s all.  A few handfuls of time.  Still, my heart ached with his loss.  A woman who could have been me lost her husband.  Three children that could have been mine lost their father.  So many men like my husband lost their friend.  He didn’t deserve to die.  I know that so few people deserve to die.  Still, more than that, he deserved to live.  To be happy.  To see his positivity and generosity make the world better.

It seemed so strange to me that so few people were crying.  I couldn’t understand.  I still don’t.  Many of the people at the vigil didn’t know him well.  Some came out just to support and remember a fallen officer.  He wasn’t a person to some people, he was a symbol.  I appreciate that, but he was more than that, of course.   Others, who did know him but didn't cry, were officers.  Officers are stoic.  They have to be.  I understand that.  Still, as Mike said, it doesn’t make them less of a man to mourn a friend.  Chris deserved tears.  I shed many.

Target had provided baskets full of candles.  The posts about the vigil asked us to bring our own, but many didn’t have them.  I had brought two jar candles, thinking that they would stay lit in the wind, but I asked Mike to pick up two tapers as well.  As Mike had worried, I also wanted to honor him properly.  I wondered if my scented jar candles were appropriate.  They smelled of honeysuckle.

There were bagpipers there.  They plated “Going Home”, a song I had associated with movies: The Departed and Clear and Present Danger.  They play it at the funerals of the fallen officers and soldiers in those movies.  It always made me cry.  Songs are like that.  I’d never heard it played in real life before.  It cut me to the core.

When we were asked to light our candles, the wind seemed to pick up.  I had brought an Aim and Flame, familiar with trying to light fireworks on the beach.  I lit my taper from the bin, with a Dixie cup around the flame to protect it from the wind.  The man next to me, an officer whose name I don’t know, had no cup around his flame.  It kept blowing out.  I handed him mine, thinking it was important for him, an officer, to have a candle that would stay lit.  I pulled out my honeysuckle jar.  He later got his other candle lit as well, so he held two.  I felt a little guilty for not taking back the first candle, but he didn’t offer and I didn’t want to ask. 

Most of the speeches from the vigil are a blur.  I was surrounded by the scent of honeysuckle.  I remember Chris’s brother, Dale, also an officer, getting up to speak.  I don’t remember what he said.  I remember thinking he was brave and strong for doing it, and I realize now that he was soaking in the support from his friends and brothers in blue.  Dale's friend spoke after that, apparently at his request.  All I remember him saying was something about Chris’s mom making him sandwiches.  I thought he was an odd choice of speaker, but I think now that he was there more for Dale and the family than to actually remember Chris.  They needed that.  Chris’s other brother spoke as well.  I don’t remember anything that he said, but I remember the tears in his voice.  Maybe that was more important.

After the appointed people had spoken, they opened the microphone to anyone who wanted to talk about Chris.  They do this at weddings sometimes, usually with disastrous results.  I wish more people had spoken that night.  An older woman from the citizens’ academy spoke about doing a ride along with Chris.  She talked about how he was driving, reading a map, on the computer, and talking on his cell phone all at once on the way to a call.  I could picture Mike doing that.  Katie got up to speak about Chris being her FTO.  The part of her speech that stuck with me was when she talked about how Chris asked to have a copy of her positive evaluation after she was cut loose, like a proud father.  I could imagine that pride: the puffed up chest, big smile, and twinkling eyes.  A little girl went up with her mother to talk about how Chris used to be her neighbor.  All she said was that she’d miss him.  It was lovely.  I imagine this little girl was probably friends with Paige, Chris's daugher. 

I wished some of his friends would have spoken.  I wish some of his friends there had gotten up and told more stories about him.  After the vigil ended, they stood around in the parking lot telling each other those stories.  Things like going out to get Chinese food, forgetting your wallet, and Chris not letting you pay him back.  Things like driving in a car with him and having him show off his driving skills like he was in the Indy 500, throwing you back in your seat.  Things like him always finding the person in a crowd who felt lonely, or out of place, and starting a conversation with them. This was the story I knew so well.  And caring.  Always caring.  I wished more of those stories were told at the vigil that night, but I suppose they got shared in the way they were meant to be shared.

When the microphone was empty, the chaplain asked us to raise our candles as he said a quick prayer.  Somehow, through the wind, almost all the candles stayed lit.  I don’t remember the prayer, but I remember seeing Mike’s head bowed from the corner of my eye.  The man who never prays.  

And then they said it was over.  Mike turned to me and asked if we should blow our candles out.  I remember saying that I didn’t want to.  The scent of honeysuckle was all around me.  I thought briefly of the stupid Nora Roberts book I just read, in which a ghost’s presence was always accompanied with the strong smell of honeysuckle.  I hoped that Chris’s spirit knew that we cared.  It was freezing cold that night, but somehow the scent and flame of the candle made me feel protected.  I didn’t want to let it go. 

After the ceremony of the vigil, people milled around the parking lot.  These are strange circumstances, these post-memorial social hours.  It seems strange to say things like, “Nice to meet you” at gatherings like this, and yet I found myself meeting many people I didn’t know.  Mike hugged each person he saw.  Mike is not a hugger.  It was touching, really, to see him looking to connect with all of these people, who knew Chris as he had.  Some hugged back hard, others did the one armed man hug.  

We were reluctant to leave.  We milled around the parking lot as it started to clear out.  The cars of the family had long departed.  The tables of coffee and doughnuts provided by the community, so rife with irony, had long ago been picked over.  We just kept looking for one more person to talk to, one more hug to force, one more story to tell.  When does the vigil end?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Caterpillar

We have picked a nickname for this baby. We've always been looking at butterflies as being indicative of Charlotte being near, and the baby we feel like is a part of her a part of her influence, and so we decided to name him caterpillar. He's not quite a butterfly yet. He's the hope of a butterfly.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Reflections: Post 1--New Year's Eve

I haven't written anything in a while.  That's not true...I've written a lot.  I just haven't posted any of it.  I've been trying hard to remember everything about the experience of saying goodbye to Chris.  I've decided I'm going to try to post it in segments...so here is post #1:

New Year's Eve



We were walking around Best Buy on New Year’s Eve.  I had begged Mike to get me a Roku player and DVD player for the basement TV for something to watch while on my elliptical.  We’d already picked those things out, but Mike wanted to see if there was anything else he might want.  He had a lot of gift cards since he’s so hard to buy for and his birthday is right after Christmas. 

Mia was fussy, so I was wandering around in the computer section, just trying to keep her moving so she wouldn’t get upset.  I saw Mike at the other end of the aisle looking at his phone and I rolled my eyes.  I thought he was playing his game again.  Then suddenly he was next to me again, and he said that he had just gotten a text that Chris Yung had been in a motorcycle accident.  That’s all we knew right then.  He looked concerned, but since we knew so little he wasn’t overly upset yet.

I had a gut feeling that it was…what it was.  I didn’t say that, though.  I asked who was watching his kids.  I figured, if it wasn’t what it was, maybe we could help somehow.  He said he didn’t know.  He said the other officers were all assembling at the hospital, the one on the other side of the county.  I said I would go get in line so we could go and decide what to do.  Mike quietly followed.  As we got in line, Mike was still playing with his phone.  I thought he was maybe texting back to see if he could get more information.  I later found out that he was checking his work email.  There was one with the subject heading “Terrible News.”

Mike just looked at me as we stood in line.  Very quietly, very slowly, he just said, “He died.”
I should have made him leave.  I asked him if he wanted to leave, as there was a long line, but he said no.  He asked, “What is there to do?  Where do we need to be?  Might as well pay.”  I said I wanted to cancel plans with my family for that evening.  He asked why.  Were we just going to sit around and be sad all night? I realize now that he was numb.  He was in shock.  I think maybe everyone was.
I drove home.  He looked through more emails, and I looked on facebook.  I found a release from the county and gave it to Mike.  It had that picture of Chris on it.  The one we’d see over and over in the coming days.  The one that would seem to define him, so incompletely.  The smiling, formal portrait that every police officer takes next to an American flag. 

I hope I never see Mike’s portrait again, save maybe at his retirement.

I cried on the way home.  I tried not to, but I couldn’t quite help it.  I said again on the way home that I thought we should cancel with my family, which was right around the time that he found out people were now going to go meet at the police association hall.  I told him he should go.  I think a part of him just wanted to stay with me.  Maybe he wanted to pretend it wasn’t real.  I don’t know.  I told him he should go, and I called my family to cancel.  I knew he had to go.  He needed to be around people that knew Chris as he did.  Mia and I stayed home alone.

Mike called a few times from hall.  He had to go outside to do it because he gets no reception there.  I like to think that hearing my voice and talking to me gave him comfort, as did talking and reminiscing with all of Chris’s friends at the hall.  As for me, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself.  I gave Mia dinner, and put her to bed, and sat and blindly flipped channels on TV. I posted on facebook that a good, kind, brave man had lost his life doing his duty that day, and to pray for his family.  I waited for people to care.  I needed people to care.

The thing is, when your husband is a police officer, you know there are risks.  You know he has to drive fast.   You know he has to multi-task while he’s driving.  You know some people don’t like to see a boy in blue.  You know some people would hurt him just for being what he is.  Still, you can pretend, day to day, that you don’t know these things.  You can pretend that it’s a guarantee he’ll walk back through the door at end of shift.  I know nothing in life’s a guarantee.  I think I know that better than most.  Still, the illusion is what keeps you going, keeps you sane.  When this happens, it shatters the illusion.  A man I knew and cared about, a man who was no different from my husband, died that day.

I needed people to care.  It doesn’t matter if they knew him or not.  He was a good man.  He was so kind, and so generous, and so loving, and he’s dead.  He died.  It’s so inexorably wrong, and it seemed so wrong to sit there that night, inwardly pleading for someone, anyone, to comment on my post, and watching all of these ridiculous posts about what shoes to wear or what alcohol to buy or what party to go to.  I know it was New Year’s Eve…but the world stopped turning that night for every PWCPD family.  It seemed so horribly, freakishly wrong that no one else cared.

I looked feverishly for news stories about the accident.  I found them.  They included pictures.  I don’t know why I looked.  I didn’t want to see the pictures.  I didn’t want to see the crash.  This was a man I knew.  This was a man who came to our engagement party, our wedding, our summer parties.  This was a man who gave us a bag of his daughter’s old clothes when Mia was born.  This was a man who always came up to talk to me at gatherings, when I felt so socially awkward and lonely.  He always acted happy to see me, always smiled, always cared.  I didn’t want to see the crash.  I had to look.

I don’t know that I’ll ever forget some of the images I saw.  He was gone before the pictures were taken…probably in every meaning of the word.  Still, the images hinted at the action and violence that happened.  Now, when I think of the crash, it’s too real.  I can too easily imagine the sound, the panic, the fear.  In my head I see the flames, watch him fly from his bike.  In my nightmares, I see his head moving in slow motion toward jagged glass and twisted metal.

Mike got home about 10:30.  I was so grateful that I wouldn’t have to worry about him driving after midnight on New Year.  I asked him how it was.  I asked him if people were crying.  He said something about people handling emotions different ways.  Some were telling stories about him.  That’s what I liked best. Others were apparently just enjoying being together.  I guess they were trying to not think about it, take comfort where they could.  Some were upset.  Some cried.  It’s strange to think of these men crying.  These are the men who make ridiculously inappropriate jokes ten times a day without flinching.  These are the men who take breathalyzer tests as a drinking game.  These are the men who run the streets at night.  These are the men I just assumed had no feelings beyond joy and anger.

We didn’t quite know what to do with ourselves that night.  It wasn’t right to celebrate New Year, though we had both been looking forward to it.  2012 was not our year.  Still, it was the last year Chris got to see.  How do you celebrate its passing? We watched old episodes of Glee on Hulu to pass the time.  At 12:01, I noticed that midnight had passed and said so to Mike.  We shared a kiss, but not the kind of kiss you have to celebrate.  It was the kind of kiss that’s meant to feel connection and love and comfort.  It’s impossible to be in a situation like that and not need comfort.

I tried to talk to Mike a little more between the episodes.  I think the numbness finally started to wear off as he had gotten home from the hall.  I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen Mike truly upset, seen him cry.  The reaction he had to Chris’s death was so similar to that of losing Charlotte.   Shocked.  Numbed.  Pained.  Shattered.  He talked a little about what Chris meant to him.  How much he would miss him.  How much the world should have more people like him, not less.  He said that, if he had to choose a person to die in the line of duty, the last person he would have chosen would be Chris.    

We went to bed a little after one.  We talked about life.  What if it was Mike instead of Chris?  I told him he was never again allowed to walk out the door without kissing me goodbye, regardless of how late he was running.  He promised me nothing would happen to him.  I tried to take comfort in that and failed miserably.   It’s hard to believe guarantees when you know they’re just a happy lie we tell ourselves to get through the day.

He told me that, if it was him, if he had a sliver of a fraction of time to know death was coming, his last thoughts would be of me.  That’s a cold comfort.
 



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The last time...I hope.

I found out I'm pregnant again today. Mike finally reacted the way I wanted him to. It's been a bit of a running joke for us that he never reacts the way I want him to when I tell him we're pregnant. The first time we weren't trying. His reaction wasn't bad, but he was more surprised than happy, as was I. He and I were still feeling out how we felt about it for the first couple if days. Kids weren't supposed to be on the radar yet. With Mia, we had had a few chemical pregnancies, and Mike was gun shy. He didn't really believe it until we got bloodwork done, so there was no moment of recognition, really....no big celebration. With Charlotte, again we weren't trying. He and I were both completely blindsided by it. He didn't react at all. I don't blame him, really....but it's not the kind of story you retell a lot. For this baby....he finally reacted well.

I took the test at school. I don't know why I was so intent to take a test today. I just....knew. it's still super early. Anyways, I got a decent line. So I went home and we were snuggling in bed watching tv during Mia's nap. We had been talking about our hopes for this month. I asked him how confident he was, on a scale of 1-10. He said 5....then asked me the samme question. I asked for clarification on what was a one and what was a ten. He said a one was being shocked if it happened and ten was being shocked if it didn't happoen. I said 10. He didn't get it at first. He asked me, incredulously if I was really that confident. I just looked at him. I tried to smile, but my body was trying to cry. I got stuck in the middle. I saw it when itdawned on him....his eyes filled, and he just said, "Oh my God..." And then he hugged me tight...in that way he hugs me when it really matters. It was a good reaction.

I'm scared. Mike thinks Charlotte is going to protect this kid....he's freakishly confident that it'll be ok. I'm not sure he really believes it or if he needs to believe it...but i'm still scared. O'm going to leave these entries as drafts for a while. I'm not ready to put it out there yet.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ok, ok, I hear you!

So...windy day today. I was just thinking about Charlotte and listening to the wind chimes...and for some reason I felt a desire to sit on the couch and listen to the wind chimes for few minutes...I thought about putting up the windchime for Chris so that I could hear them together. I sat there for a good half hour, just thinking...and when I finally stopped because I couldn't put of working out any longer, I, for some reason, felt a desire to check the app of the day from Amazon...and it was a field guide to identifying butterflies. Wow. Seriously?

Okay baby. I get the hint. You're near.

I love you, angel girl.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Weak day

Mike returns to work today. I'm scared. As with being a military wife, as a police wife you know your husband has a dangerous job. Of course you know...still, you try not to think about it. Days like today, though...
I want to beg him to stay home. I want to lock the doors, lower the blinds, and just shut out the world and the danger.
I would be a horrible widow. Robin has had such strength and grace through this week. She gave dignity to her husband's funeral and burial. I admire and respect her more than I could express...and I know that I would not have strength, grace, or dignity.
If you read this, please say a prayer for Robin and for me. Bring her peace, and bring my husband home.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

someone to take care of Charlotte

A friend of Mike's died this week. It's been a rough week for him and for me as well. In going through the process with him of dealing with the loss, I realized that I would really like it if this person would watch out for Charlotte, to take care of her. So, yesterday, the morning of the funeral I asked for some kind of sign to know he really is taking care of her and caring for her and with her somewhere. During the course of the funeral, one of his friends was telling stories about him and person that he was, and he told the story of how this man stood in uniform at the grave of an infant that had died in order to give comfort to a grieving mother who didn't want her baby to be alone. Of all the stories he could have chosen, he shared this one at the funeral...I guess I have to believe he's taking care of my little girl now.

Going home

I'm in the process of trying to write down all of the beautiful and painful and inspiring and awful moments of the last few days...but as it did with Charlotte, it will take me some time to get it all down.  

I'm realizing now that maybe a part of my mourning for Chris was also a mourning for my daughter.  Charlotte had no ceremonies, no words spoken, no grave to visit, no flowers bought.  I think going through this process of mourning for Chris also took me through the process for my daughter, in a way I never got before.  Maybe.

In the mean time, I want to share the song "Going Home."  I've heard it played several times the last few days...and it breaks my heart a little each time.  Here are the lyrics, and a video of it being played.  

To be fair...no one likes bagpipes.  But I think, in this circumstance (and only this circumstance) they are the only instrument that would work.

Lyrics: "GOING HOME"(Antonin Dvorak)    
Going home, going home,
I'm a going home.
Quiet-like, some still day,
I'm just going home.
It's not far, just close by,
Through an open door.
Work all done, care laid by,
Going to fear no more.
Mother's there, expecting me,
Father's waiting too.
Lots of folk gathered there,
All the friends I knew.
Nothing's lost, all's gain,
No more fear or pain,
No more stumbling by the way,
Going to roam no more.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Another death

Mike's friend died yesterday. He was a motorcycle cop, and he was in an accident. He died.

He had a little girl and two little boys at home. His wife is all alone.

He was a really, really nice guy. I don't fit in well with the police wives, but he always acted happy to see me. He was kind and generous and so sweet. He was always smiling, always laughing.

I am sad today on so many levels.

The world lost a really good man. The world will be a little darker and colder without him in it.  He didn't have to be a cop...he had money. He CHOSE to be an officer. He didn't have to ride bikes, but he CHOSE to do it because he was an amazing driver and he loved it.

Sweet little kids lost a really great dad. He was a good dad. He loved his kids. 24 hours ago he kissed them goodbye just like any other day. Now he's gone. No more bedtime stories. No more kisses.

A wonderful, strong woman has lost her husband. I can so easily put myself in her place, and I don't know how I would breathe.  I'm praying she has  the support that I so wanted in July. I don't know what I would do. In an entirely selfish way, I'm consumed with my own fear, terrified that it could happen to me...and I don't think I'd be strong enough to survive it.

My husband has lost his good friend. Mike doesn't trust or care easily. There are very few people he feels he can really talk to, open up to. I'm so incredibly sad that he lost one of them.

The world stopped for me and my family again yesterday, as it did for every law enforcement family...and the rest of the world, the world he died to protect, they went to their new year's eve parties.  The world is unfair, and I don't understand. I just don't.

I can find meaning and purpose in Charlotte's death. I can see a larger plan. I can't find meaning here. 

I'm sad...so sad.