24 November 2014
This Wednesday, the 26th of November, will mark six months since C died and also, two years since the original diagnosis. Add this onto the cusp of Thanksgiving, and the bonus of the only memories that seem to surface regularly are the painful ones from the last two years and this has been a tremendously difficult season so far.
I remember vividly the look on his face when he brought home the diagnosis two years ago..... if I focus on it too long, I can still feel the ice water run through my veins in reaction to the news, the same ice water that I felt the moment I realized I had watched him take his last breath. Almost exactly a year ago, we were devastated once more by the news that we could not travel to Texas for Thanksgiving after learning that the cancer had progressed to his lungs. Beginning the next phase of treatment that, now in retrospect, was the start of a very quick downhill slide that would have him leave our family far sooner than we had hoped. The devastating pain that I feel reliving these truths moment after moment are nothing that words can accurately capture. The reemergence of these memories and feeling the weight of them at unexpected times makes me feel like I will never move forward.
Having my brain constantly going does sometimes allow for some happier memories, but the pain of any of them at all still makes me feel like this gaping open wound will never heal. I finally went back into the church service in the last two weeks..... the first time I really spent any time in there since C's memorial service. I had to leave mid-sermon the first time, there was too much that I couldn't handle after also sitting through some very moving hymns. I went again this past Sunday and made it through the sermon, only to have to leave during the prayer at the end. When C and I would attend services together, this was the moment he always put his arm around me as we bowed our heads in prayer..... and his arm would stay around me for the last two songs. This past Sunday, at this same moment I felt so cold, and alone, and the pain of the memory hit me like a ton of bricks, I ran out of there once again.
The emotional toll this roller coaster takes....... I feel so crazy as I go from feeling so sad I can't get out of my own head, to getting through it and realizing I pushed through the hurt and that I am still standing, that I'm okay, just be knocked down by something as simple as changing the paint color our home in an attempt to move forward....... I had the interior of our house completely repainted this week. As the primer went up and the paint color changed drastically, I sat on the phone with a friend of mine for hours, completely devastated, feeling like I had made the wrong choice and that I longed for the old color and the memories of C and two of our friends painting that room many years ago..... he had picked the color after completely vetoing my choice.... which did kind of look like battleship gray, he was right, not that I think I ever told him that...... I was newly pregnant with H (we hadn't told anyone yet) and I kept ducking out of the house to avoid paint fumes, attempting to be slick and not give away our secret to our friends. It's kind of funny the lengths I went to since we weren't sure if we were ready to tell, little memories of a happier time that seems so far away.
Now I am trying to focus on the realization that memories don't disappear just because you start to move forward, that changing the paint color doesn't change the memories and the fact that those memories will always exist, they just no longer have that visible reminder. And finding a way to come to terms with realizing that it's not the color I long for, it's the longing for the old life that it represented............