I took the first step into getting some help. I went to a family grief support center for a "pre-screened" meeting. The kids and I went about a week ago and I have decided it might be something useful for Andrew and yes, possibly myself. They have the kids make some sort of craft and then talk about their loss afterwards. I think this will be so beneficial for Andrew to talk to other children that has experienced such a loss. For Andrew to be able to talk openly and honestly without the pressure of saying something that might spring tears to my eyes will be a great thing for him. Danielle will be able to participate when she is three, which amazingly is less than three months away.
As for me, yes it will probably be good for me, but I am hesitant because me going to this group is reliant on Andrew continuing to want to go and the last thing I want to do is to make him do something he doesn't want to do.
What I think I have figured out is that one on one counseling might do me some good. It's not just the fact that I have forever lost my son, but it's also how I lost him. The car accident, the screams - mine and Danielle's, the ambulance, the sirens, the helicopter, seeing my son's lifeless body being carried out of the van, the hospitals and machines, seeing a grown man doing CPR on my son's chest, the words "I'm sorry there is nothing we can do", the dreadful decision to take my son off life support, watching them remove the breathing tube, "time of death 2:57", agonizing everyday if I did the right thing, should I have waited. No one can fathom what it's like to go through all of this unless you have been through it. I can now see why my pastor said "your life has forever changed. You will never be the same again." It took me a while to get that. I thought I am strong. My dad died, my grandma died and with time it got better. But little did I know that when a child dies, a piece of you dies with them. There is forever a whole in my heart never to be filled again.
So I think I have finally decided to put myself first. I know I have said this before, but I think I have mustered up enough of that courage to make a call on Monday for myself. I guess there is nothing wrong for asking for help - something I have never done.
So today, Andrew came up to me with this sad look on his face and said "Mom, if you don't want me around . . ." I cut him off before he could continue. I said "What? Honey what are you talking about." He said that he had overheard me ask Chris "when are you coming to pick him up"? I had to explain to him that I was asking his dad when he was going to be home to take him on the trip because he was wanting to do something every minute of the day. A trip would help with his boredom. I told him that I always wanted him around and NEVER wanted him to go any where. He smiled and said ok with a kiss and a hug. It's amazing what little ears hear.
Love you big boy! (Andrew's nickname since he was a baby.) The picture below is a self portrait from a week ago.
I think with the help of two of my closest friends I have realized that I need some help. I thought I could put on this brave face and smile when I needed to and that everyone would believe it, but those that know me best figured out that I am in a bad place. I am angry. I am hurt. All of these emotions I feel, I don't want to feel. We hit the six month mark of Brett's passing and I am in worse shape than I was before. I am going to look into some professional help as I have figured out that I can't do this alone. I guess I can finally admit that to myself and to others. My love to those you have figured me out and came to me with your concerns.
Today has been a hard day. Actually the last two have not been so good. I don't know why. I guess it's the way things go. You never know when you are going to have a crappy day or when you are going to have a good day. I try to fill my days with things to do and that helps until everyone is gone and I am by myself and then all I do is think.
Today I did nothing. Stayed in my jammies all day and sat my rear on the couch. I was constantly looked at the family picture above my fireplace mantle and wished that everything was different. That Brett was here and cuddled up next to me on the couch like he always was. But he's not. Life is really unfair. It's been a really crappy day. But I wasn't the only one thinking today.
Andrew came up to me this evening with a book he called "one of Brett's favorites." The book was Big Brother, Little Brother. Andrew said "I used to read this to Brett all the time. I really miss him." I held him tight and asked if he wanted me to read the book to him. He did. All it took was the reading of the first page before my words cracked, but I managed to go on for Andrew's sake. I finished the story and Andrew begin to cry and buried his head into my chest. I begin to cry, not for myself, but for the pain that Andrew is feeling. I wish I could make it all go away. Isn't that what moms are suppose to do? It hurts to know that I can't do a damn thing about it. I can't just kiss it away or give him a big hug and tell him it will be ok. It isn't ok and I don't know if it every will be.
While reading the book, there was a picture of the big brother helping the little brother do karate and I had a flashback of the picture I took of the boys at Brett's belt testing. My two handsome boys. We love you so much Brett. There is not a single minute that goes by that you are not thought about. XOXOXO.
Christina and I met in the eighth grade when we both started the same junior high. She was from Ontario. Ca and I, from LaVerne, CA. I passed Christina a note asking her to be my 'best friend'. Funny how little girls do things, huh? Little did I know, she really did become my best friend. Who would have ever thought I would be one of "those" women that I heard as a little girl say that they have been friends with someone for over twenty years? Holy crap, that's me!!We have been friends for 21 years! WOW!! Seriously, when I was 12, I thought my world was crumbling because I had to move to a new city and make new friends. I never knew that the path that God was laying for me would bring me such joy for the rest of my life.
Liz and I have been friends for the same amount of time. Liz is Christina's sister. Although I have to admit, when Liz and I first met, we fought like sisters for a couple of years. I think in some ways we are very much alike and that is the reason why we butted heads for so long. But all in all it worked out for the better and here we are.
Together, the three of us have been through a lot. Several broken hearts, drugs, alcohol, fights over a boy, the accident of their uncle, the death of our grandmas, the death of my father, the reunion with my biological father, the moves (Christina to Australia and I to Texas), weddings, pregnancies (six total) and then the death of Brett. Through it all, we have managed to hold on to our friendship no matter what the situation.
I received a phone call from Liz a month ago telling me that Partylite had cancelled their trip to Mexico because of the swine flu. That was the bad news. The good news, that Partylite was paying them for the trip they earned and that Liz and Christina were still going on vacation and taking me with them! WHAT? Are you kidding me? Your paying for me to go on vacation?? I am so in!! And I really needed to get away from it all. The memories, the mound of toys in my dining room, the pictures, the pressure. All of it.
So off to Cancun we go. We left Friday (5/22/09) morning. I flew from DFW on a 9:00 a.m. flight. I knew this was going to be a fabulous trip when I heard the announcer ask everyone at Gates D21 and D22 to stand and clap for our soldiers returning home. We stood and clapped for at least 15 minutes for these brave men and women who risk their lives everyday to protect us. Thank you to them! I sat down and imagined what happy reunions were going to be taking place as they saw their families for the first time in a year.
I arrived in Cancun at 11:45 and proceeded to the Gran Melia Cancun resort. I checked in and when I opened the door I immediately dropped my luggage and went straight to window. To my surprise I saw that we had a balcony with two chaise lounge chairs - SWEET! I stood and looked at the view for 10 minutes. I couldn't believe I was there. Here was part of my view. How awesome is that!
I proceeded to get a few things out and put in the bathroom, hang a few dresses, put my shoes in the closet. And then I decided I am going to get some sun out on the balcony. Changed into my suit, laid out for an hour or so and then decided I needed food. I rang for room service - which I was tickled pink because I have never done it! Even more amazing to get the bill and have it say I owe $0.00!!
Christina and Liz arrived a few hours later and we decided to check things out. But as we went to put the Do Not Disturb Sign on the Door we couldn't help but laugh at it in Spanish. Check it out.
No Molester?? LOL!! From that point on we would say "Did you put the No Molester sign out?" I don't think we will ever call it a Do Not Disturb sign again!
Our first night in Mexico was relaxing. We talked, we laughed, we ate sushi, we drank, we played cards, we laughed some more. Perfect first night.
We slept in the first night, order breakfast in the room and then headed to the pool. We decided we would go into town that night to check out the night life. After an hour long bus ride (because we missed our stop) and a 35 minute walk (we again missed our stop) and a taxi ride (to get to the place we were going) - we ended up at Congo. It was worth the wait. We had a fabulous time! Drinking, dancing, laughing and people watching. Here we are our first night out.
After zip lining they took us to a water hole to cool off in a covered jeep. Here we are looking forward to getting wet!
And here we are at the water hole, before getting wet. We got really good at self portraits!
The fourth day, we relaxed by the pool for the entire day. From 9:30 to 6:00. We ate, drank, laughed, swam, drank some more and laughed harder. What a great day! The last night we went out again to Congo, just this time we knew where we were going and it was a quick 10 minute bus ride. We met up with some people we met at the pool bar to have some dinner and a drink before heading out. This was the three of us having a shot - but I can't remember the name of it, but it was good!
Here Liz and I are dancing on the bar with our friends Michelle and Tiffany.
And this is one of the last photos we took together.
Saying goodbye on Wednesday was very emotional for me. I gave them both a big hug and a kiss and started to cry. I got in the van heading back to the airport and asked myself what I did to deserve such great friends. They will forever be my sisters. Luv Ya Like A Sis. Christina and I signed our many letters we wrote to each other in high school this way. Twenty one years later and I still love them like my sisters!