I didn’ t know what I was asking for

It’s been a little more than 26 months since Mason left us. Of all the blogs I’ve read and people I have spoken to, they all say that the second year is the hardest. After the shock wears off and reality starts so settle back in, that’s when you really get started. Well, we survived the second year.

Another thing I have heard from others is that there is no time table on grief. The Compassionate Friends consider you “newly” bereaved if it’s been less than 5 years. I’m still “newly” bereaved. Sometimes, I’m still in shock. Sometimes it’s not real. Sometimes, I think that my alarm clock will wake me up from a horrendously long nightmare.

Being “newly” bereaved, I am still very early on in my healing progress. The pain is still very deep. Obviously, I haven’t had the time to let it heal, but I expect at some point that the pain will be more like a soreness, a bad ache. Right now, the knife is still in my heart and it’s twisting around and around. The wound is not able to start healing just yet.

As if all this wasn’t bad enough, there is the guilt. All of this pain, all of the heartache, all of the tears, all of the sadness and all of the helplessness, I wished on someone else.

Early in April of 2002, we found out Mason needed a heart transplant. The current route of treatment wasn’t going to be good enough and time was of the essence. I prayed every day for a heart to become available for Mason. Six months later, my prayers were answered. At that point, someone else started their life without their child. I spent six months wishing this curse on someone else. I didn’t care who, I just wanted my child to live. I wanted Mason to have a chance. And I got it.

I spent six months praying for all this to happen to someone else. Now I’ll spend forever praying for God to forgive me for asking this. I didn’t know what I was asking for. I just wanted the best for Mason.

Now I’m on the other side. I find myself telling people all the time that I hope you never have to deal with the loss of a child. “I wouldn’t wish it on anyone”, I say. Yet, twelve years ago, that’s exactly what I was doing. Would I do it again, knowing what I know now? Yes. So I guess I’m lying when I say I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. If my child’s life is on the line, I would wish it on anyone.

So, what this boils down to is just another twist of the knife for me. On one hand, I don’t want anyone to experience this. I don’t want to have to ask God to take another one of his children so that my child could live. Yet, if it came down to it again, I’d make the same request. My child is more important than anyone else’s; just as your child is more important than mine.

In a Rut

(WARNING: There’s a lot of rambling and somewhat incoherent thoughts in here)

Seems like every day is the same. I feel like I’m stuck on high center. The wheels are turning, but we’re not going anywhere.

I still follow a lot of blogs written by grieving parents. Some have an amazing ability to write down what they feel, what is / was happening in their lives. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit envious of that. People that know me know that I am pretty quiet. I’m not very vocal about anything. Evidently, that trait bleeds over into my writing.

Some have quit writing for one reason or another. I can understand that. I can’t seem to find anything to write about either. So, I guess I’ll write about not writing.

I tend to either keep my thoughts in or deem them as not anything worth sharing. Nobody wants to read about my drive to work this morning. No one wants to read about me sitting at my desk all day trying to focus on the job at hand. Since Mason passed, I feel like I’ve got a sudden case of ADD, and focusing on even the simplest of tasks can be difficult. Putting my un-divided attention into something; yeah right, that’s not going to happen.

I don’t have a boring life. I mean, it’s pretty un-eventful, but not boring. I don’t sit around the house with nothing to do; there’s always something to do. I’ve got 2 gorgeous children at home whom I adore. They keep me plenty busy. It’s just the same thing, day in and day out. I know, I know. That’s the same thing everyone else does. Why should my life be any different from theirs? I’m just bitching about being normal.

I want to go back to the way things were before. We still had a less than glamorous life, but we had that life with Mason. Now, it’s the same life without him. His smile and laughter have been replaced with infinite sadness, anger & doubt. I know it was hard on him, but there’s not much I wouldn’t do to go back to the times of annual biopsies, occasional trips to the er and the fear of catching some types of viral infection that might send us to TCH for a few days.

I just can’t get out of this rut. I KNOW that I’ve got lots of things going for me. I’ve got a beautiful loving wife, 2 kids that mean the world to me, a great job, nice house and for the most part I’ve got a great life. But it’s incomplete. There is a huge part of my life that is missing. I was trying to explain this to someone the other day. It’s like having a brand new, one of a kind, sports car. I should be flying down the highway with the top down having the time of my life. But I can’t. Why? Because I’m missing a wheel. I can’t go anywhere. Everything on this car is immaculate. Perfect. But, missing a wheel makes this car useless. This wheel can’t be replaced. So, my car, my life, my family, sit on the side of the road with our hazard lights on. Battery is dying, the flashers are fading, it’s getting dark.

 

I sure miss you, Bubba.

2 Years Out

Anniversaries. Some are good, some not so much.

Yesterday, April 7, we were 2 years out. I didn’t really have any expectations for where I would be in this journey of life without Mason. While I know things will get better, I know they will never be right. That being said, I’m not expecting an improvement. I’m not holding my breath for it.

This has all been very taxing for me, to say the least. It takes a lot of my strength. While I try to concentrate on Brandi, Isabella and Jackson, Mason is always in the back of my mind. Wishing he was here to see all of this.

I’ve really wanted to keep this blog going. I read other blogs written by people who have lost a child. Some are like me in that they quit after a year or two; just nothing new to write about. Then there are others who seem to write almost every day. I wish I had that capacity to do that. I just can’t come up with anything new. I guess for a while, the entries will be sporadic.

Changes

Haven’t updated in a while.  Theres’ just not much to say anymore.

Changes. So many changes. I wish Mason was here to witness all of them.

Mason and Isabella’s little brother showed up early. He wasn’t due till 9/13, but he made an early appearance on 8/22. All is well with him and momma. Her blood pressure was running pretty high and the Dr. made the call to perform a “C” section that evening.

I’ve since taken on a new job. Not exactly a career change, but made the move from a contract position to work directly for the company. It’s a good move for me, a good move for my family.

We’ve made it through Thanksgiving, Christmas has come and gone.

Mason’s birthday has passed us again. He would have been 13. Finally a teenager. I might have even gotten him a cell phone. It would give me something else to take away when he misbehaved.

As I said in a previous posting, we sold the house and moved to a rental for about 9 months or so. It was a much smaller house, but we made it work.

We finally bought a new house, moved in just a few weeks ago. It’s much closer to work, 24 miles each way vs. the 76 miles each way I was driving. It’s a much shorter, less stressful, drive. It’s got a big yard, front and back, that the kids can play in. I ordered a new playset for Isabella and Jackson, it will be here this weekend. She’ll love it. Jackson will love it too.

Everything is just great.

On the surface.

But deep down inside, everything is not great. I’m waiting on things to get better. I don’t cry as much as I did before, so maybe that’s better. But I don’t feel better. I feel the same. I feel worse. There is a huge hole in my life, in my family, that nobody sees. I hesitate to bring it up to people. The dreaded question; “How many kids do you have?” I fumble for the answer. I’ve just met these people, do I want to unload my depressing story on them right off the bat?

It still hurts. I expect it to for a while. I guess I expect it forever. The pain is a reminder.

Moved

All done, completely moved out of the house.  All that remains is the closing tomorrow.

It was / is strange.  We are now at a place that Mason has never been.  We’ve got all of his stuff boxed up and in the spare bedroom.  It’s just there.  My wife and I pulled out of that driveway yesterday evening for the last time.  It was there, as I put the truck in gear, that I had one of those “moments”.

Here we are moving on with our lives.  Here we are living in a place that Mason has not lived.  We have left Mason’s home.  How CAN we move on?

I just don’t know.  I’m more angry and bitter now than I have ever been.  I don’t want to be.  I’ve got a son on the way and I’m prepared to be the best father I can be for him.  But all that is on my mind is how we are leaving Mason.  How he left us.  How it’s not getting any better.

Just a bunch of crazy thoughts in my head.  It’s almost like “white noise” from an old tv.  I can pick up on things, but it’s like static.  In my brain.

Hard to describe.  I wish I could put it into words, but it just ain’t happening.

Been a while…….

I’m tired.

Work has finally slowed down.  Now I’ve got some time to spend with the family.  Time to reflect on the things that have happened in the last 15 months.

The pregnancy is going well.  Come September 13th, I intend to be holding my little Jackson Reed in my arms.  Pretty excited about that.

We just returned from our annual family vacation.  This year we went to Branson, MO.  I had my doubts about that place, but if you’ve never been, it’s worth going.  The day that we arrived in Branson, our realtor called us and let us know that someone would be putting in an offer on our house.  It looks like it’s going to sell.  We’re pretty happy about that too.  We’ll stay close to the doctors and hospitals for a while.  Our history makes that a good idea.  We’ll start seriously looking for a new home after the first of the year.

Of course with a move coming up, there’s packing to be done.  We hadn’t touched Masons room since he passed.  Other than just general cleaning and such.  Saturday, we went through everything.  Everything EXCEPT his suitcase that he had when he went to Nana’s house the last time.  We can’t open that yet.  We’ll just take it with us and we’ll open it when it’s time.  I knew it would be tough.  Going through all of his clothes.  Sifting through old drawings he had made and stuffed in his desk.  Reading some of his stories that he liked to write.  I knew it would be tough.  But it was worse than that.

It’s just not fair that the whole world is going on without him.  He’s got a baby sister to look after.  He’s got a baby brother that he’ll never get to meet.  Words just can’t express the pain and emotion that I feel.  I have been trying to hold it in, but I feel like I am at my breaking point.  I don’t know why I feel like I need to hold it in, I just do.  but I don’t think I’ll be able to restrain it much longer.  It really feels like everyday is harder than yesterday.

I’ll try to write more, but it’s really hard when there’s nothing to say.