Today I've been feeling a little out of sorts. Maybe not even a little, maybe a lot. I couldn't put my finger on it except for the fact that I had kind of a down, empty feeling all day. My mom was over visiting, so I went and ate lunch by myself at Hailey's Place. All of a sudden...I put my finger on it. I'm missing my little girl...sooo much.
This Saturday we're leaving for a two week trip to the East Coast to visit a bunch of family and friends. I realized that I'm so sad because I feel like I'm leaving my little girl behind. I already know all the cliche things that everyone will say, such as, "She'll be with you in spirit," etc., etc. And, I KNOW she will, but that doesn't matter right now, at this moment. I don't want her there in spirit. I want her there in body! I want to have that long list of things to pack for her: extra g-tubes, syringes, breathing machine, breathing mask and tubes, medication, blah, blah, blah! I want to see her so excited to fly on an airplane! I want to get frustrated with her on that same airplane for not sitting still! I want to see her with her grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles! I want to see her playing in the woods, trying to catch fireflies, laughing, yelling, whatever! I just want to see her!
We're going all over while there. We'll be in Pennsylvania, New York City, Boston, back in Pennsylvania again... It's going to be so hard for me to go on a "family vacation" without my entire family physically there. This is actually the same trip we had booked last year, but instead we ended up having a funeral. I'm sure that's probably where some of my emotions are coming from.
I definitely didn't anticipate feeling this way, but unfortunately, I am. I don't know why, but I have a lot of fear too. I fear leaving her here alone. I know that may sound really weird because she's technically neither here nor alone. But, her place is where I can go to feel extra close to her because I know that her physical being is right there six feet away from me. I fear that doing something like a family vacation without her will make it seem like she's not part of the family anymore. I mean, I know she is, of course she is, but I still have that fear in me. I fear that leaving her and her place behind may cause her to feel abandoned, even though I know there's no way it would. (It's like thinking your stuffed animals come alive when you're not there and cry because your gone.) I fear having a good time without her. I fear taking family pictures without her in them. I fear making any new memories away from home without her there. I fear that if I'm smiling or laughing when I see a lot of these people for the first time since Hailey died I'll give them the false impression that I'm over it or that I'm totally okay. I fear that I may not find any dimes. Seriously, I fear everything right now.
All these thoughts and emotions have caught me completely off guard. I guess that's one of the things I've learned throughout this process...that you seriously never know when the grief is going to hit you or what's going to set it off. It's so weird because some things that I think would be extremely difficult on me, aren't, yet, others that should be "easy" or "enjoyable" are ridiculously hard. I guess that's why they always say to take it one day at a time.
I also wasn't prepared for how hard Lexi's last day of school would be. But as I thought about it, I realized that today should be Hailey's last day of school too. We took Lexi out to dinner to celebrate and as I walked through the restaurant to our table, I noticed so many families sitting together probably celebrating the same thing we were. Then I felt this pang of guilt as I thought about how lucky they all were to have all their kids with them and how unfair it was for me not to have Hailey. (Although, I am also keenly aware of the fact that any one of them could have lost a child or loved one and be grieving just as I am.)
Anyways, I'm sorry this wasn't one of my most uplifting entries, but honestly, I'm sad right now. I'm hurting and I'm kind of having a pity party for myself. But I guess I've earned the right to do that every once in a while, didn't I?
On a positive note though, one of the highlights of my day was getting a phone call from my dad to see how I was doing. After my mom left, she called and told him she was a little worried about me. Sure enough, a couple minutes later the phone rings and there he is on the other end of the line checking up on me. I seriously have the best parents ever. They are always there for me when I need it. They have been so compassionate and understanding and non-judgmental of me and the way I grieve. I am truly blessed.
(And yes, Kim, you're awesome too!)
I'll keep you all updated while on our trip and let you know how it's going. I'm hoping to have a lot of dime stories to share!