We have been in the TinyTrainHouse almost a year.
My daughter turns three next month.
My baby boy, my son... he starts school next year.
I will be thirty one years old soon.
The winds here in the Highlands are changing, temperature beginning to creep away from frigid winter.
I have been in a state of perpetual upheaval since Tony died, and that was nineteen months ago. I’ve always felt slightly removed from it, so disconnected it was like watching a rerun of a movie you’ve seen a dozen times while you surf the net on a Friday night.
I’m not going to lie to you all and say I’m completely plugged in… I’m not, and if you read my blog a lot, you probably know that. But for the first time in such a long time– not even since Tony died, but since a few months before that– I feel as though I have some element of influence and intuition over what’s happening. I’m a part of this shift, if I allow myself to be. If I stay switched on, exhausting as it may be, I can see this one through and at least feel as though I’m molding myself with it, changing as I go.
Rather than feeling as though I suddenly glanced up from that random Friday night web page I was reading to discover the movie I thought I knew by heart has been seeded with strange new twists and sub–plots that don’t make any sense….
Instead of feeling as though I’ve been spat out of the centrifuge, while everyone else gets to settle in around me.
My aunt and godmother has lost both her sons (one was murdered and one died from suicide). She said its like the fabric of her life is made up of things she has been through – good and bad. She has had to weave in the black bits and incorporate them into who she is. She found it helped her to think of that weaving process, because her first instinct was to want to cut out and throw away the painful bits. Accepting the impossibility of that was her first step in accepting the different (wiser, sadder, hurt) version of herself.
Taken from an email from a RRSAHM reader… and it resonated. Thanks Fi.
It’s taken me until to begin to assimilate everything that’s happened into the Lori I was Before.
Its not just the fact that he died. It’s the way it happened. It’s that I was there. It’s what he said in those last few minutes.
It’s the up and down of the ICU. Lasting three ungodly months in the House That Was No Longer Purple. Packing up my kids and my life and moving it all back to the place where I began, then shriveling with loneliness and doing it all in reverse.
It’s been the strangest anomaly. I stopped waiting for life to ‘go back’ to normal months ago. I was waiting for a new kind of normal to come along… when we’re already living it.
I’ve spent so much time– right from the beginning of the After, from the moment the sky fell down– struggling against it, fighting every piece of it so as to internalize none of it. An unaskable task. An impossible battle.
I’ve been working so diligently toward what I thought was the most acceptable outcome here– to go back to ‘normal’ Lori. People began asking for her return just weeks after Tony died.
She’s never coming back…. because she hasn’t gone anywhere.
I’ve been attempting to be the same person I was in the Before. To be Lori in spite of what happened. It occurred to me just recently– and I don’t now why it’s taken so long, either– that it’s OK to be Lori because of what happened. It’s impossible not to be. Every event in your life alters you… the ramifications of this on the person I am, on what I think and feel and believe, are huge.
They’re also permanent. If I’m ever going to feel any kind of real again, I need to take these things– the events, the fall out, the trauma and everything that has followed– and make them mine.
I’ve done very little perfectly. But I’m still here. Some days I feel as though I am the brave warrior women some of you think I am. And some days I am brave, heart thumping with adrenaline as I look over the battlefield I’ve made it through. I’m bloodied and bruised and exhausted… but I’m standing.
And ‘some days’ are enough.
I will not let this become all of me, swallow me whole the way it’s been trying to since it happened.. But it will always be part of who I am. To quote the Bloggess, right back at the beginning of the After…
It’s part of me. Not all of me.
August in Sydney bring springtime. And with it come the winds, gale force and freezing, blowing away the skeletons of winter debris. Stripping rotted growth from its holds and allowing sunshine to reach the soil.
It’s time to garden again.
The weather, it’s getting warmer. And this year, we will have a summer.
I’m almost sure of it.