There was a time, about two weeks before Callie’s birthday, when I considered driving straight to my therapist’s office and camping out in the waiting room until she could work me in. I haven’t been back since my last visit, and I know if I needed to it would be ok. When I stopped to think about what was behind that feeling, I realized that what I was really craving was the time to grieve. At therapy, I always had time to grieve.
It’s not that I couldn’t grieve at home. I could, and I did. But life, as it should, has marched forward. Most of the time, this is fine. More than fine…it’s wonderful! But with Callie’s birthday looming on the horizon, I found myself needing the time to remember, to cry, and to feel. I was so busy with life that I couldn’t find much time to deal with it. And so, the flashbacks snuck in. Not quite as vivid as before, but still sharp and scary.
Thank goodness for a snowy January.
I was given lots of little gifts of time this month. So, I took advantage of them. If I felt like looking through Callie’s scrapbook while Charlotte napped, I let myself. If I wanted to smell the hat that she wore, I did. If I wanted to reread our own story on the pages of this blog, I gave myself permission.
Most importantly, on her special days, John and I took time off to spend them together. We reread every single sympathy card. We napped on the couch and watched the clouds go by. I let out a few big ugly cries.
We coped. We got by. We did it.
John and I were so touched by all the messages, cards, gifts, and phone calls that we received to tell us that you were thinking about us. We especially loved seeing all the yellow that you wore. It made us smile to think of how many people were wearing our sunshiny color in the middle of such a blustery winter.
And wouldn’t you know it? It was a beautiful, sunny day, ending with an amazing sunset on Callie’s birthday when we tied balloons to the cross. And when we let them go, the sun peeped out and shot sunbeams all around us. She was with us then, just as she always is.
It’s the last day of January. Thank you for doing so many acts of kindness! Many of you used the K4C theme of “Yellow”:
Yellow foods for the food bank, a yellow basket of sunshine for sorority sisters during recruitment, a yellow car freshener and free car wash to the next car in line. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! And so many others wrote to me to tell me about sponsoring meals for those in need, paying for the next meal in line, picking up the tab for a friend, and the list goes on and on. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart! Knowing that so much kindness can come out of something so sad, really has a way of changing the way you look at things.
Thanks for the smiles. We needed every one of them.
Stay tuned for February’s K4C theme: Hearts!