My Grief Challenges

Meeting A Goal !!!

I honestly did not think it possible, that I would be able to meet a personal goal. For October, my one goal was to exercise on a regular basis= M,T,W,F,S. I would allow myself Thursday off for G/S, and Sunday=the Lord’s day of rest. I then sauna an hour after each day of exercise. The reason this is a big deal, my asthma tends to be bad 95% of the time. My challenge was to find a workout that didn’t overexert my lungs, and yet be worth the time. I do not know if any of you are familiar with Leslie Sansone and her walking programs for exercise.   Her programs are just right !!! I have several of her DVDs to work through. It is my goal to be able to work into my workout schedule: my mini trampoline, Malibu Pilates chair, Tia-Chi and inversion table. For now, though, the walking exercises are plenty. This was an enormous achievement for me. For November, Leslie has a mile a day challenge. I’m a tryin’ !!!

I want to take this space to apologize for my scatteredness, that is just where I am right now.
I have been told I am too self-absorbed. There are so many emotions happening right now-I am not even sure what is okay to feel.
Some of my to dos:
I want to get better at dealing with the moments of realization of Shawn’s goneness, when they happen.
I need to work at forgiving others, quickly, when things are said or done, that sting.
I need to be gracious and understanding-folks may be scattered at this time, as well, and may not know what to say or do around me.
I need to figure out how to make folks feel more comfortable when I am around.

Just some background to help with this post.

Since, December-’12 until May 3rd,’13, for the most part, Shawn could not talk. The trach made it hard to understand his air talk and it took a lot of energy. He did try to mouth words, but the feeding tube would get in the way. Thinking about that makes my heart ache. Just to hear Shawn’s voice, one more time. In fact, I still hang on to 2 tracfones-no longer in use-in hopes that I will find someone who can help me retrieve some past messages from Shawn and some from Lil’ Sam. So, communication, while Shawn was in the hospital was difficult and incomplete.
I am haunted by sadness because I wasn’t the perfect parent. We had a lot of years of separation, and we were just getting reacquainted before Shawn died. Did I reach out as much as possible ? No.
So many regrets. When Melissa and Shawn came back into our lives, a few years ago, we were all strangers. I, stupidly, kept thinking of them as the 11 and 13 year olds they were when they left. I did not know how to deal with the age gap. Shawn was more needy than Melissa, I failed him. How I hope I do not do the same with Melissa.
So much is unfinished.
So much (guilt)-that is what I do to myself. Bob doesn’t want me to keep looking back at all I did wrong. Seek forgiveness, then figure out how I can move forward by doing better with the time I have left, with my dear ones, now.
Plumb has a song, “In My Arms”. Shawn had so many bad places, there was no way to hold him safe. The guilt from the comfort I failed to give Shawn, in those last days, has only intensified, with each passing day, since his death.

Now, get ready for another, different approach.

For some reason I have been having a super difficult time dealing with Shawn’s goneness. This post will be as if Shawn felt he needed to give me some support or encouragement. I do not want my readers to worry. I am not wigging out-just need to write this way, for some reason.  I am more than certain the conversation would happened as follows:

Hey, Mom, just thought I should check in on you and see how you are doing ?

Thanks Shawn, your goneness seems to engulf me-a lot.

Mom, I am so sorry. Hey, I have an idea. First, how are your lungs doing ?

For the most part, they are okay. The pain isn’t too bad, and I have gotten better at stopping an activity before my breathing gets too bad. A couple weeks ago, we had no school, but a meeting to attend. For some reason, the meetings have to take place in the bus mechanic’s shop, the fumes in there are awful on my lungs. The TV feed wasn’t working in the driver’s room, so, I did a walk through of the shop to see if I could  handle the fumes. No. Plus, paving was happening outside-I went home bummed and sick.

I thought your asthma was getting better?    Hey Mom, you mentioned you are engulfed with my goneness. Give me an idea of what your schedule is like—how do you spend your days ?

Okay, I really cannot see how knowing that will do any good.
I get up at 3 A.M. so I can eat my rice poridge. Dr.S assures me that it is better for me than eating nothing. I, also, have to drink a cup of hot water as quickly as I can. It is done to help flush the liver and kidneys. It took me a few weeks to figure a bladder schedule. Once I am in the bus, there are no layover times. Not trying to get too personal. Shawn, you know I don’t like to talk about some things.

Mom I know you don’t use words like the rest of us, but bladder schedule ? You are making me laugh !!!

Okay, good, so, if all goes well on the route, I have a morning break and a break at about 12 PM. I get home around 5 PM. I have been using Leslie Sansone’s walk programs to get myself back into an exercise routine. I have several DVDs I rotate through. In time, I will use my other equipment, but this is good for now. Each night I sit in my Watahan sauna-for an hour. I then straighten up, do laundry and ready for the next day, and other things. I try to sit down with the dogs, for a few minutes, hopefully, staying awake. My goal is to be in bed around 10 PM. You see, I have to make sure I am exhausted, in hopes of sleeping, rather than being awake missing you. You and Bob were so blessed by being able to sleep so well. When you were a baby, you were the sleeper. You loved laying your head on my shoulder. Melissa was like me, restless.
Is that what you wanted ?

Almost. I do see that I must have inherited your love for words.
You mentioned a couple times during the day when you weren’t driving. How do you use your time ?

Quite often I decompress-meaning-if my heart is missing you, I take the alone time and cry. During the day, I just stay at the bus lot, in my bus. There isn’t enough time to go anywhere and get something accomplished. I have time to clean the bus, take care of route book changes, work on orns, make calls, and there are so many people I care about, so I pray for them. I could keep going if you need more details on what else I do on breaks. You know me, I am the last person to be bored, I come prepared to do a number of things.

So, how many sick days have you taken this new school year?
I thought your favorite game was Mah-jong-you didn’t mention playing that.
Tell me about the people you are praying for.

Let’s see, I have been able to work every work day.
Regarding Mah-Jong, I am so far behind with my orns that I don’t have time to play Mah-Jong.

You mentioned praying for people. Can you tell me about them ?

I pray for my husband-the stresses of driving passengers-is difficult and bus schedules, frustrating. Regular folks have not a clue of our challenges or responsibilities, when driving those big rigs. I pray for the grandchildren, Melissa, my family, an Aunt who had a stroke, someone else who had a stroke, a friend at church- his sister is dying. A friends husband that had surgery, a friend who had heart surgery, several friends with breast cancer, a couple of friends who have cancer throughout their bodies. A sister-I hope to meet, someday, she is going through her second round with ovarian cancer. There is a little boy in Europe with a type of blood cancer, someone else in Europe who was badly burned with hot liquid. Missionaries and pastors in various countries, many who have shared heartaches and are being persecuted because they believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. Friends who are going through divorces, a mom worried about her daughter’s health condition, a relative with M.S., a nephew with spina bifida, rescue workers of all types, medical workers. I have met others in grief class. Some folks from Harborview-that I keep in touch with.
I have a friend going through lung cancer-our friendship has a strange connection-breathing challenges.
There are so many more, I don’t want to leave anyone out. Do you want me to continue ? I am so torn-how do I adequately pray for each ?
Shawn, sometimes, I am so exhausted and grieved for others, that I end up just crying to Jesus about these people on my prayer list-not saying a lot of profound talk. I care deeply for each one. I am thankful for Romans 8:26, “…but the Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Hey Mom, when you said my goneness engulfs you, I thought you meant that you didn’t care for anyone else or take time to do anything else. I think you should look over this post, and please think more kindly of yourself.
Mom, I know how deeply you care for ALL those people God puts in your path. I, also, know that you care enough to tell someone when they need to be careful about certain negative character qualities-you gave me a number of frank talks. I was glad you had the courage. More than anything I was blessed to have a mom who loved me, in spite of some awful hurts. I have always loved how you care for people. AND don’t you think for one second that you didn’t make your love for Melissa and me clear. I know you did everything to the best of your knowing, at the time.
Mom, I know you fought hard for me, in the hospital. Please be at peace with that. It hurt me to see how you were treated. Please, leave all of the hurt to God. Don’t turn hateful-that isn’t you.
You should know that you are still exhausted from everything. Try to be patient and gracious with everyone, and for yourself, as well.
Mom, you are doing better than you realize.
Your choice for this year’s ornament-excellent; fragile, simple and made by you. Do your best to complete them. I know it was hard deciding what to make. I know each ornament has been done with many tears. I know the challenges that have popped up making it difficult to stay on task and motivated.
Did you know that last December, I had all your ornaments, with their cards, set on the kitchen table ready for the Christmas tree, the next day ? I loved each one, because they were uniquely made by you. I was looking forward to showing them off, to all. I don’t know if anyone told you, but I, even, had some blue lights I had put up. I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to get a photo to you—but the fire—

Bye for now, K


2 thoughts on “Meeting A Goal !!!

  1. Melissa says:

    Hey mom I did not know that you were doing a grief class, that is cool, they have a holiday video too I want to watch but im working the day they show it. I am so happy you are working out that is awesome a mile a day is even better. I hope you make your goal your health would probably improve much better and you might feel good too. I am still missing Shawn everyday I replay every thing especially the hospital moments last calls and arguments we had over silly things and I am just coming to the relaization that he is not a phone call away it is weird, I dont ever want to let go of the saddness because I don’t want to let go of Shawn sometimes the saddness helps me to feel real like im not running away from the reality that this life, no matter how good I make it, will never be good enough. I am thankful for my brother he has taught me many things, I love him and miss him every day. And I love you too mom keep moving forward dont dwell on the should haves or could haves unless you need to, there are so many things I wish I would have never done to the people who care about me the most but I try so hard to do better so I can prove that I am not that same person. Love you hang in there.


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