In the late ’70’s, I used to loop around the track at: then NNC, now NNU. I used to loop 30Xs, running. Now, I think I am doing great walkin’ 6 laps. Back then, I enjoyed it so much, and now, for some reason, I really look forward to my loopin’ mornings. Then and now, to conquer my asthma= the goal. To be honest, I think there is more than asthma to conquer.
Lately, on my loopin’ mornings I have been alone. I have no problem being alone, but when I am walking past the wooded area: in the quiet, in the dark, and a noise happens—I find myself a little on edge. I am very thankful I purchased a stronger flashlight, but my gut still wrinkles when I am sure something is moving in the wooded area. Maybe, it makes me walk faster and harder. Maybe that is a good thing ? I think my loopin’ time, each working morning, has been good. I spend time praying for several special situations. For several days, now, my gut has been grinding—excruciatingly—probably just reality slams and or guilt slams, in the making. This 2nd year of Shawn’s goneness has been harder than I realized possible. Shawn’s death was not a conclusion to an awful ordeal. The first year of Shawn’s goneness hurt sooo bad, but there was a kind of numbness, which I did not understand at that time. Now as various memories flood my mind (in random order) there is a stronger gut wrenching pain, as my guilt recalls every area, I think, I failed Shawn. The ones that seem most relentless are about Shawn’s last few days. What did I allow ??? Was Shawn dreading the time-his end, because we had told him what was happening? Did he have upsetness at me for allowing the doctors to decide about his last days ? We were not allowed to sleep in his room. When we left him, on those last nights, was he lonely ? Shawn always needed folks around. Did I wear him out because of my sadness ? I should have been more positive. Oh how I miss the pressure of his cheek on my hand, as I stood at his bed. Even though Melissa is the less needy of the 2, I have guilt regarding her because I am not the strong Mom who has oodles of faith and joy. I simply cannot muster the easy happy walk through this grief stuff. I have guilt because I have not been able to put together Shawn’s Memory trail-it is so piercing. BUT, I will get to it.
Last week I mentioned how I almost failed an alcohol test at work. Well the reason it had hit so hard, and I couldn’t face it: the test reminded me of all the times we worked so hard at trying to get Shawn off the ventilator. He would be so exhausted, but he kept trying, so hard, many times. Did I push him too hard ??? Shawn had tried, so hard, to communicate-with the tubes in his throat—what was wrong with me that I wasn’t able to figure out his words ??? Had he been trying to tell me, “Mom stop. Quit pushing me so hard” ??? My alcohol test was just another memory prompt or trigger. At Shawn’s end when the ventilator was being turned down did Shawn know what was happening ? Was it frustrating-the less volume of air ? Was he in any pain ? Was he frustrated with me being there, knowing what I had allowed ? Should I have been more cheerful-trusting God more ??? How does a Mom allow her child to die, in front of her, and not have guilt ??? How can my life not be gloomy when plagued by these thoughts ??? Oh that I didn’t cause Shawn more torment and pain. The agony engulfs me. The unrest is so exhausting. The only way there could be peace is if Shawn could tell me-himself-all was okay. But, that is not how God seems to work. This memory popped in~~~why ? I thought I had forgotten it. I remember, in the earlier days of Shawn’s situation, the doctor encouraging me to touch / tap; Shawn’s feet, legs and arm areas- over the wrappings. She wanted him to feel, in hopes that that would help the tissue respond and heal. I had been given clear instructions. I was told how often and how long to do the procedure. Then, someone mentioned that I was only adding to Shawn’s pain. Did I cause him undo pain ? ~~~ Oh, how my head and heart ache.
During the week before last, Air1 had played the new song by David Crowder: “Come As You Are”. The other song was: “Cry Out To Jesus” by Third Day. I do not know why God has these songs play that bring forth buckets of tears. Friday, October 17, was day #533 of Shawn’s goneness. For some reason, the pain was so overwhelming. These are the times I just need to be alone and let those loud cries burst forth. I wish I lived at the ocean. When I am walking the beach, the sounds of the ocean, muffles my gut wrenching cries. My heart sinks as I realize there is no place, on earth, of comfort, even when I am at the ocean. Nothing can change Shawn’s death. I am still, not able to be with Shawn. Nothing is fulfilling. The achy hollowness looms large. I have decided to call this: The 2nd year reality slams. They have been very intense and magnified by various life stresses. When a reality slam is happening I find myself fighting with all my might trying to reject what I know is fact. Shawn is gone and God chose not to keep him alive-that is that. The anguish is so great.
I am so thankful to have come across Dennis Apple. He had warned me about the hardness of the 2nd year. ***Regarding Exercising: Yes, loopin’ on work days is going well. Every other day, I go the opposite direction. The first few times it really felt weird. My friend with lung cancer, has been running the track—2 miles or so. I told him about loopin’ the opposite direction every other day, he had never thought of doing that. I think I am ready for what ever weather happens. I am determined to keep loopin’ no matter the weather conditions or how bad my lungs feel. I’m goin’ to !!! There are many loops in this chain-maille bracelet. If I were an artist, I would somehow make a poster to say: “Keep On Loopin’ ”
*** Regarding Organizing: My friend and I have very full schedules, so we are on pause until things settle a bit. I have put off my ornament making, far too long. Once I get caught up, I will check back with my friend and see what steps to take next. BUT, my mind has been working on how I am going to simplify my items. Bye