Just last week I was worrying about “why am I so ok” and now I’m full of anxiety and stress. The boy’s first birthday party is coming up … I’ve been planning for the past two or three weeks. Having weekly ‘craft parties’ with a friend. But last night I totally freaked … and unfortunately my mom and Doug got the brunt of it.
My chest feels tight. My heart races. I feel on edge. I have constant headaches. I’m totally stressing. Stressed about getting all the small details done in time. Worried that Doug is going to be displeased with something about the party … inviting too many, spending too much, being late – you name it. I just feel like whatever I do it’s not going to be good enough – to me or to Doug.
I think back to how upset I was for the one month anniversary of Owen’s death. I had this picture perfect idea of what it was supposed to be like. I wanted the kids all in bed, sleeping. I wanted the house to be quiet, and Doug and I sitting together when the clock struck 9:14pm .. ugh just saying the time makes my blood boil as I think back to the stupid doctor who didn’t follow my one wish. “Just don’t declare him dead without me holding his hand. I don’t want him to be alone.” There was a pass off of doctors after Owen was sent down for his final test. The doctor we worked so closely with wouldn’t be the one to deliver the news. Rather than granting Doug and I our one last wish, she (the new doctor) walked in at 9:25. Says “I got the phone call from radiology, looks like there is no oxygen flow so we are going to call his death at 9:14” What the hell were you doing the past 10 minutes that could have been more important that delivering the news to two parents that their child is brain-dead? Eating a sandwich? Using the bathroom? Let alone – how could you not allow the mother her one last, simple wish? Just to hold her son’s hand so he wouldn’t be alone. I knew the results of the test before she told me, before he even went down for his test. But it didn’t make hearing it any easier and it didn’t make the time any more final. Nine fourteen. 9:14pm. Nine one four.
So it’s a week and a half from the party and I’m stressing about doing Owen justice. About celebrating the lives of Weston and Logan who still need me. Making sure that Owen’s death doesn’t define who they are but supports who they grow into. They still have long, healthy lives to live. But how do I balance that with not forgetting Owen? It’s a delicate and horrible balancing act.
All this effort and emotion I’m pouring into this party, I just feel like it’s going to be a disaster anyways. Someone will fight. Something will go wrong. I’ll be so tired from all the planning I won’t be able to enjoy it. The triplet’s nap schedule will be so far off, they’ll sleep through the party. It will rain and we won’t be able to light the lanterns. Something will go wrong. Will I be composed enough to handle it and save the rest of the day? Or am I going to have a melt down and sob and ruin what was left of the party? Am I strong enough to handle something going wrong?
And all this energy I’m putting into the possibility? How do I refocus that energy into something positive? How do I calm my racing mind at night to fall asleep. I lay in bed making lists, worrying, praying that things will fall into place.
I have so many offering to help me. But I want to do it on my own. I want to sew the owls. I want to pick out the photos. I want to make it perfect. I have a hard time letting someone else help or do something for me. I like to be right there in the action, a part of the process. I guess it’s one of my down falls. No being able to delegate.
I’m ready for a good hear, hysterical cry. Just the tears won’t come yet. I’m like a tea kettle that’s been put on the hot stove. It’s just a waiting game until it starts to whistle out of control. A ticking time bomb.
Focus. Focus. Focus. If I put my head down and just focus I could get it all done. It’s so damn messy. Life intertwined with death. A first birthday that is both celebrated and mourned as Owen never had a birthday. Everything is tainted now. Nothing in life is true happiness. There is always that shadow that Owen isn’t there. The boys love yogurt – Owen never tried it. He only had sweet potatoes. The boys are so close to walking! Owen just started rolling over. I don’t know that he ever even stood up on two feet. It sucks how the purity out of life has been sucked out. It’s up to me to make sure that the boys don’t grow up knowing this truth about life yet.
Focus. Head down. List driven. Get things done. That’s how I will get through today.