I made it through two whole years of no physical Madeline. Weird that it is possible. It blows my mind that I could have made it this far- and still have so many more ‘this far’s’ to go… seriously most likely decades, before I get to head up to heaven and see my Madeline. She would have enjoyed the busy crazy day, either here or in Watertown. She loved that. She was a simple girl… her best times were not big and planned, but just surrounded by her family. Coloring at her Grammie’s, running around the back yard at Grandma’s, going for walks, playing with her cousins and loving her aunts and uncles… she was really happy in those times.
How did we make it through two? In some ways we did and others we didn’t make it… I look at all that we have lost and know that we have also gained so much. I mean, if you define getting through as being alive and surviving, we made it. If you define it as pretty much anything else… we didn’t get that far. Yesterday was full and empty. Matthew was there for some and chose to do his own thing for others. It was hard. It felt like he should be here, but he has to do his own things. I am having a hard time letting go of expectations for him. It is hard. Almost fourteen years of being Matt and Erin… and we are no longer Matt and Erin. It is taking me a while to get used to. At the end of the day I was disappointed in him… I wished big that he would pull through and be there for us more… instead of lunch with a friend and drinks with other friends before coming over to the house. Its hard for my family to see that he isn’t here much… but alas it isn’t my choice. (Get in your own lane Erin)… I have to tell him to do what he wants/needs to do. He must travel his journey and know that he made the choices that get him through. I must do the same. Its hard. It hurts often. So… there is a thing that didn’t make it through year two.
I have let go of many things, people, events, expectations… many bits of ‘old me’. I have gotten better about saying ‘No’ and not feeling guilt about so much. I have gotten better at just doing things for me or me and the girls. I don’t miss the days of carrying guilt for so much. I don’t miss filling my schedule with events that I didn’t want to go to. I don’t feel obligated to see certain people and keep them happy or content. I am becoming better at that… so I guess a lot of ‘old me’ didn’t make it through. I miss some of her- her free, naïve and young. The Erin that made it through is older and harder… so I miss some of the Erin that didn’t make it through.
What has changed about missing Madeline or memories of her?
I sat and thought about that yesterday. I wondered do I think of her softer? Have I forgotten things? Is it as shocking? Does this all hurt less? Did I sit and go over in my mind the “this time two years ago we were…..”… There are lots of layers in the answers to those questions. I am finding that I remember more and have more clear memories, partly because I think much of the shock has worn off. I am glad and comforted knowing that I remember those five days with Madeline, clearly, when before I went back to the night that she died in the hospital. For a long time those were the big moments that my brain let me remember. I could see, feel, smell and touch only those moments. Those were, in many ways, the scariest moments of our journey… why would I have to go over them and over them? It makes sense that those are the moments that my brain and heart had to make sure they understood, so I knew that Madeline was gone and this was our journey. So thinking of Madeline and not having those BAM, Ouch thoughts- the shock and pain, is an improvement. This year I thought… today was the last day that Madeline went to school, today was the day in Lake placid we had a really good day, right now I we were driving back from Lake Placid and Madeline was deteriorating and changing… it was heavy in anticipation- but then yesterday went well. I feel good. I felt like we weren’t all focused on pain. I know it is there… and I know everyone has it right under their skin- but it was lovely to see them all come together and talk, help, do lanterns and be together. It was a good day. Today I am tired. I am looking forward to the week starting… and some normal to pop in. We need a schedule :). I feel like it should be dinner time right now because we have been up forever with no plans… so I think today will be a popcorn/movie afternoon and then the girls are going to have dinner with their Grammie and Grandpa.
So… thank you for sending love and prayers. I feel them. I need them. We need them. Send more… send some big ones for Matt and I to figure out our path faster or clearer or something.
❤ love you lovely.