There is no question that the last few years of my life totally turned me upside down. Sometimes everything with Bea seems hazy – like it is hard for me to even believe some of the stuff we went through with her. I was laying in bed last night thinking about how for MONTHS a nurse would come to the house 2 mornings a week to take her blood, look at her central line, weigh her, flush her line, etc. There were a couple of weeks where she was on a feeding tube and I didn’t have the mental capacity to even learn how to operate the machine so I had to completely rely on Jordan. There were conversations between Jordan and I that no parents should even have to discuss about their child.
And with everything that happened with my Dad. Unfortunately, all of that is still crystal clear. I replay that Monday morning when I got the news at work at least once a day in my brain. It paralyzes me and weighs just so heavy on my heart.
I’ve learned that while the thoughts and feelings linger day in and day out, there are certain triggers that catch me off guard.
For instance, every Monday morning driving to work is a trigger for me. Sometimes I have to take a lap around downtown before parking in the lot because I can’t stop crying. I talked to my Dad every morning on my way to work but Monday is especially hard because that was the morning he didn’t answer. Instead, I go a different route and read his prayer card once I park in our lot. Changing things up a little has helped.
Another moment that caught me off guard recently was at Sunday night dinner. I am so happy that we continue that weekly dinner at my parent’s house because it is a time to connect and was my Dad’s favorite part of the week. This past Sunday my mom had family over to celebrate a couple of 60th birthdays. Everyone was enjoying the craziness of a packed house and then I heard the electric knife going in the kitchen.
My Dad was the only one who ever used this knife and he did so when my Mom made pork and sauerkraut – my Dad’s favorite. I immediately turned around and for a split second when I heard the knife going I thought about walking into the kitchen to talk to him. When I saw my mom standing there over the pork using the knife I had a major trigger moment. I turned to Jordan and in so many words told him he needed to go in there and take the knife from my Mom. It wasn’t her job to cut it.
And with Bea, I have been pretty okay as far as triggers. Very recently a coworker of mine has a family member (who is 7) that is struggling at Cincinnati Children’s. Hearing of the news totally hit me out of nowhere. I’ve had a lot of families reach out for advice or just to chat since everything with Bea but nothing has hit me as hard at this little girl. And I’ve never even met her or her family. Having the feelings of almost losing a child never goes away but when it so closely happens to another family it brings the feelings back stronger than ever.
With the hard triggers there are also good ones too. Bring around and hugging other Dads that remind me of mine always makes me feel so good. I have friends with great Dads and a few physically remind me of Dad and some have similar characteristics. Just makes me feel good being around them
And good triggers with Bea happen every day that I am around her. When I went to go look at preschools for her a couple of months ago, I started the tour with the lady there and burst into tears. It was so emotional for me to be talking about preschool for my baby who I didn’t think was going to see her first birthday. Happy trigger.
So – no real point or revelations to share other than keeping things honest. One of my best friends told me that the hard triggers get easier with time. They will still be there but have good memories associated.
I can’t wait until that is true.