Once again, work and other obligations have consumed my life and my personal online time has been kept to a very, very bare minimum over the last week and a half. I actually started this post over the weekend and never got it finished...I took tonight off from carnival detail to rest and get some stuff done around the house...so let's see if I can get at least one thing done. :-) It's funny that I thought things were going to slow down once school ended, but it seems that I forgot about all of the incidental events that creep up during the summer. And it seems that I did not give any thought to all of the things I wanted to accomplish at home and at the office before September, and consequently I still have no time to myself for personal stuff.
Over the last few months I have started to wonder more about my grief - specifically what twists and turns it might take after the school year ended and my overall pace slowed down a little (still busy, but it is a little bit slower). I have wondered quite frequently whether or not my grieving process has been somewhat stifled by the necessity to get work done, and if I would find the process kicking into high gear once I had a little more time to think about it and really process it without distraction. Although I have certainly had my share of bad days over the last 10 months, I feel like many of my days without Gracie have been taken in stride, and I just keep wondering if that will change. I guess time will tell.
Although the twp weeks have been really busy, they have been pretty good. Good enough for my heart to actually feel light. My BIL and his wife had a tattoo party last Wednesday. I had never heard of such a thing until then, and on some level it still strikes me as cheesy and redneckish. :-) But I quickly learned that the most important thing to remember about tattoo parties is that it is far cheaper to get tattoos as part of a group at a party than it is to go to the same artist at their studio. Since I cannot get my Gracie tattoo right now, I was just a spectator for Jeff's Gracie tattoo. He was still a little unsure about the design going in, but the tattoo guy did a pretty good job putting the finishing touches together...it needs a little touch up work, but here is the finished product as it is right now...(it is directly under an old tattoo...that is what you see above it)
Moving on, I would like to touch on butterflies for a minute. Some of you made the immediate association between your lost little ones and butterflies; it is an association that was not so immediate for me....but I think you all might be wearing off on me. :-) The dog went to the groomer last Thursday; he always comes home with a cute little (very non-masculine) neckerchief. This time of year his neckerchiefs are always red, white and blue for Memorial Day and July 4th. Except this year. Last week instead of the traditional red, white and blue motif, he came home with this neckerchief....
Saturday I drove our rescue truck in a neighboring fire department's annual parade. The parade route was just over one mile long; for the last half of the parade a butterfly rode on my window sill. It was a tiny, but brightly colored butterfly and it stayed put for the better part of 15-20 minutes. I am pretty sure that I have never seen a butterfly stay in one place for that long. Ever. Although many of you have always associated butterflies with your angels, it is an association that was immediate for me. But Saturday there was no question for me. When I was pregnant with Gracie, one of the standing jokes was where we would mount her car seat in the fire trucks for parades and emergency calls....she was definitely there with us on Saturday. Sadly, I never thought to take a picture of this butterfly until after we were out of the truck.
Along with several hundred people from our small town, we traveled about two hours on Friday to support our high school softball team as they played in the state championship game. In reaching the title game, the girls became the most successful team in our school's history. In the end, the girls did not bring home the state title, but they had a fantastic run. Softball is always good for my heart and watching them play on Friday gave me a little lift. As soon as we were done with the fire department parade on Saturday, we got the call to escort the softball team through their victory parade...a very, very long parade...but one that was well deserved. After two and a half hours, we reached the end of the impromptu parade route, primarily because we were losing daylight. While the girls were dispersing, I noticed the sunset. It was relatively unremarkable, with the exception of one very bright spot through the clouds. Again, I just had the feeling that I wasn't alone.
I am a few days late, but I want to touch on Father's Day. During discussion about Baby Loss Mother's Day, my husband informed me that he wanted nothing for IBFD or US Father's Day. Nothing. I didn't like it, but did my best to respect it. I did get him a 'for my husband' Father's Day card that I gave him when he was done working on Sunday night, and I did wish him a Happy Father's Day when we went to bed. I was disappointed to learn that only one other person had wished him a Happy Father's Day. Despite the fact that I honored his wishes about not making a fuss, I feel the need to honor him a bit more, so I will do it here. I could write a book to tell you all how wonderful he is...but I will keep it simple. I will simply tell you all that he is the love of my life and has been my rock over the last 11 months, despite being completely rocked by his own grief. He has been the best father that Gracie could have asked for, and he will cherish her until the day that he dies. The variations in our grieving process has certainly caused moments of strain, but I have never doubted for a minute that we will come out of this experience with stronger bonds than we could have ever imagined. So, Honey, if you pop in and happen to read this, I just want you to know how much I appreciate everything about you.
In closing, I want to wish you all a wonderful weekend and coming week. I will be trying to pop in to catch up on your blogs over the next few days, and I look forward to seeing how everyone has been over the last few weeks. Thinking of you all....