Oct 23, 2009

My Dad

Nothing can prepare you for that early morning phone call telling you that someone you love is gone forever.

My older brother had the unbearable task of calling me at 5:40 in the morning 4 weeks ago to tell me that our father was gone. I did not know it was possible to feel so much pain. I was inconsolable. What kept running through my mind, and still does, was that he died 9 days before I was heading home to Nova Scotia to see him. 9 days. 9 days. 9 days.

My husband, who has been so amazing and supportive, had us all on a plane and home that night. We said goodbye to my dad two days later. I had a panic attack for the first time in my life that morning. How was I going to be strong for my mom? In the end I wasn't. It was such a shock to see my dad that I didn't handle it well.

My dad was out for a walk, doing what he loved. He didn't suffer. He lived for 17 years after quadruple bipass surgery. He walked me down the isle at my wedding. He met my two boys. All of these things should make me feel luckier than some, including my husband who lost his dad 8 years ago. But it doesn't. All I feel is heartbroken, cheated, angry and lost.

Most of all I feel denial.

It is so much easier to pretend that he is not gone and to imagine he is just out and will be back again soon. I wonder when it will sink in that he is really gone forever? I spend every moment on the verge of tears thinking of the what ifs and wishing it wasn't true. I didn't know that grief could be so physically painful. I took a pregnancy test today because I was worried the nausea was morning sickness. Thankfully I am not pregnant. That would have been too much to bear right now.

My children now have no grandfather. It aches so much to write that. I had so many images in my head of all of things Grampy would teach my boys.

There are so many things I will miss about him: the stories he told over and over and over until I could say them word for word, the silly jokes, the words that Dad made up like wrastle instead of wrestle, the way he said P O P instead of pop, watching him play with my son (his little buddy), going for walks together down Green Bay road, trips to the beach, playing Euchre and 'going blind', the Kiss of Death Tour (long story) we took every summer, going to the store to get me a treat even though I am 35 years old, his laugh.

I worry about my mom so much and wish I could take some of her pain away. I know as awful as I am feeling right now, it is so much harder for her.

I wonder if I will ever be the same, if our family will ever be as happy as we were.

I just want to also say thank you to each of you that have reached out with your kind words and support. It really does help to know that others care.

Oct 6, 2009

Mommy In The House

I am a stay at home mom.

That sentence can be interpreted so many ways. It can invoke happiness, envy, loneliness, gratitude and embarrassment. I waffle between a few of those depending on the day so here are my top 5 reasons I love and struggle staying at home with my little guys.

Top 5 Reasons I Love Being a SAHM

1. I love my boys more than I thought I could love anyone and I am genuinely excited that I get to watch each and every new discovery and achievement they make.

2. I am there for my little guys if they get hurt, are sick or need a cuddle.

3. I can stay in my pink cupcake pjs all day and no one gives a care.

4. I get to explore the idea of following the dream of painting art for children as my new career. If this baby ever gets into a routine I'm going to get right on that.

5. I think that I would be awful at trying to balance work with family. My husband works long hours so it would be up to me to do pick ups, drop offs and all that good stuff. I would resent him for that I think.

Top 5 Reasons I Struggle

1. Our family made a financial sacrifice for me to stay home. This can cause some major blowouts between my husband and I. He plans 5 years in advance and likes to pay off the credit card every month. I like to plan my next outfit and would shop all day, every day. We miss out on travelling and other luxuries we were used to.

2. It can be so very lonely staying at home. I worked at a great school with the most fun people I have ever met. I miss them and I miss the social interaction. Thank God I have friends that stay home too, that make me laugh and that have kids that my little boy loves.

3. I have felt a loss of identity having given up my career. I walked away from the best job I have ever had at the greatest school. I remember taking my son to a farm and seeing a teacher with her class and I wanted to say: I used to do that. I am a teacher too. But the truth is, I'm not a teacher anymore. That makes me sad.

4. I don't really get to leave the house on my own. I often think that if I worked, I could run errands with my hands free of strollers, diaper bags and sippy cups.

5. I could dress up more. I love clothes and although lululemon makes me very happy, I miss wearing pretty clothes.

Even though there are times that staying home is tough for me, I have absolutely no regrets. My boys are so much fun and growing up so fast that sometimes I wish life had a pause button. If my boys ever read this (oh look hubby, I'm planning for the future)I would want them to know that they are the greatest thing that life could ever ever give me. That doesn't mean that I don't have the occasional pity party with my good friend Ruffles but, hey, who doesn't.

Okay, phew, first blog post done. And yes, I am wearing the same pink pjs I have worn all day. These ones have polka dots though.