Thursday, July 30, 2009

Return to Monjeau Mountain

We visited Monjeau last week while my sister was in town. It wasn't the first time I had been back since saying goodbye to Chase but it was a particularly beautiful day. My thoughts are completely consumed by him, so to be back up on this mountain, I was missing him. There are tons of photo ops up here but we had to be very careful with the kiddos. The view is breathtaking, one of my favorite places on earth.

This is our tree Patric carved for Chase. Thirteen years ago, Patric carved PP+CW=*heart* somewhere up here (we can't find it amongst the hundreds of carved aspens). Little then did I know what would be in store for us on this mountain. A place we once visited for perspective, peace, tranquility, reflection, I now return to talk to my son. To tell him how much we miss him, how much we love him. Sometimes I feel like I am on this journey for the ride. I don't understand it, I can't explain it. I try not to fall off and certainly try not to go too fast. Where it takes me I never know. But I am on it. I am not alone though at times I wish I was and sometimes I feel like I am. I have more love in my heart than I ever thought I could bear. Some of it is a burden because it makes me sad, but it is what keeps me going. I feel like this mountain is a part of me, a part of us, more than ever before. I hope it remains in our family and we keep coming back...for years to come. Because up here is where I know I am never alone.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

man in the mirror

I am truly blessed in my life, I know that. I always have been. I am very lucky to have Patric, who loves me and will live his life to the fullest with me. My kids, I have said a million times, are a blessing that I count every single day, even my little angel in heaven. My mom & dad, sisters, in-laws all love me and are a huge part of my life. They, like me, are not perfect, but we lean on each other when our imperfections are overwhelming us and we need each other for a pick-me-up. I don't think I could be more loved. Well, I take that back. The love that Chase would have given me is unmeasurable and that is precisely why I miss him so much and why I have a hole in my heart. But what I am trying to say is that I am surrounded by people who love me and whom I love. My friends are also wonderful and I appreciate the limitless opportunities of the internet to allow friendships to grow and help nurture each other when distance or our lives in general often separates us.
So I am blessed. I have many reasons to think this. But why is it, then, that when I look in the mirror, I see a stranger? I see someone different than I've known for the past 36 years. Sometimes she really looks tired, bags under her eyes, beaten. She looks sad. She looks happy. But her eyes have something in them that is less than whole. She has begun a journey that she never would have in her wildest dreams thought she would be traveling. She is going somewhere she doesn't know. She looks lost. I wish the old me would come back. But that mean Chase would be here, and that just isn't going to happen.
I look at pictures of our family, old pictures, recent pictures, before Chase was born and after Chase was born. What I see in these pictures is different now than when I used to look at them. My life has been severed into two fragments. A timeline of before and after Chase was taken from us. I am almost sad in a way to look at pictures from Easter, just a few days before he was born. The smiles on teh kids' faces are innocent, unscathed, unknowing of what will take place in 2 days. They reflect a happiness I long for now. They remind me of a family with nothing to lose or everything to lose. I see purity in those pictures--who we used to be. Because when I look at pictures that I took yesterday or last week or last month, they are not the same people. The smiles are not the same as they were. This is from my eyes, though, most probably don't see it. Because through my eyes, everything is different now. It will never be the same. I can not go back and put my life back together the way it was. Even looking in the mirror is hard. And I have yet to become familiar or comfortable with this new reflection.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chase Allen Pearson

Thank you Carly for doing this. I can't tell you what it means to me and the comfort knowing that Chase is playing in the sand with Christian and his friends. I wish I was there.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Missing him

We are approaching 3 months since we lost Chase. Somedays it is getting "easier" but somedays it is harder--and harder in a new way. Most of the time the events that happened on Chase's birthday and the week after are a whirlwind in my mind. They are what I remember about Chase. They are Chase, in essence. It's hard to separate all the feelings of so much that happened in such a short time. That is a whole lot of darkness, sadness, trauma, anxiety--a whole lot of everything that is now a grieving process. We were hit by this tidal wave on April 14th and the waves continue to keep crashing in. Sometimes I can jump them, sometimes I can ride them, and sometimes they take me completely under. I don't know that any of it is getting easier, but I am getting used to it and the fact that the waves are very unpredictable.
This morning, though, I felt differently. A wave hit me, and it hit me hard. But the feeling was not from remembering & reliving the devastating 4 days of having and losing Chase. The feeling was very specifically about my dear, sweet little boy. I feel a very heavy, heavy pain of missing him. I feel the unberable burden of losing one of my kids. I have 4 kids and 1 of them is gone. I miss him so much. I loved him so much that short time that I had him. We talk about him so often and I see his pictures so much and look at his things every day and all this makes me love him more and more every day. I feel "in love" with him the way a mother or a father does with your new child. But this morning, I felt the pain of that being taken away from me. It is a pain like no other. It is suffocating. Living with it does not get easier, or at least it hasn't yet. Though I can't predict when my "moments" will come on, I can feel them coming on and it usually gives me enough time to make them private moments--or at least make sure Patric is with me to help me through them.
I exercise a lot and I always think of Chase while I'm doing it and sometimes the endorphins send me into a catharcism of tears. But I'd much rather think about him, even if it makes me sad, than not think about him. Not thinking about him scares me that I'll forget and that is the worst feeling for a parent who has lost a child. Reading other blogs from parents who have suffered this kind of loss and learning that many other parents feel the same way makes me feel not so alone...but it doesn't make that feeling go away.
So today I'm trying to ride the storm out. I'm not sure when the big waves will hit, but I'm no longer a stranger to this ride. I will be riding it the rest of my days.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Perfect Funeral--an oxymoron

I feel it coming on again. It comes in waves. Sometimes I don't know why or what brings it on. Hormones, certain days of the month, something specific the kids say or something specific I am doing with the kids. Or Time. I have an enlargement (it's pretty big) of Chase that is framed and in my bedroom and I love looking at it and talking to him. Reese says, with a wrinkled nose, "it's kinda disgusting, though, mom, you know, cuz the blood." Unfortunately I don't have any photos of Chase without tubes and I my favorite photo happens to show the tube that was removing blood from his g-tract. I don't care, though, it shows his angelic perfect-ness, how perfectly beautiful he was. I can see past the tubes. I hope one day Reese can.
I've been thinking about a lot of things. I think a lot about those 3 days we had Chase and then about the very awkward, dark & gloomy days afterward. It's not fun to think about, but there are times when I make myself remember them. I knew not much of what was going on. I did not know what to do or how to act...I was on automatic I guess. The girls wanted to sing a song for their brother at the funeral service. I was not sure about this. But soon, they decided they didn't want to sing together, they wanted to sing their own songs. I specifically asked Emma to sing if she could make it through the song because she has a beautiful voice and I thought it would be an appropriate message from us to Chase. Karly, I didn't expect quite so much from and really did not think she'd actually go through with her song. I did not want the service to turn in to Karly & Emma's "talent show". I feared this because the girls love to sing. They sing all the time in their room. They plug the iPod in, grab the mics and they have at it. I get to hear them while I'm getting dinner ready, folding laundry, cleaning--whatever, I'm doing, I love to hear them blasting their favorite Hanna Montana songs and singing away. Reese has joined in, too, and though he doesn't memorize well, he'll get 1 out of 20 or so words and does not leave out any of the dramatic body language that his sisters have taught him during these "home concert nights".
So this is why I was concerned about the girls singing at the funeral. But having said that, I did not say no. Patric was very supportive of both girls, had heard them both sing the songs, prepared the music, practiced at the church with them and even stood by Karly at the funeral as she sang next to the casket. You see, there is no perfect funeral, or fear for a perfect funeral, I should say. My wedding--it had to be perfect. Chase's funeral, I didn't care what anyone else thought, I wanted the girls to do what they wanted to do. And their reasons were right. They wanted to sing a song to their baby brother.
So, my concern was if this was appropriate. But it was. I was so appropriate. I told Patric the other day while we were listening to them sing to the radio that having them sing at the funeral was the most fitting part of the service. Chase had heard them sing so many times before he was born, it was necessary that they sing to him one last time. And it was beautiful. The girls both did a wonderful job. The songs were beautiful and the girls were beautiful. It was a very touching moment. It's very hard for me to listen to those songs yet because that day was very dark for me. It makes me nauseous to think of that day. I get so sad. But I am so glad that my girls sang to their brother. I am so glad that they chose the songs they did to sing. I know it meant a lot to each of them to get to do that. And it means even more to me now that they did. It was perfect.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Facebook Facades

I finally deleted my facebook account. I'm done with it. I enjoyed facebook a great deal a few months before Chase died when I reconnected with friends from college that I had not talked to for many old roommate, for example. Facebook is great for that. I recommend it to anyone. You can easily and effortlessly maintain those old friendships from your past that would have otherwise existed probably only at class reunions.

However, I quickly learned the other reason that a lot of people use facebook....for the facade it allows you to have. Don't get me wrong--a blog can very easily be a facade, too. And in fact, everyone knows that what you read in a blog is and can be diluted or dressed up just as well. But the good blogs you find if you search enough, are the ones that tell wtih great honesty and truth the struggles that people are tackling day-by-day to live their lives. And you might be fortunate enough to find someone out there that actually is experiencing what you are in your life and how they deal helps you deal. There's just comfort in knowing that you're not the only one--and reading someone else's thoughts and struggles helps.

For one, I am not a friend seeker and according to Facebook, I only have 29 to begin with; but hey, that's a lot to me. Anyone that knows me knows that I think the best friendships are low maitenence ones. I don't have to see you or call you every day to be your friend, nor you mine. There are friends that live in the same town as me that I see as often as friends that live thousands of miles away, but when we get together, it's like picking up where we left off and I really enjoy spending time with them. I used Facebook for those long-distance friendships that I previously maintained through emails, Christmas cards and occasional phone calls, but I did appreciate the ease of getting an update on them sporadically through Facebook. I never saw the need to get constant updates from people who live in my same small town on Facebook--email worked for that, or better yet, seeing them in person or a quick phone call if it was that important. I'm not a facebook status updater, a quiz taker, a dog owner looking for friends for my dog, or a game player; it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Though I know Facebook is also a simple communication tool for some, I never appreciated the lack of privacy on Facebook. Until I learned how to control that, I was irritated at updates from people whom I never even knew, or worse yet, didn't want to know, that would splash across my computer screen. The reason I was irritated about this was because of my own faults. I'm a snoopy person. I always have been. So one click leads to another, and then the next thing I know I feel like I am spying on someone--looking through a peephole into their personal photos, personal messages, personal itineraries; heck, I've found dogs on facebook that have more friends than I do--now that takes snooping to a whole 'nother level.

With the facade that Facebook allows you to live, though, each peep hole has a neon sign hanging above it saying, "here I am" or, rather, "this is who I want you to think I am". And instead of using Facebook to keep up with old friends, all of a sudden, I needed Facebook to spy on people. People who have hurt me, and my family. People I thought were on "my side." And it pains me to see their facebook utopia so-called life posted for everyone to see, going on like ever before. Stroking others only to get stroked in return. I agree it can be fun & make you feel good, but since losing Chase, and worse yet, how I lost him, the hardest thing to do is to look around the world...and see everyone living their lives as they do every day while mine is completely shattered in pieces. I live in shock that my world has stopped, but everyone else's has inevitably kept moving.

For me, Facebook was more than I needed to know. And some of it I knew was not real. For some, it could be needed comfort. For me, emails and text messages work better. I want to surround myself with people who bring me up, not down. And snooping around on Facebook is ultimately just bringing me down. What I need to worry about is in front of me. I will still keep up with old friends....far-away friends.... true friends (I hope you know who you are and how much I appreciate you not giving up on me), and they can still find me on the internet....somewhere. But it won't be Facebook anymore.

Edited to add: This is only my opinion--I am not judging anyone or am trying to offend anyone (if anyone even reads this!) This is me venting my "I don't care" attitude that I acquired, coincidentally, about 10 weeks ago.