Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Final "Normal" Day

     Six years ago tonight, I went to sleep knowing my children were safe. Six years ago tonight was my final night of normal, of breathing deeply without pause, of sleeping without wishing for more. I had no way of knowing any of this at the time, of course; nonetheless, my life has taken on a new sense of normal in six years time.
     Tomorrow marks the sixth year without my son's smile to greet me. Now, it is only in my dreams, memories and pictures that I glimpse his shining brown eyes and light up the room smile. It is still too much for me to watch my videos, delve into the scenes of my young, chubby faced son, hear his giggles and see him teasing his sister, my daughter, who misses him as close to my loss as anyone else can come.
     For a number of reasons, or perhaps for no reason at all, this year has seemed harder than others without my Robbie. They are all hard, heartbreaking, terrible to bear...yet, the past six weeks have wrung me dry, twisted in new ways, leaving me bereft and broken anew.
     Tonight, I purposefully attended a Yin/meditation session. New place. New people. "Throw yourself in, let go completely, and find your center." I know. My husband gave me 'the look' when I told him my plans. Charging through my turmoil and fears, I went to Ardha Moon Yoga and let myself fall, and breathe, and weep. My muscles stretched and my heart expanded.
     As the instructor knelt at my head, scented oils on her fingers, rubbing my forehead and aiding my release, I knew it was the right path. There is no hiding from this grief. There is only forgiving myself for fearing another year, another day, another breath in a world without Robbie.
     So, tonight I go to sleep knowing what tomorrow holds, facing one more day, and hoping that he will visit my dreams, bring me peace, and let me know in some way that he is still watching over me.

     Sweet dreams...

Monday, May 9, 2016


     Today, one week away from another year. Will the six year mark be harder, easier, or different in some measurable way from the last five death-iversary dates? Perhaps I will be swooped by hawks, covered in double rainbows, swarmed by beautiful butterflies, and see #34 in new and unusual places. Perhaps there will be none of those things, but Robbie will still be with me despite being gone.

     Recently at Mason's Spring Fling, I was moving past a table when I noticed my novel, They Said She Was Crazy, on a table next to a sign that said 'Books that I Recommend.' Obviously, I stopped, commented, and took a picture. 'ORACLE' the booth stated, and when I looked closer noticed a woman in the midst of reading another woman's cards. She was familiar, but not well known to me.
     As my brain searched for the connection, she looked up, smiled at me and said:

"Oh! You! I knew I was going to see you here today! Robbie told me I would be talking to you."

     Yep. 'Robbie said'. And there I was; crying, my amazing husband leading me to sit in a chair and wait to speak to BeBe. What she told me was nothing I didn't already know, but such a welcome and unexpected reminder of how much my son connects with people here in my small town.

     Over the last two weeks I have unexpectedly and rather miraculously run into many numerous former students, received surprising emails from strangers, and had the honor of speaking to teens about the power of our stories. Again, I'm sure these meetings are my sweet boy, making sure I'm okay, that I am reminded in this most anxious time of the year for me, that my emotions are not wasted, that we all matter in this chain of love and life.

     Remember, that your words have the power to change the world...whether it's one person's world, your community's, or a nation's. Be kind. Notice. Interact. Challenge depression. Engage. We can never know what others are carrying. Let your words be the difference.