March 26, 2008

Grieving and Anticipating...


I have deliberately avoided blogging for the last week. I felt as though I needed to just leave this space here, for Mr. Jones, for me. I am finding myself heartbroken in little ways all throughout my day. I miss him terribly and yet can't shake the feeling he is always here. I keep looking for him, thinking I will walk into my room and find him curled up in our pillows. And then I remember.

I saw my counselor today. I had avoided all out crying for the most part since last week - until I saw her. Something about her presence has a way of undoing me at times. We talked about Mr. Jones and the lessons he gave me while he was here - which were always generally somewhere along the lines of "Pay attention - Right now" She suggested that maybe even in the timing of his passing he might still be trying to remind me to "pay attention" to something very important right now. So I am, I am paying attention - to this crazy and full time. Full of loss, full of anticipation, full of "to do"'s and "not yet"s... I am paying attention to how delicate and sacred this time feels, how fragile my heart is right now in the midst of it all - how my heart needs the space right now, and the permission, to both grieve very deeply and to anticipate fully. Because there is much on the way. I am paying attention to myself like I imagine a mother might pay attention to her wounded child. I am giving myself permission to feel very sorry for all that I am having to carry right now, all at the same time.

And I am listening to myself - to that small little voice inside, when she says she needs something.

Yesterday, she needed roses. And so, I found a deal on roses and bought myself 3 dozen roses. I am not usually drawn to roses but yesterday? Only roses would do. Bright, spring colored roses. Everywhere. Next to my bed. On the mantle. On the table. By the door.

I woke up this morning with roses on either side of my bed. I felt loved. And I smiled.

I may buy roses through this entire next month. There is just something about them.

I received my box of meds yesterday, as well (excuse me? I ordered the LARGE?) - I plan to post some pics of those tomorrow as the sheer volume of medications that are about to enter my body in the next 4-6 weeks is truly something to behold. But, in the spirit of true anticipation and my desperate need to be the honor roll IVF student - I bought a wall calendar! A giant wall calendar! To write all my meds on! In color coded permanent marker! (I swear I was an elementary teacher in a past life) Though, as excited as a trip to De.pot, with money in my pocket to burn, would usually make me - I did have a near nervous breakdown. twice. The first time was because I suddenly panicked about all the money we are spending and, you know, how I don't have job right now? The second time was when the cashier almost refused to give me my FREE bonus package of photo paper with my purchase of a twin pack of printer cartridges. I literally almost started crying. Really. Because, you know - that photo paper costs money and shit! And she was being like, totally unfair. But I got my damn photo paper - and avoided a trip to the psych ward. again.

*and yes, I did glue those words to my calendar - I actually plan on adding a lot more, images and words - a collage really. all over my calendar. subliminal messages and such. *

Also yesterday, and don't worry I won't post a photo of this, I found a large gaping hole on my oldest dog's back. Apparently she had a little scuffle while I was out of town and Mr. Spicy had missed the wound when he checked her. I went into full-on protective momma meets ex-vet tech mode. Wanting to avoid the vet (just not ready to go back yet) - I hit the store and loaded up on supplies. Some predictable ones: betadine, triple antibiotic ointment, cotton balls. Some not so predictable ones: A book on Homeopathic pet care, a homeopathic remedy for trauma and injuries, herbal healing salve, tea tree oil, vitamin C, and cod liver oil. (and this is why I am the
spicy sister) I am dangerous in a natural foods store - watch out! But, my regimen is working really well. In about 24 hours the wound has healed up about 50% and shows no signs of infection. It is giving my over-active nurturing side something to focus on, and she seems to enjoy the extra attention she is getting. Win win.

Speaking of being out of town - I left last Wednesday night to go see my grandmother. I took the overnight train. Which I really don't mind at all, in fact I kind of enjoy the solitary time with my I.pod and my thoughts. It was a hard trip, as we had just said good-bye to Mr. Jones that same day. But the time alone was really good. Once there, I stayed with my very hip 21 year old cousin and her boyfriend - who taught me to knit. Yes, her boyfriend taught me to knit. He's just that cool. I have wanted to learn for a long time, and it was a great creative outlet to focus on - especially on the train ride home. And the two of them? Truly adorable.

It was really good seeing my family. I was pretty sad and out of it most of the trip. But it was ok, because everyone there is dealing with their own stuff as well - so I didn't have to hide it, but I wasn't asked to talk about it either, which was perfect. And seeing my grandmother was really really good. I am so glad I went to visit her. She made us laugh - she told raunchy stories about her apparently "wild" past and she was tender and vulnerable at times in ways I have never seen her. At one point she hugged me in this way that a child hugs you, just collapsing into your arms - and my heart just broke for her. It is so hard for her right now. She is aware that she isn't her "normal" self - she knows she has had a stroke and it is affecting her. She gets frustrated when she can't think of or say the right words, you can tell she knows in her mind what they are, but they just aren't coming out. She is deeply resentful of the restrictions placed upon her in her current facility - no smoking, no TV in her room, no cell phone, no going outside. She is a fierce and independent woman who has had to give up most of what brings her joy - being told "no" so many times each day must be absolutely infuriating. Thankfully, my aunt who lives there is a powerful and compassionate advocate for her. She is working very hard to get her moved to a better place with more freedom and more of what she is used to. Especially, (as she is quick to remind us) the ability to smoke again.

She was doing really well the days I was there, and I am so grateful for that time with her. I was always visiting her with an entourage of other family members (my gramma is like the rock-star of the place) - children included, and it was really amazing to watch her interact with all of us. Especially the kids. She just adored them and loved on them completely. She even shared her chocolate brownie ice cream with them - now
that is love.

And I loved seeing the kids too - my youngest cousin who is 9, my niece (and goddaughter) who is 8, and my nephew who is 3. There is just nothing that makes me smile and touches my heart more than these kiddos. They just continually amaze me. I could fill a whole separate entry up just with stories about how incredibly awesome all three of them are. Maybe I will some day.

Actually, there are so many stories I want to share here about my time with my family - but in the interest of length, suffice it to say that I have a really crazy and wonderful family and I am really grateful for every one of them. I am glad I belong to them.

Soooo - last but not least, also last Wednesday, I started my period. Or rather it started on its own, I don't think I had anything to do with it starting - at least not willfully. Which means two things. First - as Mr. Spicy sadly pointed out - we are all through with our chances to get pregnant on our own, that was our last chance. From here on out it is "go time". Second - as I just mentioned - it is "go" time. I started my BCPs (birth control pills) on Friday night. I will be on those for 16 days. I start Lupron on Tuesday, and I have my Laminaria placement on Wednesday. It is about to get really real here, very soon. We are really gonna do this. I could be pregnant by this time next month. Wow.

My counselor and I talked today about how the grieving I am doing, the loss I am experiencing - it is carving out a place in me, opening me up. Both of us were actually afraid to even say that we hope that the space that is being carved out, is for something very very good to come. Like, oh I don't know....a baby?

All I can say for sure is that the space is being carved. I am being opened up. And it hurts.

But I hope, oh I hope - that it will soon be filled with
someone really really good.


Elizabeth said...

Duffy, that was a wonderful post. I was totally cracking up over the paper at the office supply store. I hope you and mr. spicy get all that you deserve...and you get it soon!!!

AJ said...

Dear Spicy Niece... I love your blog. It was such a treat to see you and spend time with you last week. I am extremely jealous of your knitting skills...

Lori said...

Such a great post. I love your lesson from Mr Jones -- pay attention. And that you listen to the voice saying "buy myself roses." And that you've learned to knit. And that you're allowing the carving, eventhough it's not always pleasant.

Missed you.

Kim said...

Yay! A new knitter!

Seriously, the knitting, it has saved my sanity during all of this IVF stuff. I tend toward nervous jitters, and knitting gives me something to focus on. I once said something on my blog about knitting to stave off panic, and a friend said "oh, so that is how you manage to knit so much" and I was all "yes, that's my secret."

I hope it provides the same soothing comfort for you.

Jen said...

Wishing you all the best on your cycle start!

And take Tylenol or whatever before the laminaria!

But I love that a boy taught you to knit!

Denise said...

It was very hard for us to get used to being without both of the dogs we've lost. The hardest things for me were getting used to sleeping without that little body in the bed cuddled up next to me and not having the dogs there to talk to. I talked to them constantly and I do the same thing with the dogs we have now.

Keep listening to that small little voice. She's one smart lady.

Our schedules really are very close. When is your retrieval scheduled?

Anonymous said...

The calendar is a good idea! I myself keep checking the calendar in my purse a several times a day. Not that I forget which medication to take, but just to stare at it for sometimes. I used to knit a lot, and it was like a kind of meditation. Keep knitting!

annacyclopedia said...

Spicy Sister, what a beautiful post! I love that you bought yourself 3 dozen roses. I did this a while ago with lilies - not quite so many, but my whole house smelled like lilies for about 2 weeks. It made me feel very close to my heart to do something so loving for myself.

You describe so beautifully here the sacredness of paying attention - to everything, the good and bad, the anticipation and grief. I'm off to start up attending my meditation group again after a long absence, and the wisdom in this post is going to stay with me all day as I reconnect with myself and try to pay attention. Your description of grief as carving out a space in you to create something new - perfect and beautiful and true. It reminds me of a poem by Rumi that I had up on my fridge for a long time but have now misplaced:

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Glad you took some time to grieve, but I'm glad you're back. I missed you.

Meg said...

What a fun post!

I am so glad you had a good visit with your family and I love that you heard all about your grandmother's wild past!

3 dozen roses! All for you.....I am so impressed and jealous of your treat to yourself. I went and spend a measly $5 on tulips.

Your calendar reminds me so much of my high school days. I love it. It brings me back. Although I do not think you will get the same messages from a seventeen magazine. But you get the idea. I love it, it is really hopeful and inspiring for you this month.