The flood of memories


This song is one of my alarms on my phone. It’s also my kid’s ringtone. My youngest loves this song, but don’t tell anyone because he’s a super cool, football playin’ third grader and I wouldn’t want to ruin his street cred.

I work late on Wednesdays, but I set an alarm just in case I don’t wake up on my own. This week I was up before my alarm and in the shower. I had awakened early,  but fallen back to sleep and had an incredibly vivid dream about someone very special to me. While I was in the shower trying to shake off the rattling effects of that dream, my alarm went off.

Immediately I had a vivid memory of my youngest, sitting in the recliner watching Ellen with me.

My youngest was my buddy. I had him at home for two years while the other two went off to school. It was time I didn’t get with his older brothers because there was always a younger one around. It was between 3-5, so I got those years when he was discovering and communicating and could truly be my buddy. He would help me make decisions at the grocery store, watch shows and have conversations about them with me, help me around the house…it was amazing time together.

And now….I barely see him and he rarely wants to talk to me. “We used to be best buddies, but now we’re not” and unfortunately I know why.

I left him.

So when my alarm went off, playing this song that my buddy loves, I was hit with a memory and I started sobbing so uncontrollably that I couldn’t stand up.

That reaction is nothing new. I often get hit with memories or just moments that send me into hysterics. Tonight I talked to my oldest. He’s been sick all week. I still cry for my own Mom when I’m sick…but I wasn’t there for him….I dissolved into crying hysterics.

I miss my kids. I miss them There isn’t an answer. Sometimes I feel like getting into my car and just driving back to them, but that immediately starts a panic attack. I’ve started over twice in NH. The thought of doing it again causes my heart rate to increase.

I’m a better me where I am now. This is my home. The things that I need in my life are here. Except for my kids, my kids aren’t here and I need them in order to breathe.

I can’t make that choice. I can’t choose here or there. I’m supposed to believe that if I’m patient and have faith things will work out. I’m low on patience and I’m not sure I still believe.

So I get up everyday and I go to work. I navigate my life here and I even manage to laugh at times. But I have nothing to look forward to in my life, nothing. There’s no way for me to describe how that feels…empty, numb, lonely, sad…all of that at the same time.

It’s as if there’s a weight pressing down on me. It’s not always heavy, but it’s always there. And I’m beginning to feel like it always will be.

I used to have the strength to fight, but I’m old and tired. I don’t talk about it a lot because it’s uncomfortable and there’s nothing anyone can say or do.

So I cry in the shower, in bed, on the floor of my living room,in my car… I miss my kids in private and I let all of the pain overwhelm me. But then I put on my smile and I live my life. Because I learned a long time ago that the world likes you a whole lot better when you don’t show it your ugly.