Scuffing

Even though Connor was pretty grown (17 at the time of the accident) he will always be my baby. Mark and I went to the new Runnings store in Hinsdale to check it out and while I was wandering in the dog aisle. I heard the running of little feet and a mom yell “Connor pick up your feet and don’t run!” My heart skipped a beat, those were words I uttered so often it was like I spoke them myself. He stopped for a second but then darted off and she repeated herself but he was gone to head to the camping aisle after his dad. She stood there shaking her head in frustration. I wanted to go tell her that him picking up his feet or chasing after his dad weren’t worth worrying about, but by then the tears were running down my face. So I turned and walked away.

Someday these little things won’t grab my heart and pull at them like an out of control tornado, but that time isn’t anywhere close to now. For now I am trying to steel my heart and soul for the upcoming emotional week.

The week that I always told Connor I would cry about anyway, but I was gonna cry because he was my last one graduating. Leaving High School behind and heading off into the real world. Now these tears are for a whole different reason, he doesn’t get to head off into the real world, I never get to know what the world has in store for him. He is forever 17, and part of me is forever broken with him.

Gone

On Monday Seniors signed out of FCTS, and I cried, rephrase that, I bawled. Connor should have been one of those Seniors, he should have been driving down the Boulevard in the line of traffic, with his radio blaring and his car full of everything that he had accumulated all year long.

Instead he is GONE, gone in a way that I still can’t comprehend, a way that makes my heart ache and burn, and the tears roll down my cheeks like I am an open faucet.

I am trying to steel my heart and my brain for awards night and graduation. A task that is anything but easy. There will be an obviously empty chair where he should be, an empty space that nothing can fill.

There is nothing that can fix my broken heart, or return Connor to this world. I know that in the depths of my soul, but knowing it and liking it are two different things.

All I can do is go on, one step at a time, have some much needed time with friends that know when I need to talk, and cry and laugh. Sometimes simultaneously. There is no rule book for this, what I have learned is this. I am stronger than I think, but I don’t have to be strong all the time, and I have wonderful friends to hold me up when I think I can’t stand anymore.

Deja Vu

This week (the week of the month that contains the 17th) never gets easier. Yesterday was a rough day. It was all I could do to drag my butt out of bed. Finally after as much procrastination as I could get away with I finally moved.

It wasn’t until I was making my breakfast with the news in the background, and the date ran across the screen that I realized why I was in such a funk.

Today it is 6 months, 6 months since I made the hardest decision that any parent should ever have to. To turn off the machines and let Connor go. Knowing it was the right decision, does not make it any easier or change the outcome.

I know that I will miss him every day for the rest of my life. The hole in my heart hasn’t even begun to heal and I am unsure when or if that will ever happen. What I do know is that I am surrounded by friends, family and an awesome community that has embraced me since this tragedy turned my life on its head.

It truly takes a village, a village to raise a family, and the same village to help you heal when you lose a child. I thank every part of my village because without them I would not be able to handle this at all. I draw my strength from them and know that they are here whenever I need them❤️

Overflowing

My original plan was to go back and get my CPA once Connor had graduated from Tech. That changed a year or so ago, I don’t want to be locked in a room, just tallying numbers, I am happy with what I am doing now, that may change. It seems everything else in my life has. I never planned to have an empty nest so soon, to only have to cook for Mark and I, do laundry for 2, it all seems so foreign.

 

We were a couple for such a short period of time when we first got married before Kyle was born, just 10 months before we became a family and no longer a couple. This is all so new to me, new in ways that I don’t really like, or have come to terms with yet. New in a way that I never expected, in a way that my heart can’t understand, or really deal with yet, or I think ever.

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I knew eventually Kyle would move out, of course he was my oldest, he would spread his wings and see what the world was all about. What I wasn’t prepared for was in the blink of an eye was to be an Angel Mom, to only have one child needing to spread their wings. To have Connor gain wings of another kind has broken and crushed my heart in ways that is inexplicable.

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I know I am melancholy and maudlin in a way that is unusual in this blog. I try to be upbeat and as happy as possible, put a sweet spin on things, dust it with sugar and Mary Poppins glitter and send it out into the world. I am struggling this week, Mother’s Day is approaching like a fast moving train, and graduation isn’t far behind. If this is a test of how I am supposed to react, I am failing miserably.

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I know there is no right or wrong in this situation, no handbook for this crap. It is just one day at a time and what feels right at the time. What I feel right now is sadness, and grief ,anger and fear.  Anger that the world for taking my beautiful, handsome 17 year old Connor away.  Fear that I didn’t prepare Kyle enough to be an adult in this world, and fear that something will happen to him to, yet I can’t hold on tight to him. I have to let him be an adult. I am full of emotions, like a boiling pasta pot, letting it overflow just causes a mess, but holding it all in causes a mess of another kind.

Pan smilies, seamless

 

Right of Passage

Today is just shy of six months, Connor has been gone 171 days. Please know that I don’t count the days in this terrible new journey I’m on, I have an online calculator that will do it for me when I need it.

In the beginning each and every one of those days was a fog. From the time spent at the Funeral Home making arrangements to the time spent with Rev. Bob Szafran discussing the service. I just walked through the days in a haze, going about the motions and getting things done, but not really dealing with the emotions or the finality of it.

I have gotten through Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kyle’s Birthday, My Birthday, Easter, Valentines Day, His 18th Birthday, Jordan’s Birthday, FCTS Junior/Senior Prom. Each one of them with their own issues and own emotional pain.

The next big hurdles are coming quick, they are Senior Awards Night, and FCTS Graduation. 2 nights I have looked forward to since he started FCTS as a freshman. The next right of passage in a young mans life. To watch him walk across that stage, and then throw his cap in the air when he was done. To listen to him tell me about all the graduation parties that he and Jordan were going to. To plan his graduation party, to have a yard full of all his friends, as well as our friends and family. Watching them have fun, laugh and be crazy.

These are all the things I will miss, the rights of passage that I don’t get this summer. In some ways I am jealous of all of my friends who get to experience all these rights with their kids. We have been invited to a slew of graduation parties. I have told everyone that it will truly depend on how I am doing at the time. I am happy for everyone, but at the same time my heart is broken and aching. Aching that I don’t get to experience the same things.

I will experience them through the eyes and hearts and love of my friends and their children. Knowing that Connor will be right there with me, nudging me along, telling me it’s ok Mom. Ok to enjoy them, and ok to be sad and miss me all at the same time.

Ink’d with a Purpose

I have wanted a tattoo for at least 20 years, but I could never nail down exactly what I wanted, or where I wanted it. I toyed with a butterfly on my ankle, or a cluster of flowers up higher on my calf. More importantly pain is not my friend and the thought of anyone drawing on me with needles terrified me.

Once my life imploded in November I knew that it was no longer a want, but a need. I would always have Connor in my heart and my memory. Now I needed him on my body. I needed to carry him around as physical memory on me, on a daily basis.

Anyone who knows me knows that:

1. I can’t draw to save my life and art was not anything I excelled at in school.

2. I can and will research the daylights out of anything that I am interested in.

I talked to people I knew that had tattoos, and found a local artist that I liked his work. Most of all, I was told repeatedly he had a “gentle hand”. I am a wimp, I wanted this tattoo, but I didn’t want to be in agony getting it.

I perused his profile and found a piece that he had done that I loved.

Messaged him, and he drew one up for me. We set a time, for me to be ink’d and all was set.

As the time grew closer, I got nervous, but I also knew that this was something I needed, wanted and more importantly had to have to move forward in the grieving process.

We showed up in Gardner at Kevin’s studio and he set everything up, his girlfriend put some music on. She started to talk me through the process. Telling me to breathe and relax. It really didn’t hurt as much as I expected. Just feeling like constant cat scratching. Once it was starting to hurt, we were done.

I now understand what everyone says about them being addictive, I am in the process of finding one to honor Kyle’s strength, because that young man is a Rock of Gibraltar, and he needs to be recognized as well!!!🗻