So…it’s been awhile.
In the last 2 weeks, there has been a lot going on. I have written probably 5 blogs, of which none were published. They were in a point in time. They were in the midst of self realization. They were to get thoughts out of my head. Writing, it is a therapy for me.
So let me sum it up for you. June 5th would have been Jay’s 37th birthday. Although he has been gone just over 3 years, this was the 4th birthday without him. I had Aaron still make something for him at daycare. When Aaron gets older, I will let him choose how he wants to celebrate his dad’s birthday. I did what I do on holidays, etc. I spent time pampering myself and just being. It was exhausting. Not just because of Jay’s birthday though.
The day before, I was running and errand. From my phone I see an update from a TV station here that there was serious accident on the highway that goes through my town. My heart drops. You see, my boyfriend and his friend were golfing in this area. I feel sick to my stomach. I try to reach him but there is no answer. Thankfully another friend of ours had his friends cell phone number and was able to get ahold of them to confirm they were OK.
Here is some raw honesty. The first thing that went through my mind was “I cannot do this. I cannot lose my boyfriend and then move through tomorrow for what it is. I cannot do this. Do NOT make me do this.” When I found the guys were OK…I felt even sicker to my stomach because they had just announced it was a fatal crash. When I was able to hug Aaron and my boyfriend that night things settled down a bit. It was the next morning when I found out this man who had lost his life indeed had a wife and a few kids that my stomach turned again. Not only this, but many people in my life knew him and his family. My head began to spin. I started to relive those first hours and days after Jay died. My heart broke for his wife, now a widow and for his children who no longer would have their dad. This, coupled with Jay’s birthday and the fact I had only had 3 hours of sleep the night before from working early into Friday morning, I was exhausted. Jay’s mom had asked me to walk the Relay for life in his hometown that night. She understood the date was not ideal and having just lost Jay’s dad and Jay’s anniversary she wasn’t surprised when I said I couldn’t do it. I was hard on myself with my decline of her invitation. I heard myself say…”Good grief Alyssa…you can do that with her. Put your big girl pants on.” But ultimately I said no. I am glad I didn’t go. I fell asleep once Aaron was home and my boyfriend was able to watch him. I slept for a total of 15 hours that night.
And so I made it through the week.
The week afterwards, my boyfriend and I took a trip. It was great. It was much needed. There was a reset of sorts for me. My mind was clear. I went into this week with such energy.
Then there was last night and today. My mind has been mush. Why? There could be multiple reasons but there is one that sticks out more. Father’s day. Aaron’s daddy is not here to enjoy it with him. Jay’s dad is not here either. I face myself with the reality that my father won’t be here someday. I am daddy’s girl, so this thought alone pushed me down the slide. Every death, whether you know the person well or not, is a gut check on your own mortality. The more I understand this, the more I want to learn from each person’s life and mourn my own mortality in their death. It gives me the fire I need to continue or get back into living this amazing life.
Then there was last night. My boyfriend and I had a date night. I was stressed from work. He can read me like a book and he was doing his best to get me to relax. He is very good for me. And then as we talked, I laughed. Laughter helps. And then I was telling him about how Aaron’s daycare was doing “cookies with dad” on Friday afternoon and since I am both parents for Aaron I was going to indulge myself and celebrate. I have done that the last 3 years, this is nothing new. It was his words afterwards that got me. He looked at me and said “I will some day take that holiday from you.” With a smile on his face, I smile back. Let’s be clear, I am not mad at him. I honestly never wanted to have the holiday. I wasn’t given a choice. I won’t let my little boy feel left out and so I have gone to make him not feel left out or different. I will take the looks from the other dads…have the conversation with the teacher about still making something for his daddy and navigate through the holiday with grace. It was in the moment he said this I realized I had found a man that did not need a genetic connection to my sweet little boy to want to be his dad.
With that marinating in my brain, today was a struggle. As I sat trying to type out my thoughts so I could be productive the song “Defying Gravity” played on my laptop. For those who don’t know….this song was my mantra early on. Defy gravity. Early on that meant getting out of bed. Other times it meant taking the high road when someone made me feel bad. And just recently it meant taking a leap and having faith in myself that I could succeed in something I never ever expected to be doing. I’m not only defying gravity…I’m a balloon making the sky my limit. Then realizing I am deathly afraid of heights another interesting song plays on my laptop. “Wind beneath my wings.” I listen to the lyrics and I look up. A guilt that has plagued me a bit recently is lifted. I have felt guilty because of my new found love of life and people. The expense paid for my new understanding was too great and unfair.
As I listen to the lyrics I hear Jay talking to me. I hear him say “SOAR DANGIT!” It is in this moment I realize I do not soar alone. He is with me always. He is the wind beneath my wings. “