Sam is watching cartoons and Pete is lying on the couch, reading, and I’m in the mood to talk. Not like a deep conversation, but I’m feeling restless. They’re both busy, though, and not in the mood for my chatter so I figured I would just write a blog entry.
Pete and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary on Thursday. Five years. The time has just flown by. I made a dinner Thursday night to celebrate and it was pretty good. I’ve felt rotten the past week and haven’t cooked at all so it was nice to get back in the kitchen.
Mom went to Indiana this weekend so it’s just been me and the boys. We’ve had a good time. On Friday we ordered a pizza and watched movies. Sam rented “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes.” It’s pretty awesome that Sam can watch “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and not flinch but the dragon freaked him out. As a matter of fact, when we started watching the movie that Pete and I rented (okay, I rented) the new “Nightmare on Elm Street was previewed and Sam shouted, “Hey! That’s the same bad guy from the scary school bus movie!” (That would be “A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2” for all of you non-Freddy lovers.) But every time that black dragon would appear on screen he would cover his eyes.
Friday was a little rough for me during the day. That pain is getting worse and worse and I was supposed to go to the hospital to have X-rays and ultrasounds run but I could not get the motivation to go. The last time I was there was when Toby died and the two times before that he was with me. (Including in the X-ray room where one of the technicians held him and fed him.) The Irvine hospital is small, too, (only one hallway) so it’s not like I would even be in another area of it. On Friday I couldn’t even make it off the porch. I haven’t been able to look at it when we drive by and the thought of actually going inside was awful. I’ll take Sam with me tomorrow, though. Keeping my eye on him might distract me.
Saturday morning was a little rough. We had the Kentucky Book Fair to go to in Frankfort. The last time I woke everyone up on a Saturday morning to go to a literary event in Frankfort (to see some of the same people) was the morning that I found Toby dead. It was total déjà vu. Pete got up before me, though, and raked all the leaves in the back yard, transported them to the front yard, and made this gigantic heart out of them so that I could see it from the computer in our office upstairs.
On our way to the book fair we stopped at Wallace Station in Frankfort and ate lunch. It was a gorgeous day and we were able to eat outside where Sam fed a huge orange cat pieces of our sandwiches. He also enjoyed driving over the train tracks in Midway. With the leaves blowing around and the houses decorated for fall it was just a pretty as any New England scene and I was glad that we had gotten out for the day.
The book fair was a lot of fun, but by that time we were pretty tired. It was the first time that I had seen some of the people since LMU and that was a little strange. Of course, I was definitely glad to see them, but it’s really difficult to see people that you haven’t seen for awhile, especially when the last time you saw them was when you were pregnant or when your child was alive. Everyone was incredibly nice, though, and that helped-although it did make me sad.
It’s also strange that some people that I don’t really even know that well, like author George Ella Lyon, know about Toby. Or when I was talking to Kate Larken and I told her that Pete and I would really like to come to the next retreat but that since it was going to be back in Ohio we couldn’t do it. She understood and said that it was going to be hard on a lot of people. I am constantly reminded how much Toby’s life and death didn’t just affect us, but has affected many people. I’m not happy about this because I don’t want people to feel sad, but in another way I am glad about it because I don’t want him to be forgotten.
Regarding Pete’s dad, Pete’s brother-in-law snapped at me and asked, “Did you ever stop to think that the first time he saw his grandchild was in a casket?” And truthfully, no, I didn’t. I was too busy thinking “that’s my child in a casket.” My own dad never even met him. In fact, the majority of the people at the funeral had never met him or held him and that was the first time they had seen him. I worried about me, about Pete, about Sam (who watched his little brother, already turning blue, being carried out of the house while his father stood there and screamed), and my own mother who valiantly tried to give him CPR until the paramedics arrived. I also worried about Karen and Ashley who sat in the ER room with us and Toby, even after levidity had settled in and his normally pink, beautiful skin started turning blue and purple. I worried about these people. And that’s about all the room I had. I’m sorry if that makes me a bad person, but there it is.
I am still being blamed for Pete not going to his mom’s funeral in England. Despite the fact that I researched the tickets, booked the ticket, booked his car rental, and contacted all of his friends over there to see if they could be there to support him, his dad told him that he and I’d had a “disagreement” because I “hadn’t sent him to England.” What else could I have done? How rude to me. How rude to Pete. As if Pete doesn’t have a mind of his own and can’t make his own decisions.
It’s amazing how you can think that someone plays such an integral role in your life and then once they are gone you don’t even notice anything missing. I noticed this about my best friend, whom I haven’t seen in three years. (I should really stop calling her that.) I thought the world would crash once she got married and stopped coming around, but nothing really changed at all. We don’t notice a difference, either, with Pete’s friends in England who have gone haywire and acted like idiots. There is no noticeable difference with them being out of our lives, except for the lack of stress that they were causing. That’s really sad. It’s a similar thing with family.
On the other hand, Sam helped me make scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage links, and biscuits this morning and I really missed Toby. I was looking forward to making brownies and cakes with both of my boys and even though I never got the chance to with Toby, I feel that loss a lot. I miss Nana every single day and still cry, even though it’s been 23 years, and I miss my cousins Nick and Eric whom I never get to see, yet I haven’t seen my own sister since my niece died in a car wreck in 2004 and I don’t feel any great loss there. (We’d only met each other a handful of times before then.)
I was talking to another friend earlier in the week and we were discussing the fact that there are some people in our lives that we try to turn to when we’re feeling bad or having a bad moment and they just don’t want to hear it. They change the subject and inevitably it always comes back down to them and how they have experienced the same thing. While you might only be able to get a sentence in here and there, they completely dominate the conversation and write paragraphs to you about their own crap, or take over the phone conversation-whatever the case may be. It’s frustrating and not helpful at all, and sometimes their lack of consideration even makes the situation worse. But then I told my friend about this article that I had read that talked about one of the problems we have with friendships is that we want everyone that we are friends with to fulfill the same needs. We want to be able to go to the movies with all of our friends, tell our problems to all of our friends, and lean on them when we have to. But not all friendships have to be like that. It’s okay to have “hang out” friends and “lean on friends” and even “drinking friends.” If we stop trying to make the friendship something it’s not then it might not be so stressful.
I have a friendship like this. I keep trying to make it something that it’s not. They are a very nice person, but I can’t talk to them. As soon as I get a sentence out, well, that’s the last sentence I ever get out. After that, it’s all about them. They’re also constantly bragging about how talented they are, how important their job is, how much they work, and how well-known they are. It’s very annoying. In the past, I might have cut that person off and stopped the friendship. Now, though, I’m trying to appreciate their other virtues and overlook some of the things that drive me crazy. Because there are other virtues and they usually outweigh the negative aspects that threaten to drive me insane.
Still, there are some people that I never want to see or hear from again. Those doors are closed and that’s that.