I am having one of those moments when in my head I know exactly what I want to say, however when it comes to actually transcribing from thought to “paper” ..the words are for lack of a better cliche ..lost in translation. I hate that feeling when I know I have to say something ..anything and the words that come out of my mouth or my fingers sound nothing like the perfectly (IMHO) constructed sentences composed in my head ..this is one of those moments ..So here goes nothing…
Time undoubtedly marches forward at a pace we cannot control ..days come and go with a marked predictability and a fair warning of what lies ahead for anniversaries or dates with a significant meaning to us. Madeline’s birthday is today..if she lived, there would be 81 candles on her cake and a life map I could look at and determine what alternate routes I need to take and/or avoid. We never got there..49 was the last birthday she saw. Madeline’s forty ninth birthday I vaguely remember ..I was busy being 16..I was busy thinking about the upcoming prom I was attending, about my biology project that was due sooner vs later, about the vital nonsense in my teenaged life ..including why my ex boyfriend was still flirting with me when he left me for that other girl , the one who he was head over heels in lust with, who he met at a party the night before I left for a school trip ..(just a side note ..that ex boyfriend is now my husband..he had to get that train wreck out of his system before dealing with this one) This was important shit in the life of a sixteen year old girl. I did not want to think about the fact that we were no longer living on our own..our apartment was vacated, we were living with family that were dealing with their own perspective on losing a loved one..the baby sister of the family and took over and shut me out, expecting me to fall in line and act as if all was well. The whole situation was a recipe for disaster..and eventually it just festered and bubbled up until our relationship collapsed and never really recovered.
I look back at those day and what goes through my mind is I knew the end of Madeline’s life was close but I was trying to avoid it at all costs..which is something pretty typical for a teen. To admit your mother..your only parent is going to die and you are not exactly sad ..you are definitely angry ..and you are totally powerless is something way above the pay scale of the average teen …but to be in that place and with people who don’t know how to process their own feelings all I can say is UGH.
Fast forward to 2018 and I am moping around like this came at me out the blue..I hate to break it to myself but the writing was on the wall, written in the sky and showing up in the foggy mirror after a shower.Truth is there was warning..I have known these dates for YEARS. Each passing day chipped away at the amount of time I had to deal with them like a slow drip in a faucet. The dates and their significance were easy to ignore when there were awesome distractions such as work and babies, then toddlers and at some point a full blown schedule of school, activities, jobs and life ..eventually all that slowed down..1 child got her license and then went off to college..and the rest have followed suit..I was not needed as much and everything I ignored came bubbling to the surface..life has a funny way of doing that to us…catching us off guard and surprising us by what has been in our faces all along. Then …well then I got sick and the world really came to a slow pause forcing me to face the grief at last.
I realize Today I am 37 days past turning 49 … and feel as though I am truly on the road with no guidance…and yet I have to navigate all these dates that are clumped together in a relatively short amount of time…today is the second of 4 that will wrap up on July 15. Today I am once again gobsmacked by a multitude of feelings..I feel angry, sad, overwhelmed and nostalgic for what never was and should have been.
The past few moths have felt like getting on the Amtrak in Boston thinking I had a ticket on the Acela Express and realizing I am on the Northeast Regional to NYC..it has been slow moving at times, fast at others, pulling in to every station just long enough to ask myself how many more times do we have to do this? There are 2 dates to get through ..June 10 when I am 59 days past my forty ninth birthday (that makes me +1 day past how long Madeline lived) and July 15 ..the anniversary of the day she died ..I can get through this. I am already.