Today is the same as any other day in a lot of ways. I wore orange. The triplets woke up at 6am and eat sweet potatoes for dinner. Jaden called me Mamacita Bun Buns all day.
The part that was different? It was Father’s Day. The first holiday without Owen.
I wonder if it effected Doug more than I. Did he think about it as often as I did? Or did he feel the same kind of hurt? He couldn’t have. He is Dad and I am Mom. Fundamentally we are different in this. But Owen is Son to us both. So what parts are the same? Does God know how we differ and does he approve of our differences? I know it’s a silly question.
I can answer most of these questions as soon as I ask them. But my head is filled with one question after another. I find that is the way I talk with myself. One questions leading to the next. Like leaping from one cloud to the next.
Jaden made a recorded book for Doug for Father’s Day. He was so proud of his gift and couldn’t wait to give it to him. As Doug and Jaden sat together, pushing each button to listen to Jaden’s voice, I wondered how Owen would have answered the questions. If he were 4, what would he have loved about Doug the most? What would his voice have sounded like? Just to hear his voice … mama, dadda, all done, I love you. As I stand in the kitchen doing dishes, I picture Owen running behind me playing with his brothers. When Jaden picks out his books for bedtime I wonder what book would Owen have picked?
Logan was rolling around one the floor last night in just his diaper. Out of the corner of my eye he looked just like Owen when he was in the hospital. Naked chest, white diaper, chubby legs. I touched his knee half thinking it would be ice cold like Owen’s was from his cold blanket. Took the wind right out of me. I couldn’t look at him anymore. I had to put him in a onesie.
Reminders of our little warrior are becoming more frequent. They hit fast and hard. Sometimes taking the wind right out of my chest. I take comfort in feeling my pain physically. It’s not just being ‘down’ or crying. I feel him through the pain in my chest and the shallowness of my breathes. The feelings are as real and as physical as if I were still holding him in my arms. I don’t want the physical to stop and to only have the memories and thoughts.
I imagine what this process is going to be like going forward. What will this feel like in 10 years? Next week? I have a visual of this healing process sort of like cleaning out a dirty closet. My healing closet. Beginning with the moment I found Owen, through the hospital and even the funeral, I was taking my emotions and pain, looking at them, testing them out, then putting them in the closet. Clearing my mind and spirit for the next emotion to come. I put my fear in the closet so I could do CPR. I put my questions in the closet so I could think clearly and cherish the moments I had left with Owen. Nothing good would have become of wasting my last moments crying over the “whys”. With all cleaning projects, you’ve got to make a bigger mess before it looks clean again.
All the clutter comes out of the closet, erupts all over the floor. I picture myself sitting cross legged in the middle of a sea of clothes, shoes, books, belts, hats, odds & ends. Then little by little, the items go back in, organized again. First the big stuff. The ones that can only fit in one spot. My shirts are hung on the hanger and hung. The shoes are paired together and placed in a line along the floor. Then it gets a little tougher. You’ve got the tid bits, odds and ends that you aren’t sure where they belong or where to put them. The process slows down. I usually loose my steam at this point. That’s how I end up with a ‘junk drawer.’ I give up and throw the misfits into a drawer.
Do I get a junk drawer with this? Is it fair to have one? If I do, what kinds of things will go in my junk drawer? Will I feel whole without those items in my closet? I’m still sitting on the floor, surrounded by heaps of feelings, thoughts and questions that still need to find a place in my closet.
I still feel Owen in the lights. We keep a nightlight on for the triplets. Makes me feel like he’s still sleeping in his nursery. Turning it on is my way of tucking him in at night.
I still have my night-time ritual. I find comfort in patterns and rituals. You know what to expect. There is a sense of home. My ritual is just not one that I would have chosen. But I hold it close and cling to it. My routine holds me up when I don’t know which way to turn.