My Elated Exhaustion

I am tired now, and sleepy and feeling like all I want to do is crawl under the covers and lose myself in a dream.

But I am awake, and happy, and alert to the best of my ability, and I am here.

Here in this place where laundry and dishes threaten to take over and life’s administration edges its way into my serenity. Here where children’s TV shows permeate my thoughts and a little voice of “Mommy I need….” invades my introspection. Here where sun shines in my face and spring quivers on the verge of emerging.

Here where toddler hugs warm my soul and husband smiles are reassuring. Here where cats snuggle at my feet and laughter fills my hallways. Here where love is shown in everyday actions even if I sometimes forget to notice them.

I take a deep breath and inhale my life. I cherish it. I dismiss it. I dread its monotony. I cherish its predictability. I live it.

I bask in this collage of people and animals and objects that form into the puzzle that is my life.

Here in this chaotic quiet I reside and thrive and fail and dream and experience.

My life, my here, my elated exhaustion.

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My Darkest Days

The day my Dad died and the day my son was born were the two worst days of my life.

It’s a horrible comparison, isn’t it? That the loss of my father and the birth of my son are parallel experiences is a shameful admission. But it is a truth. They are both days that unwillingly changed my life forever, that filled themselves with grief and exhaustion, and cloaked themselves in a dense fog that left me outside of my own experiences.

They are both days in which I can only remember bits and pieces. My memory has stored the fragments only to bring them out randomly throughout my daily life. Try as I may, I can not piece together the entirety of these days. These days that forever changed who I was and who I am to become. These days that shaped my life so significantly; I can not remember.

The parts I remember, I remember vividly. If I allow myself to go to those places hidden deep within myself, I can see parts so vividly it feels like I just relived that moment. If I allow myself to go back to that moment, I am left in tears and the pain is so intense it feels current.

But there are parts that I don’t remember. It is these parts, the fragments of time taken away from my memory, that haunt me. I wish I remembered what it was like to see my father for the very last time. I wish I remember meeting my son.

But I don’t remember. Those days were so filled with tragedy and exhaustion and intervention that I don’t remember some of the most important details of my own life. And I grieve that.

I grieve that I was so overtaken with the news of the loss of my father that I wasn’t able to fully concentrate on that day. I grieve that I was so inappropriately drugged during my labor and delivery process that I don’t remember meeting my own son. I missed saying goodbye and saying hello to two of the most important people in my life.

I remember some foggy moments. I remember, even in the grief induced haze of losing my father and the drug induced haze of not meeting my son, that they were significant moments that I was not fully there for. I knew, that somehow, when the fog lifted, my life would be permanently, irreparably changed.

The aftermaths have been different, of course. The joy of being a mother has far outweighed the tragedy of being a father-less child.

But those days, those significant days encircled in the malicious fog that I can never fight my way back through, still leaves me grieving that which I can not remember. Those treasured lost moments that left their significance but not their impression. Those precious moments that have been taken away, ever so subtly, and took pieces of me with them as they floated away with the fog.