I have worked the weekends every weekend for the past 11 years. It was a change that we made to my schedule after we discovered that Seth had PKU (Phenyketonuria) from his newborn screening. We decided that the chances of his diet restrictions being ignored by caregivers at a daycare were too great of a risk to take. So I kept the babies home with me during the week until they went to kindergarten. I had always wanted to keep them out of daycare anyways and Nicole being a teacher and off when the kids are, it was just the best for me as a nurse to work the weekends. Besides, there is never a shortage of weekend shifts. So that has been our routine. Me off during the week and Nicole off on the weekends with the kids. Thank God for Nanna (Nicole's Mom), over the years, knowing that she is there to help Nicole has made it all work.
Well, since Grey's death, I have been alone during the weekdays. This has been a good and bad thing. It has gotten to the point that I have too much time to myself. Not to mention that Nicole is feeling it with 3 older boys all weekend alone. So it has come time for a change.
Sunday, October the 25th was the first Sunday off for me on my new schedule. I am now off on all the Sundays and working 2 additional shifts during the week. We had lots of ideas for the first Sunday and it all got messed up. Luke has been asking me to take him to the Home Depot to get the materials that he needs for his science project, so this had to get done. My van's battery died on Saturday and I needed to get a new one, so Luke and I went to Walmart first, while we were waiting for the van, I saw a Dad and his little boy walking through the Walmart. He was exactly the same age as Grey would be, and his was having a time riding his Daddy's shoulders. He had gotten a toy sword and was very proud to show me as they passed me. My greeting to this little boy was rewarded by a wonderful smile, which shook my heart and soul.
I finished the day, and went to work for the night shift. As I drove home in the downpour of a fall thunderstorm, the black mood that had been creeping at the edges of my consciousness took hold. I got home desperate to find some sign of my Baby Boy, my Greyson, some sign that he was real, not a dream. something that he had touched, I went to his room and pressed my face to his bed breathing deeply, trying to catch some wisp of his scent, dust.
I panicked, I grabbed his Halloween Costume, the darling Giraffe, which I knew we had never washed, DUST!
Tears stinging my eyes, I stood in the middle of his room, trying not to lose it. His room didn't have the scent of sweet baby smell anymore, just the staleness of a unused room. I collapsed to sit in the middle of the room, and just blubbered like a baby. It has been over 10 months since he left us and the pain is just as new, just as raw, just as strong as ever. So much for the healing of time.
After sitting there for I don't know how long, I pulled myself out of his room and decided to blog about my feelings to keep myself busy until I had to leave to pick Seth up for his checkup at the Pediatricians. Those that know me may or may not know that one of the very problematic symptoms of my grieving process has been that I have been having sleep issues. At times I lie awake unable to shut off my mind, the last week of my son's life replaying endlessly in my mind.
Or more annoying, I fall asleep without even realizing it and sleep as if I, myself am dead. Nothing wakes me. NOT an alarm, not the phone, nothing short of shaking me awake works. I have been as much as a 2 hours late to work a couple of times.
Seth's appointment was for 9:30 am and I was going to pick him up and then drop him back at school after. I fell asleep typing on my blog, sitting up on the couch. Seth, sure that I had a car wreck, called Nicole at her school and she called me. 15 times. I woke up at 11:20 am, a crick in my neck and having missed the appointment totally.
My grief counselor has assured me that my issues with sleep are just a symptom of my grief. That in time it will pass. That when my mind can't handle it anymore, it shuts down.
So much for not curling into a ball and not moving. So much for being strong. I just keep letting people down.