Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Should have

So I know it's been a while since I've posted on here.  It just didn't feel....right.

I was flipping through channels on tv the other day, and caught part of an interview that Jennifer Lopez was giving.  She was speaking about a health scare that her daughter, Emme, had a few years ago.  Apparently one morning Emme woke up with a bump on her head.  J Lo started panicking and said, "If she's not going to be ok, I'm not going to be ok."

Well James is not ok.  And therefore, I'm not ok.  Nothing is ever ok. 

Everything I say or do seems like a substitute for what I "Should be" doing.  Like James "should be" 14 months old now.  I "should be" wrapping Christmas presents and decorating for my baby's first Christmas that he will actually participate in.  I "should be" baby proofing and taking trips to the park.  I "should be" dressing James in the Christmas outfit I bought him last spring on clearance that is now just hanging in his closet with the rest of the fall and winter clothes I had stocked up on. 

I'm not sure when the "should be's" stop.  Do they ever?  Is there ever a time where this alternate universe becomes reality?  Or will life always be measured by what should have, could have been?

I can keep it together most of the time.  I have the whole "pretending to be fine" thing down pretty well I think.  I can smile and laugh.  I can tickle other people's children and kiss their sweet cheeks.  I can push away the thoughts and memories that come bubbling up so that I don't become a crying mess in front of anyone. 

I don't let myself go through the pictures and videos from these dates last year.  I can't go there.  When I start to do that, I get really angry.  I get mad that last year I tried to be the perfect wife, mother, daughter in law, trying to appease everyone.  In the end, I ended up exhausted and and didn't even get to hold my child during Christmas eve service or while opening presents.  And nothing was ever good enough anyway.

The best thing I can saw that has happened the last month or so is that it's over. I survived.  I don't mean to be really depressing, and to be honest, this is a notch above the depressing that is usually lingering in my mind. 

A few months ago I was watching the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.  There's a part in the movie where Sidda's (Sandra Bullock)  fiancee is talking to Vivi.  He says to her that Sidda is always "Waiting for the bottom to drop out".  And Vivi replies to him "You know why she thinks that, don't ya, honey? Because it did. It always did." 


And I guess that's how I feel most days.  The bottom has dropped out.  For some reason, in my life, it always does.  Most of you probably have a friend that just can't catch a break.  Well, I'm that friend.  Right now I apparently have a severe cornea infection that is finally clearing up.  I'm closing 2011 with a bang.  I mean, who gets a cornea infection?  At this point I'm afraid to ask what's next.  


And it's not just the eye infection- it's just been a really bad year. James's death was not the beginning or the end of it.  


I'm trying to be hopeful that 2012 will be better.   I'm not sure what better means, but I'm hoping that at the very least it's not worse.  


Thank you all for your emails and cards, and sweet packages.  I am horrible and haven't responded to a single thing lately.  I just haven't functioned well for a little bit.  I hope anyone who sent me anything understands....In my old life I would have been much more on top of things. 

63 comments:

  1. Kara,
    All I can give you is the knowledge that a woman in Washington state is praying for you fervently. I am so, so sorry for the loss of your sweet, beautiful boy. Everytime I read your blog, I cry. I cry for you and your husbands pain, for dreams shattered, for unanswered questions, for time stolen. I have no words of wisdom or possibly even comfort. But, I can pray. May you find some peace tonight.
    Stephanie

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  2. Still thinking of you and hoping you will remain strong and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I'd be angry and exhausted too. x

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  3. Praying for you....I am so sorry that this Christmas and every going forward will always be missing sweet James. I wish there was more that I could do but words, the right words fail me and seem inadequate....So I will continue to pray and ask that God blanket you with peace.

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  4. I think you go through the motions because you have to get out of bed in the morning and it becomes clockwork. It's what gets you through. It's honoring the baby you loved so much. I think (and pray) that while doing this, one day you will laugh and it will be real. You will be laughing because something touched you and your strong human being will respond to it and it will be real.....and that is how life will start to come back to you...here and there in spotty random ways. The pain will be there always, but you will have processed it to a point where other joy, laughter and peace will be allowed in.

    I do hope you have some close people that you can break down with and share your sadness with.

    Prayers to you for strength and sunshine.

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  5. kara you dont know me but i just had to post. sweet friend dont be so hard on yourself. you totally deserve to feel this way. i can not imagine what you are feeling. but i can only guess that i too would not be ok. i too am one of those people that things seem to happen to. you know crappy childhood, recovering alcoholic, special needs step son, husband with severe type one diabetes and now my mom is dying. sometimes i wonder too what is next. i hope that my moms sickness and eventual death will be the end. im so sorry for your loss of sweet jamesie.

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  6. Thank you for writing...been worrying about you. I pray daily for you and your family. Don't be too hard on yourself...you lost a piece of you that day. You have every right to be angry at the world. Just know you have a lot of people who are thinking of you and praying for you. Hugs

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  7. You are in our prayers. My dad was my bet friend. Cancer took him exactly one month before my wedding day, and I had to walk down the aisle alone. That first Christmas was misery, and the second we ignored he holidays and went to the Bahamas instead. Losing my dad does not equal losing my child, by I do remember how hard all the holidays were. New years is always my hardest, because I am starting a new year without him. My family does not know you, but we pray for you. Blessings as you try to move into 2012.

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  8. I've been following your blog since the beginning. Have you ever read Jesse's blog http://themcclenahans.blogspot.com/ They lost their first child, a daughter, to cancer before she was a year old. Reading about her experiences may help you.
    You are in my prayers,
    Deb

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  9. Continuing to pray for you in Michigan. I have no words that will bring comfort -- just hoping that you can feel the prayers and some of us carrying some of this burden.

    Lord, be present and carry Kara & Matthew when they cannot walk upright. Jesus, fill them with YOU where James should be.

    ((((hugs)))))

    Beth

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  10. I know how you feel. I am also one of those people who has constant bad luck, several traumas, where everything always goes wrong and nothing works out or goes right, the rare exception, unusual statistic,unlucky one-out-of-a-million, etc. you get the idea. It honestly feels like the universe is out to "get"me.I got the short end of the stick in life. I don't know what to say except I understand and sympathize.

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  11. Praying for you! May 2012 be a year God blesses you beyond measure!

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  12. Someone you went to Baylor with showed me this blog at its beginning and you have been in my heart ever since. I am a crazy old lady so bear with me please.

    Why in the world would you think you need to be okay right now? Your precious son has died and he will never ever be in your arms again. You should be devastated and I sense that you are. I will continue to pray that you remember God's arms are always around you. Kara, He lost his son too, He knows you are suffering.

    I know that you won't listen to this next thought but it is time for you and Matthew to think of another child. No one will ever replace James but you two have so much love left to share and it is being wasted. The emptiness in your arms needs to be filled with the love in your hearts. The dreams you shared for James died but you can share those with another child as well. To move ahead you need a reason to look to the love in life and not the loss. Please, think about a child.

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  13. I only know you through your blog, but I want you to know I think of you and pray for you and Matthew often. I was praying for you in church on Christmas morning. I could never understand what you are going through. James was so sweet. He had such wise eyes for such a little man. I wish there was some way he could come to you and comfort you. I hope you are at least finding some comfort in the love and prayers of so many around the world.

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  14. I've been following your story from the begining and only know you through your blog as well, but I just want you to know I think of you often and pray for you all the time.

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  15. I also only know you through the blogging world and you and your family are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. I too hope that you have a much better year! Please don't be so hard on yourself! Much easier said than done, right?

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  16. Praying for you in Louisiana. It's ironic, but I can't catch a break either. One of these days soon I will I tell myself.

    Who did I receive such an unexpected, sweet, warm, personable, handwritten card from? Why, from you. It touched me so deeply that I put it on my bulletin board at work, so I can always see it and remember to pray many times a day for you, Matthew, and James.

    There is still hope for goodness in the land of the living. I say this as a mother who has also lost a child. I haven't found the goodness yet, but there is hope.

    Sending you love, wishing you comfort in these horrible days of pain.

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  17. Kara, I only know you through your blog too, but your family and James are always on my mind. I'm sending a big hug and lots of prayers from TN.

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  18. You so have permission to drop the ball. You really do. Your world fell apart and the pain is raw and acute and always, always there. I pray for an anesthetic that would numb you even for an hour just to feel something other than pain. I am so sorry. It will get better. One day it will and it will just happen. It won't mean that James is replaced or forgotten. That of course is impossible. It just means it will heal and slowly pain and hurt will be replaced by joy. God bless your both in 2012...may you know a peace that passes all understanding!

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  19. I also don't know you personally, but I include you in my prayers. May sweet, beautiful James rest in peace. His story has touched so many lives and I hope it brings some comfort knowing so many people pray for you and your family as well.

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  20. Kara, Please don't try to suppress your grief; that only makes it worse. Grief shared is divided, I really believe that. You have every reason to be sad, angry, and disappointed at this unbearable loss. Praying God's peace and comfort will surround you as you walk through each painful day. Give yourself grace and permission to hurt right now.

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  21. You are in my prayers! I recognize so many of your feelings. I laughed when I read your "waiting for the bottom to drop out" line. Not because it is funny in any way, but because I was feeling that exact same way. My son had died and my other son was sick in the NICU. The doctor came in and I kept asking her questions and finally she said to me "You sound like you are waiting for the other shoe to drop" and I said "I AM!". When it feels like everything has gone wrong sometimes we can't help but wait for what's next. And sure enough, within a few days my son's breathing tube came out and they were doing CPR on him. That experience was awful, but in a weird way, once that happened I felt like the other shoe had dropped and then I was ready to move on. I figured at some point things HAD to turn around. I pray that you can hold onto that hope.

    Losing a child is definitely the last thing anyone thinks will ever happen to them as they plan out their lives. And there is no "right" way to deal with it. You just need to do what you need to, the people who truly love you will understand. Some day, it will get better. You will never forget James and you will never "get over it". But you will move forward and slowly that raw heartache will get a little better.

    Okay, I have written a novel...I just recognize so many of your emotions, even though our situations are different. I will keep praying for you that Jesus can be your comfort and your hope.

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  22. Like so many others, I don't know you personally-but certainly feel as though you are part of my family! I mean, sweet James'birthday is literally one of the five that I actually remember! Since I found your blog last June via a mutual facebook friend, I have been checking it no less than 2 or 3 times everyday, and think and pray for yall constantly. As someone else said, no words ever seem adequate but I just wanted to let you know that I am truly just so sorry for everything that you have been through, and are going through currently. You have certainly endured more than anyone should ever have to, and it makes me so angry that despite all of that you still can't catch a break. You are truly amazing, and I am praying for strength and comfort for you during this impossible time. Huge hugs and support from across the miles!

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  23. Sweet Kara~Please don't be so hard on yourself! There is no wrong way to grieve. My heart continues to break for you as I imagine how massive the void is in your life with sweet James gone. My prayer is that the Lord will grant you strength and peace as you walk through this journey. Another friend of mine just lost her 3 1/2 month old son to SIDS and shared this "I will not move on, but I will move forward." I loved how that was phrased; James and the loss of his young life will always be a part of you. Hang in there!

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  24. I think you put it perfectly when you said that everything you did felt like it was a substitute for what you should be doing. Of course you feel like that. I hope very much that one day everything doesn't feel like a hollow substitute for what should have been...that you are able to go forward with a feeling of purpose. You are never far from my thoughts and always in my prayers.

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  25. Kara,
    I had 8 differnet people this year that were very dear to me die. Some commited suicide, some died from cancer, some died from old age. Let me tell you. It was low. This year has been so very different than any other year.

    I lost my grandpa to cancer. I was told about it last year. Mostly that he was ill,and all I could think about was that he has conquered everything else in his life. But he did chemo, he went to the natural way. He went away to a health clinic looking healthy. He came back a very sick man. Still I thought, he will get better. I went and saw him and he had a hug and something special to say that was specifically what I needed. He loved the Lord and told me to live my life for him. The next day he didn't wake up. He was unable to speak. The next day the Lord took him. And all that time I thought he was going to get better. And he didn't. I was shocked, couldn't stop crying, and I was just sad. I missed him at my birthday and I missed seeing him at dinner and at church.

    But it is getting a little better. Life here on earth was not meant to be life in Heaven.
    Just remember, though it seems like it can't get much worse, God only gives us trials He knows we can deal with. I will continue to pray for you. Turn to Jesus. He won't fail you.

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  26. There's another family going through the loss of a child over at karingforkeegan.blogspot.com and they recommend Gone but Not Lost : Grieving the Death of a Child by David W. Wiersbe. Maybe you should check it out?

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  27. I just found your blog today. I plan to read from the beginning as soon as I have the time. As the mom of a child with a life-threatening illness, I am beginning to understand just how much I have to lose.

    I'll be praying for you.

    DeeDee
    www.KidNeedsAKidney.blogspot.com

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  28. I WAS JUST READING THROUGH SOME OF YOUR POSTS. YOUR STORY IS SO BEAUTIFUL...I WISH YOU THE BEST FOR THE YEAR 2012. REMEMBER, GOD JUST NEEDED ANOTHER ANGEL. THERE ARE NO REASONS FOR WHY THINGS HAPPEN, OTHER THAN THAT. HAPPY NEW YEAR.

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. Wow. You are very brave to share all of this. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious son. I am going to go and kiss my kids. No parent should ever have to live this. I'll keep reading.

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  31. First time reading...my heart aches for you. But what an honest, eloquent writer you are.<3

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  32. I have no words. My heart aches. I pray that as each day passes, God makes you stronger.

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  33. I was worried how you were doing since you haven't posted but figured you were having a very tough time. You don't owe anyone anything, you need to take care of you right now. And I can say you are doing better than I would be. As always, you're in my thoughts and prayers.

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  34. Sending love and prayers your way!

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  35. I just dropped by to let you know that I'm thinking about you tonight.

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  36. I already have come. I'm wondering what kind of message is interesting.

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  37. Hi I just wanted to let you know that I read your post and that I hope *so much!* that 2012 is better than 2011.

    The message above me though...hoping that's a spambot!

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  38. http://youtu.be/zXKV78VERio I have already com.

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  39. who are you talking about people from around the word what?

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  41. someone what you are talking about

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  42. I'm wondering what you mean to say that people

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  43. You received the same people who talk?

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  46. Happy New year~~

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    ReplyDelete
  47. I did not suffer the same devasting loss that you have but I did experience an event that changed me. Sometimes I don't think it was for the better but things evolve as time moves on. Your candor is a great step in the right direction so I'm told. I wish I could have said what you said. Thanks for offering some support even though you probably didn't intend that to happen from your post.

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  50. i am completely new to blogger.com and yours are the first ever i have read, i cryed, as many have reading your words, much love x

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  53. I just joined blogging, and I've had a bad year too. My grandmother died, my father had a stroke and was in a coma, and I felt helpless, and sad, and angry. I just found your blog and I wanted to tell you how brave I think you are. I think your brave for sharing your life and feeling and intimate moments with your child. I think your brave for still being able to get up each day and work through the pain and the suffering and the sadness you have went through. The truth is you make me feel brave too. I know it sounds silly, but for some reason your blog give me some kind of inner strength. I cannot necessarily explain why, but it does. And it is important for you to know that you made a difference in your child's life, and now your making a difference in other people's lives as well.

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  57. Kara, I woke up with you on my mind today. I still continue to pray for you ofter.

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