Monday, March 3, 2014
How are you doing?
One of Lizzie's good friends from Texas Children's Hospital called me today. It was good to hear her voice and to catch up on what's been going on. She was so instrumental in helping Lizzie keep a sense of balance in her life and also to help Lizzie remember she was still a teenage person with teenage wishes and dreams. She really helped Lizzie cope with being a teenager with cancer. Saraben was a good soundingboard for Lizzie. And, as most conversations start these days, it began with Saraben asking, "How are you doing?" I ask myself that question every day. Exactly how am I doing? I go to work every day. We've started extended day, so I teach that 4 days per week. I've primed my livingroom - getting it ready for new color. (I may just leave it white.)I've babysat my grandson twice now and loved every minute of that. Alex and I are about to embark on our New Orleans adventure during Spring Break, and I'm definetley looking forward to that. Life goes on. You wake up every day and go to sleep every night. As long as I am busy, I'm ok. It's the quiet times that get me. Those quiet moments when a memory of Lizzie will drift in. A moment like gleefully opening my teacher friend's girlscout cookies and noticing a box of Lizzie's favorite kind in the bag. Hearing a song on the radio that just so happened to be Lizzie's ringtone for my phone... and wishing it was my phone ringing. Walker spoke of this very well in his eulogy at Lizzie's service. He spoke about when the Apostle Paul asked, "Death, oh Death, where is your sting?" Those stings do get me. It's walking into her room and wanting to see her there. It's a favorite shared show and wanting to talk to her about it. It's missing tucking her in every night - yes, my 19 year old still insisted on being tucked in. It's saying "Goodnight Pumpkin Seed (I called her something different each night). I love you." and hearing her answer "I luuvv you". (She had a way of drawing out the love part). It's remembering her hand reaching out to grasp mine. And, to be honest folks, there are times that I actively reach out for those memories. There are times when I do want to feel the sting that accompanies death. There are times when I call out - screaming inside my head - for Lizzie. I will purposefully wander into her room just so I can feel the tears wellup in my eyes and my chest begin to hurt. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't want to be ok. I will proceed with life. I will enjoy spending time with family and friends. Who knows? Maybe I will go back to school or move to a foreign country. (I keep telling my family I am moving to central America and opening up a fruit stand.) But I don't ever want to be ok with losing Lizzie. I want to continue to feel the sting left by Lizzie's absence. And that is ok.