This is a Really Real Widow post.
With some mental health thrown in, because they are completely entwined.
This time of year is incredibly hard.
Yesterday was the 7 year anniversary of a major accident that Kidlet and Parker were in. The pictures show up every year, reminding me of the horror of that day. Deep open wounds and the two people I loved most in the world strapped to stretchers. The screams I heard coming from my son in the ambulance that day are sounds I will never forget.
Sounds I never want to forget for the same reason I let the pictures show up in memories every year.
We survived that shit. Parker took a motorcycle to the head and Kidlet caught it, and they lived.
The reminders of Parker’s ankle surgery a few years back show up this time every year, too. It’s the beginning of the countdown to the day she died. That surgery and the restrictions after it were the final straw that broke her. Her death date is now less than 2 weeks away.
The last video I took just went through my memories the other day. The last photos will be any day now. The post where I tell everyone she died will be a few days after that.
I could delete them, block them from my Timehop memories. But I don’t.
We survived that shit. Kidlet and I lost one of the most important people in our worlds, and we lived.
I recently saw my first firefly of the year. The first was in Florida and I’ve seen one since coming home as well. It’s another reminder that it’s this time of year. A bittersweet thing as she was my firefly, it’s nice to have that reminder of her, but also, it means that day is coming.
Each year this time passes with a different set of feelings. The first year was a sense of urgency, a sense of needing to get to that one year anniversary so that it can just be over and done with. The lead up is always worse than the actual day.
Each year the pain has lessened. In earlier years I’ve felt the need to do something to remember her. A trip to the beach, normally. I’m not sure that’s so necessary anymore.
This year the reminders are there, but the feelings are different, yet again.
I’ve been trying to figure out what’s different, why does it feel so different.
And then it came to me. It feels less traumatizing this year. That’s the difference.
In the past it was a punch to the gut with each picture or facebook post, or even a just a general look at the calendar to see the date. This year it just is. It’s a calm, gentle reminder that it is part of my story. Part of my life.
Part of what got me to this point.
I’m super down on myself right now because I feel like I’ve undone years worth of work. Years of work that were so important as I tried to live in ways that Parker couldn’t anymore. I had to get better, I had to save myself, or losing her was in vain.
But this is part of my story as well. And that’s okay.
This is okay.
I’ll survive this shit. Life has thrown me curve ball after curve ball, and I lived.