The last few days have been a bit of a mixed bag. I am starting to get more sleep and I am starting to eat again, but there are times that things hit me and I feel like it is everything I can do just to breathe.
My standard response for "How are you doing?", is that "I am doing". I am just not big on lying, and this is a way to be honest without a lot else. I was in the elevator with Dr. Belehar on my way up for my blood draw, and this question popped up. "What do you mean you are just doing?". There really aren't that many women on the fire department, I am the only on the line these days, so I thought he already knew, but apparently not. I saw his wheels turning and the way he asked it, I knew he was thinking he needed to put some sort of flag on me and discuss the issue with the safety officer at the fire department.
"Mr, Belehar, my son died a month ago." He quieted down.
The physical was difficult this year. It started with the questionnaire on family history and had a part where you list all of your children and then it asks if they are deceased, at what age, and what from. I just stopped and stared. I should have remembered this from last year, but it brought me instantly back down to the dips that I call the abyss. I cried as I filled it out, I put his full name, how old he was when he died (4 months, almost 5), and stared at the cause of death. I finally put, awaiting autopsy results.My writing was shaky, like a 90 year old woman's. Afterwards I went into the women's locker room, sat on the floor in front of the sink and bawled silently.
The rest of the questionnaire looked like an ink bomb had gone off. Loss of appetite, dizziness, shaking, hair loss, cold intolerance, difficulty sleeping, heart palpitations? These are just a few I checked. They will think I am a nutcase, I thought. But then, when you are at your lowest any number of health problems take the opportunity to rear, and I wanted to know as best I could that everything was ok. I feel a responsibility towards my daughter and husband to stick around as long as I can. I love my son, and I will not say that there are not days that I wished I was with him, but I will have eternity with him. I do not want to leave yet, just want him here with me. I need to make sure my daughter grows up to be the young lady she has the potential to be and that my husband will live to see better days. I want to make sure their lives are rich and that I am around for more of my daughter's firsts.
I went in for the appointment and they asked who I wanted to see. I said the female (I do not know her name, but all the guys like her). I do not know that Belehar will know what to say to me based on his earlier response, and is likely to set me off at the weight question. Technically I am not ideal by the charts, never have been since I was 13. Some I am sure is extra fluff, but some is muscle. Right now I weigh as much as I did about 5 years ago. It is not the right way to go about it. But he will feel obligated to tell me I am overweight or some such thing, as he always does. I will lose it, he will feel awkward... let's just avoid it.
The nurse practitioner came in, she set her chart down, looked at me. Her eyes were shiny with moisture. And we both started crying. We talked, tears streaming, together for about 5 or 10 minutes. I am not upset, in a way it was nice. I got to talk about Perry, what a great fun little boy he was, and it was nice to know that she cared about him on some level. I let her know some of the demons and she just listened. She told me I was perfectly normal for what had happened, but that she would carefully review all the results.
The next day I was off duty with my Mom and Christmas shopping. Besides the other things I had wanted to buy Perry, there was one toy I really wanted. He would have been too young to use it until about 6 more months, but I knew I was going to get it anyway. It was a special little people play set, available only at Target. It was a pirate ship, complete with a parrot, benevolent looking swashbucklers with chubby cheeks and eye patches or dew rags, and a cannon that actually shot a little ball. I saw it while looking around the website and had almost bought it right then and there for Perry.
While looking at princess stuff with Emily, and Justin Beiber DVD's for Sheila, I noticed a large display at the end of the isle. There it was. I stopped and pressed the parrot to hear it squawk. I cried and kept crying as I went towards the check out, passing the baby isle with all the jumparoos and little clothing.
We were all exhausted, and Emily was sound asleep as I pulled into the cemetery. I lit a little candle, and drove towards my empty house with the two small pumpkins on the porch.