Less than a month till my kids go back to school, and I am eagerly counting the days. I don’t do well during summer break, as it throws my entire schedule out of whack. I can never get to bed on time, or wake up on time either, which leads into me feeling like a big ‘ol slob! Needless to say, I am definitely looking forward to September 5th, when all four of my babies will be back on a normal school schedule.
Fall is my favorite time of year, but it also brings a lot of heartache and joy for our family.10 years ago, I was 8 months pregnant with our third child, a girl, who was born on October 8th. Three years ago, we were a family of 6, and I was again, looking forward to summer break being over. Little did I know that the next two months were the last two we’d have as a family of six with my husband. He did October 10th, 2009 due to severe and horrific complications from H1N1 (Please, get your flu shot every.single.year).
I was only writing about this because on twitter today, a friend of mine asked me about his death, and how our daughter handled it. You see, he died on the day of her 7th birthday party. Not many people can say they have had that “privilege”, can they? I woke up on the 10th, the day of her party, and headed to the hospital for a short visit before the party festivities began. She was having a halloween themed birthday party at a local glow-in-the-dark mini golf place here in town. Thankfully I had prepped all the party stuff beforehand, as all hell broke loose less than an hour after I got there. I’m not ready to share the gory details yet, and I am not sure if I ever will be, but what I am about to write will be a true testament to my strength. Strength that I didn’t even know I had, strength that came out of the depths of my soul and heartache, strength that made me keep putting one foot in front of the other.
My husband died less than two hours after I got to the hospital. The party was supposed to be at 1PM. Shortly after he died, I had to call my mom at my house to tell her I couldn’t make it to the party. I remember standing at the nurses station, phone in my left hand, tissue in the right, and steeling myself as I made that phone call.
“Mom, B is very sick. I can’t make it to the party, they don’t want me to leave. You’re going to have to take care of it for me. Everything is ready and in the bags by the front door, and you can pick up the cake at Safeway at noon. Tell E I’m sorry and I love her”.
But he had already died. I couldn’t tell her, I couldn’t tell the kids, and most of all…I COULD NOT ruin her 7th birthday party. I just couldn’t do it. So I bore that heartache by myself till two friends came to the hospital, and thankfully the nurses called them to be at my side.
I don’t remember much of the timeline after that, but one friend went to the party and told my mom, and took my mini van to pick up the kids, leaving my mom to drive her car. She told my mom privately, and my mom sped home to meet me there. Another friend drove me home and forced me to eat some yogurt. To this day, I can not stomach yoplait light yogurt, the taste and texture of it makes me gag and feel like I am going to vomit. The kids probably came home at 3 something, I don’t remember much of that. They burst into the door with my friend Sara, all excited and full of sugar. But they didn’t see me, my mom, Angela, Lisa…all of us sitting around the kitchen table. All four ladies grabbed a kid and held them as I told them the worst thing I have ever had to tell them.
“Your daddy was so sick, and the doctors couldn’t fix his heart. He died this morning”.
To see their little faces crumple into sorrow was one of the worst things I have ever had to experience.
I honestly don’t know how I held my composure as I called my mom that morning. And I hope one day that the kids, and E especially, will understand why I did things the way I did. Out of a mother’s love. Every year since then, I’ve made it a huge point to make a big deal out of her birthday. All we have are bad memories of her birthday now, but hopefully the following years will help negate some of that.
I think I rambled a bit… I had a 2nd point to this blog post, but the first half got away from me!
My other point was that, though we have so much tragedy surrounding the month of October, our lives are also changing, and some really awesome things are starting to happen already that will be fully implemented this fall. He would have wanted that, for us to move on and be happy. B was the beginning of my life, my 20s, the man that gave me four wonderful (yet very annoying lol) children, but I am ready for more. I am ready to LIVE again, I want to be a wife again….but I will always remember and love him. Always.
Mr eHarmony and I are coming up on a year of dating, can you believe it? I never thought I’d find someone who reminded me so much of my late husband! He is a real blessing to this family, and I can’t imagine life without him. He makes me laugh and snort in ways I thought would never be possible again.
This post is getting quite long already, so I’ll just give you some “teasers” and write about them later on…. We’re taking the next step in our realtionship! And taking an amazing family vacation to LA/Disneyland in November.
More on that…..soon!