Last year, I remember in the following days after losing Nolan my Mom saying to me...
"I wish I knew what I could do as a Mother to help you, but this time I can't because I don't know what your going through."
It hurt her so bad that she didn't know how to fix this for me. She couldn't give me a kiss and throw a bandaid over it. This was something I had to figure out on my own.
Now here I am, 12 months later telling MY MOM I understand. I am the one trying to give her the bandaid. I want to protect her. All the things she is saying, all the things she is grieving are things I remember saying myself. I just kept repeating, I just want Nolan home. I probably wrote it a million times on this blog. And here my mom is saying the EXACT same thing.
How is this?
A Mother & Daughter both grieving the loss of a son. I am grieving the future and she is grieving the past. How?
JUST as our family, especially ME was starting to feel a sense of acceptance with my new normal, just as I was starting to feel 'happy' again, just as we got past June and felt like a one layer of grief was peeled off. God throws boulders of grief on us. We're drowning in this grief.
He was 22 freaking years old! He had SO MUCH he wanted to do just like ANY young guy. He wanted to be a travel therapist, he wanted to go back to school, he wanted to remodel that ugly old BMW. He was so passionate about his job, his car, his family. How can this all be taken from someone with SO much passion?
I don't get it. I'm mad, I'm heartbroken and I am trying my best to hold it together for this baby I am carrying. Today I woke up numb. It pretty much felt like it didn't happen. I started my day out feeling empty but not broken. I didn't cry, I could talk of Charlie with a smile and I almost felt guilty that I wasn't more emotional. Was this my protective instinct to keep me calm? Or was it just the shock?
It wasn't until tonight, when Chris and my Dad went to get my brothers belongings out of the car at the tow lot. My Dad walked in with his iPhone that had 20+ missed calls from Mom (after she thought she saw his car) and Charlie's stethoscope. My Dad noticed a small amount of blood on it and asked me to take care of it. So I started, it was nothing big and could even had been from a patient. It was on the metal part of the scope and that's what I chaulked it up to. I handed it to my Mom and she handed it back to me. She said if there was any person to have that stethoscope it was me.
I was the one who encouraged him to go into Respiratory, I'm the one he would secretly battle for grades. I remember him coming home bragging because he beat me out on a certain test. It was our secret game. He wouldn't want that scope to go to waste sitting in a box, for crying out loud he just paid $75 for it weeks ago. I was honored and it brought tears to my eyes. But it wasn't until she handed it back that I noticed I had missed all the blood on the black/rubber part of the stethoscope and that did me in. I stood there at the kitchen sink washing my dear brothers blood off from his brand new stethoscope. I broke down and ever since that moment, it's starting to feel more real.
Tonight we sat around as a big family going through family pictures and watching family videos with Charlie in them. It's so hard to grasp that the little blue eyed blond haired boy isn't here with us anymore. His smile is only in memories, but I can promise you he had the same exact smile at 2 years old as he did just days ago.
I miss him. I'm scared to feel what I need to feel because of this baby. I need to go through the motions but I know I need to be strong for more reasons than I can list. I am positive it won't really hit until I see him lifeless and I am terrified of it. I don't want this to feel real. I want to go to work and talk to patients that had my brother before transferring to my hospital and talk about how charming he was. Patients ALWAYS remembered him. I want to see him walk out the door for work as we make fun of his scrubs. I want to see him get all excited when Glen Beck comes on and says something that gets Charlie's mind running. I don't want to go to a funeral home tomorrow and arrange his wake. I don't want to have to find a black dress I can fit into right now. I don't want us to have to think what to dress Charlie in for the wake.. because these are all things we shouldn't be doing again.
It's just weird. Maggie, Molly and I sitting there realizing tonight, it's just us 3 left. Our only brother is gone too soon and it's just weird. Too real and makes you miss him 1,000,000 times more.
I'll leave you with a quote Charlie had on his Facebook.
"Follow your Passion, and Success will Follow You."