Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Not the best of days

Today wasn't a day like every other day. Some days you wake up happy. Some days you wake up sad. Sometimes you wake up wondering why you ever woke up. Today was that day. The alarm went off, I hit snooze...for an hour and a half I hit snooze. I would just lay there awake staring at the ceiling listening to country music blaring out of my clock radio because sometimes I was too uninterested in moving my arm slightly to actually hit the snooze button to turn it off. I just couldn't get myself out of bed. I knew I had to get up. I knew I had to get a shower and get ready for work. I knew I had an appointment at 10:30am but I still just laid there, numb, not ready to actually get up and start my day.

I heard movement coming up the stairs and knew that now I really had to get out of bed. Tom was home and he is going to wonder why I'm still in bed. Especially since he was late getting here since he had to make a stop before he got home. He gets so dirty working all night long at a tire planet and he comes home smelling like burnt rubber and I won't allow him to climb in bed and go to sleep for fear of him ruining our nice sheets so I insist that he showers every morning. Which also means that I know he is going to make me get up and take a shower with him (something we do together every day, yeah, weird I know but oh well, that's just the way it is.)

The door opens up and I close my eyes hoping that Tom will think I'm still asleep and he will walk in quietly, go into the bathroom, take a shower, then sneak back to bed without waking me up. He does that some mornings, but not this morning. He came to the bed and said "Sweetie, it's 8am don't you think you should get out of the bed?".
I say "yeah, but I'm not ready".
"Do you have any appointments this morning?"
"Yeah."
"What time?"
"10:30"
"It's 8:00 now."
"I know."
"Don't you think you should get up?"
"Yeah, but I can't."
So he grabs the blankets, tosses them off of me and they land on my dog who was sleeping in the bed curled up next to me. She wiggles free and starts doing her "I'm so happy to see you dance." I look at her and think to myself "I have no idea why you are so happy to see me. You slept in my bed snuggled up against the back of my legs all night and you still act like you haven't seen me in a week. Weird dog." Then I rub her head and she leans her head into my hand like she's hugging me. I sure do love that dog.

Next, Tom grabs my wrist and pulls me into a seated position then he grabs my hand and leads me to the bathroom, turns on the shower and closes the door. I climb in the tub and allow the hot water to pour all over my body. We have a lot of pressure in our house, which I love. So I just stand there, wetting my hair and enjoying the feeling of the hot water hit my skin. You know, I have often said that a hot shower is the number one on my favorite things list. There is just nothing like a nice, long, steaming hot shower. When I'm sick and finally get out of bed and force myself to take a shower I instantly feel soooo much better. I guess that is what I was counting on to happen today. I wasn't sick but I was still secretly hoping that my steaming hot shower would instantly make me feel better and able to start my day, but not today. Instead I just stood there, numb almost, staring at the wall while the hot water wet my skin. You know how sometimes you can catch yourself daydreaming because you kind of snap back to reality but you can still recall what you were daydreaming about? Well, that's how I felt standing there staring at that wall except I wasn't daydreaming because absolutely no thoughts were running through my head, I was just motionlessly staring. Tom got in the tub with me and just looked at me strangely and said "Are you alright?"
"Yeah."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah."
"Baby, I'm concerned."
"Don't be. I'm fine. I'm just sad."
Sad isn't really the right word. I wasn't sad. Well, I was sad but sad just isn't a good enough word to describe it. I am more like numb. Completely numb. Nothing makes any difference to me. That's not exactly true, a lot of things still make a difference to me but it explains my emotion better then sad. Don't freak out, I'm not depressed or suicidal, it's not that kind of sad/numbness it's just more like a "ho-hum" kind of feeling that you makes you just don't really care one way or another about anything.

By me saying "I'm just sad." made Tom drop the conversation and start wetting his bar of soap. He knows why I should be sad. My cousin, David is being buried tomorrow and his visitation is today. His death came as a complete shock to everyone. He was only 38 years old. He has been married to Jamie for only 4 years. They were together 5 years before they married. She has two boys from a previous marriage but David loved those boys like they were his own. I believe their ages are 17 & 14. David had been their father figure since they were 8 & 3. He had been having chest pains so he went to the hospital and they did an EKG and ran some tests. The doctor said he was fine and was just having an anxiety attack and sent him home. A few days later he was at work and was complaining of chest pain, thinking he was having heartburn he took some antacids and when it didn't relieve his symptoms he went out on the loading dock to get some fresh air. When he didn't return within 10 minutes a coworker went out to check on him and found him on the ground dead. He started doing CPR, the ambulance came and they continued doing CPR on him. He arrived at the hospital and they continued the CPR but they could never revive him. They pronounced him dead last Friday afternoon. This is my cousin. My cousin that I grew up playing with. The guy that tormented me as a child because we were around each other so much that he felt more like a brother that I never had then a cousin. He is only 3 1/2 years older than me but as a little kid 3 1/2 years is a huge age gap. I bugged the crap out of him and he enjoyed getting me in trouble. As we grew older we didn't torment each other as much as we went out and got into trouble together. We moved away and we weren't as close as we used to be but as we grew up we started to become real friends. He came to visit me a couple times after Tom and I were married and bought our first house. I went to his house for his wedding reception and then I hadn't seen him again until last December when we attended our cousin, Staceys' funeral who was only 20 and died from Cystic Fibrosis. We vowed to not allow time to pass before seeing each other again. I invited him for Easter dinner but he couldn't come because he had to work. I called several times and tried to get together but our schedules just wouldn't line up. Now I won't ever get the chance again.

That is why Tom thinks I'm sad. And it's true, I am sad because of that but on top of that I am also dealing with the thought that David is close to the same age as my husband. My life would be completely turned upside down and devastated if I lost Tom. My heart aches for Jamie, Davids wife, to have to go through this. It truly aches. I can't help but think what she is dealing with and how even though I consider myself a pretty strong person that I know that my life would be completely turned upside down and I would not be able to function if I lost Tom. We have been through a lot of things together but even through it all I can honestly say that Tom is the love of my life. He is my best friend and the only person that I could ever imagine sharing the rest of my life with. I honestly believe that not every person is lucky enough to find true love. But I have. Tom truly is my better half. He is a great guy. He is kind, generous, skillful, thoughtful, trustworthy. You name a good quality and that's Tom. He is a genuine nice guy. I have no idea how I ended up so lucky as to have him has a husband. This must be the feeling my dog gets when she wakes up and sees me for the first time every morning. She truly loves me. I have no idea why, but none the less, she does.

So, anyway, I muddle through the shower, get dressed and ready for work. I takes me forever to decide on which pair of shoes to wear because the snake skin heels looked the best with the outfit but they kill my feet so I put on a pair of brown suede heels that aren't as high as the others so they don't hurt my feet as much but they don't look as good with the outfit I have on either. After going back and forth and back and forth I finally settle on the snake skin heels and walk downstairs (kissing Tom on the cheek before I leave the room because he is already in bed snoring). It's 9am. I call my 10:30 appt to confirm and no one answers their phone. I go downstairs, look over my schedule and I get in my car and head toward my appt even though they didn't answer to confirm. A few minutes into driving, my phone rings and it was my 10:30am appt telling me they need to reschedule for Thurs at 8pm. No biggie, it happens.

Instead of driving to my appt I take an alternate route and go to the nail salon. I've been meaning to get my nails done. It had been a little over 2 weeks since the last fill in so they really needed it. I walk in the salon, sign in, and take a seat and wait for the next available chair. It looks like its gonna be a few minutes because they were already pretty busy in there. So I grab my cell phone and call my next appt. She answers but instead of confirming, she has to reschedule for a day next week due to other obligations. Ho-hum, No biggie, whatever.

I got my nails done, ran some errands, went to the bank, then headed to the office. It's now close to 11am. I walk in the back door and no one is there. I enjoy the solitude and use the time to be productive. Around 1pm I leave for lunch and head home. Woke Tom up when I got here so we could have lunch together and he ended up grilling me some chicken and made mushroom jack fajitas. It was pretty good too.

I head back to the office, try to get some work done but my brain just doesn't seem to want to function. I pick up my smartpad and turn it on but then I forget why I turned it on so I turn it off. I get up from my desk, go to the bathroom, walk around the office, talk to other agents, remember why I turned my smartpad on the first time. Go back to my desk, turn it on again then just sit there and stare at it because I have forgotten why I turned it back on again. This process keeps repeating itself until my boss walks up to me and tells me to go home because I am just no use to him in this state. So I pack up my stuff and leave. I start to head home and then I remember that David's viewing is today from 11am-8pm. I hadn't planned on going. I was just going to wait and go Wednesday to the viewing before the funeral but something tugged in my heart to go. So I did.

I had to call information to get the address to the funeral home so I could type it in my GPS, which by the way was no help because it couldn't locate the address anyway. It took me to Nolensville Rd and I eventually found it on my own. I pull up the steep drive and come around the bend to find 3 men standing out front, taking a smoke break. As I get closer I notice that only 2 of them are actually smoking and the guy in the middle is my Uncle Michael. The funny thing about Michael and I is that we are the same age. We grew up together. We went to school together. We were in the same grade. We had the same friends. I hadn't seen him in almost 18 years and there he was standing right in front of me. I didn't even park the car. I just stopped and rolled down my window and just stared at him for a second. He looked back and smiled and came walking up to my car. I took off my seat belt and got out and hugged him. Man, I missed him so much. I didn't want to let him go. One of the other guys that was standing there was my cousin Jarrett. Of all days, his 15th birthday is today. What a way to spend your birthday as a kid then to spend it at a funeral home burring his cousin. He offers to park my car for me. I ask him "Do you have your permit yet?"
"Nope, just turned 15 today."
"Can you drive?"
"If you let me. Can I park your car?"
"Sure, just don't wreck it."
"Seriously?!"
"Yep, go on. I've got insurance."
Then he hops in and I roll the window down as I shut the door. Mike says "What are you doing?"
"Rolling the window down so he can hear me yelling at him if he screws up."
We laugh then I instruct Jerrett to put his foot on the brake and move the car into Drive. He does as instructed so I tell him to take his foot off the brake and slowly move forward pressing lightly on the gas. He takes off a little wobbly but goes around the side of the funeral home and parks in a space between 2 other cars. Gets out, brings me my keys and hugs me. That was his first time driving. I'm glad that I could make him smile. This poor guy has a rough life. He and his sister shared a deadly incurable disease, Cystic Fibrosis. Last December he was the unlucky soul that found his sister, my cousin, Stacey dead in her bed when he returned home from school. She died of the same disease that he has and that will eventually take his own life. To be 15 and to have that much burden on your shoulders must be unbearable but you can't tell from his actions. He's a good kid.

I spent the next few hours visiting with family members I hadn't seen in a long time, viewing all the beautiful flower arrangements that were sent, and looking at my cousin David laying in the casket, still in total disbelief that he's gone. He looked like he was just laying there waiting to pop up and start talking. I hate funerals. I hate them even more when it's someone you know and love. I hate crying. I'm not a "crier". I typically don't cry, ever. Hearing Jamie cry the cry of a woman who has lost her husband unexpectedly was heart wrenching. I had to leave the room. There were people all in the hallway too so I ended up walking out the front door and into the parking lot. I got behind a large red full sized pick up truck that was parked near the front of the building and took some deep breaths. I got my composure back and I called my husband. I opened my mouth to tell him how much I love him, but all that came out were sobs. He talked to me and told me how much he loved me and that he was sorry that he wasn't there for me tonight but he will be there tomorrow for the funeral. I hung up then stood there just staring at the grass. Not knowing if I should stay or go. Then I looked up and saw my Uncle Michael outside smoking and he smiled and motioned me to come near him. The next few hours were a blur but I know that I ended up making it home safely and just in the nick of time to miss a thunderstorm that was headed my way.

I got home, changed my clothes, grabbed a sprite and headed to the screened in porch in my back yard. I sat in the swing and enjoyed listening to the sound of the rain falling. The occasional bolt of lightening would light up the sky and the sound of the thunder cracking was always close behind. I just love sitting out there when it's raining. Thunderstorms are just an added bonus. So, the lightening struck and a tree in my yard was illuminated and just for a second, the shadows that were cast made it look as though one of the trees had a face. I kept looking at it to see it light up in the next bolt of lightening and the face was still there. I knew it wasn't really there, it was just the way the light was casting but it got me to thinking about fairy tales and stories we used to tell as children. I started wondering when is that point in our lives when we quit using our imaginations? When do shadows become just shadows instead of faces, or monsters, or fairy tale creatures? Why do we lose that ability to truly imagine a world of possibilities, no matter how unbelievable they may be? So, I tried to "pretend" in my mind. And it was amazing what happened. I'll save that story for another day though.

2 comments:

jan williams said...

OMG Girl, you should write books, I felt as though I was standing right there with you the entire time.. well maybe not in the shower with you and Tom..hehe But I am serious, you have that way of making me what to know what happens next!
I am so sorry about your cousin...
I hope today is a better day!
I also agree about the imagination, I pray, we should never ever lose that!!!

NancyJones said...

((((((((chantele)))))) hugs my friend.