Brightening up your already bright Wednesday

Baxter singing Ben Kweller's "Falling"

I was in a bad place when I last wrote... and as usual, my silence over the past couple weeks indicates that I'm doing ok.

Lonia was here for a few days - from last Thursday night until Sunday. I was nervous about her meeting PJ - but it was fantastic. She had a lovely time with Baxter - enjoyed meeting PJ and welcomed him with open arms. She'll be back in June and again in late July for more visits - and that makes me happy.

Being with her is always so nice and sad at the same time. I get gripped momentarily when I look at her and think that Mike's not here anymore. It's just a profound feeling - of sadness and grief - and appreciation for having her to connect me to him.

And you know what? My dear friend Michelle was right: I underestimate Lonia. Lonia is a strong woman who is open minded and open hearted. She is not resentful or sad that I am moving forward with PJ. She is not angry that Baxter has a father-figure in his life who is not Michael. She told me explicitly on this visit that she believes we can love more than one person. She said she knows I was - and continue to be - in love with Mike and she watched as I cared for him throughout his illness. She knows I wanted more than anything for him to get well and spend his life with me. But that didn't happen. So, given the hand I was dealt, moving forward is the right thing - for me and for Baxter.

I feel lucky that she feels this way.

I feel lucky to have PJ in my life.

I feel lucky to have such a cute and funny lil' kid singing to me from the back seat.

PS: The Tree is ok! The leave are growing back. Heide was right: it's a late bloomer!


In it.

I'm stuck. I'm in it. I must be. I'm blogging from my office at UD - which I don't do.

I think it's the time of year. It's a little bit paralyzing.

I'm sleeping a lot. An awful lot. I can't seem to sink my teeth into anything work-wise. I'm napping every chance I get. Still feel tired. Not really patient - with Bax or PJ. Yesterday I realized that my heart was beating so hard and fast that I almost felt a subtle sense of rage in my bones. I wanted to break something. Not fun.

Why now? Well - let's see... April 11, 2008... two years ago where were we? In hell. Total hell. I don't need to write about it again. See for yourself in the archives of this blog from April 2006.

But that was two fucking years ago... why am I still in it?

When I let my mind wander, you know where it goes? Directly to the hospital. The sights, the smells, the anticipation of what I'd find as I rode the elevator up to the NICU to see Mike. The stupid little gestures to make him feel better - putting up photos, bringing him strawberries or Dr. Pepper. For what? For me more than for him.

This time of year is certainly a trigger.

Also, my uncle and his girlfriend were just here this week for an otherwise lovely visit... But the last time I saw them was my graduation from Annenberg in May 2006. What a emotional minefield that was.

Don't know if I ever posted my graduation speech, but here it is. I'm not going to watch it, but you can:


So, there's all that shit. Plus one of my most amazing and talented students is working his way through the rocky and impossible process of coming to terms with the suicide of his friend/roommate that happened two weeks ago. It saddens me so much to think of someone so young, bright, and happy dealing with such grave and insensible events, that I can't make heads or tails of it.

Then there's the process of moving ahead in my relationship with this wonderful man who is most certainly becoming a father to Baxter - all the while, making efforts to respect the memory of Michael - and maintain ties to his family. Trying to be a good daughter-in-law to Lonia... making sure that she knows that in spite of my moving forward with PJ, she will ALWAYS be Baxter's grandmother and will always have a place in our lives.

And then there's the tree. Mike's tree. Jalena posted a comment asking how his tree is doing. The truth is I don't know. I can't tell if it survived the winter or not. And if it died, I think I'll be on bedrest for a week or so. I already asked PJ if he'd be there to catch me if I learn that Mike's tree died over the winter. He keeps assuring me that it's not dead, just taking a while to show its buds.

Who the fuck knows.

This morning, though, Dr. Diana called. At a very welcome time. She's in Florida in the hospital. Her husband, Richard, had his gall bladder removed and she's waiting for them to get him settled in recovery.

She said that this time in the hospital makes her think of me - and mike - and how awful it must have been to do this job as patient advocate day in and day out for so long. Managing medications, talking to nurses, getting people on the same page, getting people to understand that YOU actually know what the fuck is going on - often better than the docs.

She also said that when she pulled into the hospital parking lot, she had a panic attack. A short one. But a real one. Sparked from the realization that she hadn't been in a hospital since Mike.

So, I'm not crazy. It's real. This physiological response that creeps in and takes over. It's real.

So, here we are. Again. In it. I usually am quite good. I usually feel that my feet are firmly on the ground. I feel appreciative for a wonderful son, and a phenomenal partner who makes me laugh and keeps me feeling alive.

But the unpredictability of that time period from March through July (particularly when our lives turned upside down in Mid-April) just haunts me sometimes. It's like PTSD. The sights, the smells, the sounds. My heart races and I want to throw up. I want to run away. I want to go to sleep. It's fucking awful.

But I survived it when it was actually happening, so I'll trudge my through it yet again.

Thanks for listening. Now off to teach.


A 3 year old's impersonation of Bob Dylan

And here, to make your Tuesday bright, we present Baxter - singing his new favorite (thanks to PJ): Mr. Tamborine Man... complete with droning nasal vocals in tribute to our folk hero, Bob "Diwwen" aka: Bob Dylan.

This impersonation was Bax's own creation that we heard for the first time this weekend. And because it makes us laugh until we pee, he does it all the time.

Seriously - compare it to the original... not too shabby!