I’m okay – and that’s okay.
“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”-Kenji Miyazawa
The past week has been a rollercoaster. Actually, every week is a rollercoaster. I think my life will probably always be like that…hopefully just smaller climbs and drops as time moves forward?
I love real rollercoasters – but life rollercoasters are the worst.
Scott left town this weekend for hockey, and I knew exactly what I wanted to get done. It would be a busy weekend at my store, but I also wanted to decorate the house for fall. Scott has been asking me if I was going to. I have always loved decorating my home, and now that we finally have our own home again – I think he was looking forward to it.
But I just haven’t been looking forward to it. I anticipate that the holidays are going to really suck this year. I’m not sure they will suck anymore than a typical bad day though. I’ll let you know, verdicts still out.
There was one other thing I needed to do this weekend, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to accomplish the task: go to my friend’s baby shower.
I know, I know – it’s perfectly acceptable for me not to go. No one in their right mind would ever expect me to be there. I sent a gift ahead of time, just in case I couldn’t do it. But ever since I got the invite (I was asked before they sent it, which I genuinely appreciated), I knew that I wanted to try. I needed to try. I wanted to show my love and support for this friend of mine, and equally important, I wanted to conquer this task for myself.
Saturday was a busy day. I had to be up at 5:45 am to help my friend with a wedding, and I wasn’t sure how long it would take. I then had to be at my store to work at noon. The baby shower was perfectly in the middle at 10 am. I decided that if the wedding event ended early enough, then it would be a sign. I would attempt to go to the shower.
The wedding event ended at 9:45.
I spent the next 20 minutes talking myself in and out of going as I drove to the venue. I cried and cried and cried. I was so conflicted. I was in so much pain thinking of my own baby shower and Kellan, but I was also in pain thinking of not going. If I don’t try something, I dwell on it all day and usually for a few days after. I wonder if I could have done it, regret not trying, and fixate on it. If I try and fail, at least I know I tried and what my limits are. I had to try.
When I got to the venue, I sat in my car and tried to pump myself up. As I walked up to the place I could feel the tears burning in my eyes. I tried, but I couldn’t stop them from rolling down my face. Thank God I was late and no one was around.
I opened the door and had to sit in the lobby. I was trying to compose myself. Trying to change my mindset. This was way more difficult then I had anticipated. It’s a weird feeling to explain. I wasn’t even thinking about my previous baby showers, or that the last one I had been to was for Kellan. I was thinking about how Kellan should be with me at this event.
I realized it wasn’t the baby shower that was the issue – it was the fact that it was an event I was supposed to have my baby at with me. This wasn’t the first time I have experienced this, and it won’t be the last. But I think it was the first time I actually realized why I was feeling the way I was. It’s so painful to feel, but I’m proud of myself for working through the pain and pinpointing what’s causing my emotions.
Thank God for good people surrounding me. I text my friend (who was also at the party) that I needed to sit in the lobby for a minute before I walked down. About a minute later she appeared. I lost it. I cried, and she sat with me. And then I stood up, wiped my eyes and face, and we walked into the party together.
The room was completely full. I held my head high and walked with my friend to her table. If you asked me who was at the party, I couldn’t tell you. I was there for 2 people. The mom-to-be, and myself. I lasted for about 25 minutes. I took a picture with her, wrote a note with it, and chatted with the people at my table. Before they opened gifts, I decided to leave. My heart couldn’t handle that today, and I knew it.
As I walked to my car I couldn’t help but smile. I did it. And I went on to have a great day.
Had I not at least tried to go to that baby shower, my day would have been filled with thoughts of it. And regret. And I would have wondered if I could have done it. And now I know, I could and I did. It wasn’t a little thing – it was a huge thing. It was incredibly hard, but I conquered it.
Later that day, the mom-to-be text me and thanked me for coming. She knew how hard it was for me, and it meant a lot to her that I was there. It meant a lot to me to be there for her. I know my son died and I have every right to not attend things, but if I get the opportunity to spread love to others, even in a little way, I want to.
My last customer on Saturday was a woman who came in to make a quick project. We got to talking and she noticed the KAL sticker I had on my phone. She asked me what it was for, and I explained it to her. We began to talk a little about Kellan, and she shared stories with me as well. I told her, that I was okay and I think that’s all I’ll ever be. I’m not sure I will ever think my life is great again, but it’s okay and I’m okay.
I spent the rest of my weekend decorating and cleaning the house to surprise Scott. As I went to different stores and walked the aisles, I couldn’t help but wonder what my house would look like if Kellan was alive. What decor I would have picked, what outfits he would wear? It hurt my heart, but I did it. The last decor item I found was a little metal tricycle with a basket. I loved it and thought I could use it throughout the year for each season or holiday.
As I got home and put all of my items around the house, I loved how it pulled together. The little trike sat on the floor next to our tv stand, it’s basket filled with fall gourds. I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing but I wasn’t sure what.
Scott loved the decor. As we stood and looked at it, without me saying a word, he randomly grabbed something to add to the trike. Of course my husband found the perfect missing item to finish off what I couldn’t: his Kellan bear.
It was complete. We can’t have our son with us here on this earth, but we can still include him in our lives. I am so thankful for that.
It was a great moment when Scott did that. And as I think back to it, I can’t help but go back to my conversation with the woman at my store. I told her I was okay, and that I think it’s all I’ll ever be. I think I was right, I know I’ll have great moments in my life, happy moments will also occur. But I’ll just be “okay” for the rest of my life.
And after what I’ve been through, and the pain and despair I’ve felt, I’m perfectly fine with that. I’m proud of where I am.
I’m okay – and that’s okay.