My favorite music is country music. Most of the time, if I am listening to music, that’s the station I have on….Country. Some how, there’s always a song that will go along with any mood. Yes, I know all the silly comments about country music and dogs and wives, etc. etc. I know it’s not the most popular genre of music, but it’s my favorite.
Anywho, there’s a song by an artist that was pretty popular when I was growing up…..
Tell Me I Was Dreaming by Travis Tritt
That tends to fit my life for the last almost five months. When I heard about my son, I wanted to believe it was a dream…..and I still wish it was. Every single day.
So, with that said, please tell me I have been in the middle of a nightmare for the last five months and please wake me up.
I know. I know, Unfortunately, I know….there is no waking up from this nightmare.
My son is gone. Forever…..
So, if I must dream now, let them be good dreams.
I pray each night that I will dream of my Darren. Pictures of him surround me. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, he shared a hobby of mine: photography. One of my favorite photos that he took sits on my nightstand:
It’s not the best quality as it was, but definitely not as seen above. That’s a picture of the picture in a frame. To see the actual picture out of the frame is much better.
But it doesn’t matter to me. The quality of the photo doesn’t matter. What matters is that he was with his three best friends. Amigos. Buddies. Pals. Bros. No matter what you call it, it all means the same.
They stood, facing the setting sun so bright before them. And he seems to relaxed. So free.
And that’s how I want to remember him. I don’t want to think of his broken heart. I don’t want to recall the tears he shed. I don’t want to picture the sadness I seen in his eyes.
But I do. I see it all.
And my heart breaks one more time every time I see those particular memories.
I am constantly having conversations in my head. Sometimes that results in me talking to myself.
I mean, literally, I will have a complete conversation in my head and either talk out loud or answer myself out loud.
That’s a little crazy. Right?
No, not really. I’m as sane as anyone walking around, which may not being saying much…..
Anyway, there’s an old adage that I’ve heard said a thousand times, at least –
It’s okay to talk to yourself, it’s when you answer yourself that you should be worried.
Okay, I am not crazy and I am not worried about my mental state. I talk to myself and I might even answer myself, but such is life…
Anywho, one thing I’ve recently learned about myself is this: If I feel frustrated about something in my day or at someone, I quite simply mull over what I would say if I could, if I had the chance.
And that’s probably what saves me from doling out a ton of tongue-lashings at people. To explain, I recently have felt quite frustrated at one person in particular. It’s not someone I talk to very often, in fact if we even talk at all. As I was going through my day one day, getting ready for an upcoming event, it made me think of this particular person. She has made me angry. She has manipulated and played games. She has tried to take control where it’s not hers to take and I am done with it. I am done with the stupidity. I am done with the childishness. I am done with the disrespect and inconsideration. I am done with the high-horse she sits on. I am done.
And the thing that has gotten me through the frustrating moments without losing my cool is that I have conversations in my head, telling her exactly what I think and holding nothing back.
Let me explain myself….
I am a nice person. I don’t like confrontation. In fact, I try hard not to hurt people’s feelings or cause upset because I just don’t care for the stress it brings.
Even though, I truly do just want to be nice and not cause disruption, I am blunt. When I get fed up with people’s crap, I can be mean. But, it’s not just mean, it’s brutally honest mean…..I don’t even really know how to explain, but I know that I don’t like to be that way. I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. I don’t want to get into big arguments with people as most of the time it ends up just trading off insults, each one getting meaner and meaner while accomplishing NOTHING.
So, these conversations in my head that involve me giving a good tongue-lashing to those who really deserve it accomplish at least that – the ability to tell someone off without using a filter. Once I have these conversations in my head, it’s done. I’m done and the next time I come face to face with the individual who’s stressing me out, I can speak to him/her cordially.
Life has a way of really tossing us a lot of dirty stuff at us. Although we make our own choices, many never learn the art of take responsibility for said choices. Sadly, their mistakes are always someone else’s fault. And so life goes, always living with the shoulda, could, woulda perception because they never really understood what it meant to take responsibility. For anything. Their words. Their actions. Their selfishnesses. Their wants. Their needs, so on and so forth.
Nineteen years ago, I gave birth to a beautiful, happy, bouncy baby boy.
He weighed 8 lbs and 3 ozs (or 5 ozs). The pregnancy itself was a topsy-turvy affair. His father and I were young and selfish, mean and stubborn which caused me to be an emotional wreck the whole pregnancy. Well, that played havoc on my Picadilly as now he’s a very anxious person.
Soon enough, his father and I welcomed another little beautiful, happy, bouncy baby boy into our lives. He weighed 8 lbs and 5 ozs (or 7 ozs).
By this time, it was apparent that their father and I shouldn’t be together. We fought all the time. Yelled and screamed and cursed and called one another names. But, speaking from my own perspective, I lost any bit of self esteem that I had through that tumultuous four-year relationship. Maybe he did too and maybe he didn’t. I’m not sure, but I was sure that we didn’t need to be together. Eventually, we broke up and went our separate ways.
Through the years, he and I have made our mistakes. However, when he and I broke up, my self-esteem was so shattered, I really believed I wasn’t good enough for those two beautiful baby boys.
And if you can’t see where that’s going, then here it is: they lived with him. I really believed they deserved better than me so I believed his lies. As they got older and I matured, my self-esteem slowly healed. My heart breaks, though, because while my heart was healing and my self-esteem was growing, my ex was destroying our two children, those two beautiful baby boys who soon grew, as babies do, into toddlers and elementary children and finally into teenagers.
Just to clarify, he and I broke up fifteen years ago.
And now, even after my seventeen year old took his life because of all the heartbreak, my ex and his family continue to manipulate my nineteen year old’s mind. He and his girlfriend are about to have a baby, in November actually. We buried my son in May and will be welcoming that beautiful baby granddaughter in November.
This pregnancy has been such a beacon of hope in a world of sadness. As the grandmother, I was excited to hear the news and with excitement, ask if I could throw a baby shower. Well, through some misunderstanding in the beginning about it, we finally made it here. The baby shower is in two days.
My son’s heart is broken. It was his brother we buried almost five months ago. Just imagine, a nineteen year old carrying his seventeen year old brothers’ casket for the funeral. Yes, with honor and heartbreak, he did that. As you can imagine, the heartbreak didn’t stop there. He, like the rest of us, live with that ache in our chest that will never go away.
And now, at a moment in his life where he should be feeling the love of his family not only for the heartache that we have all endured, but also because he and his girlfriend are bringing life into the world in a time of darkness. But, he can’t feel the love because his father’s family is making him feel shitty about a baby shower in which I am hosting that they were invited to, but refuse to attend. I am not sure that his father is saying anything to him, but some people in that family are certainly making him feel like crap.
He’s asking for one day……
One day for his parents to celebrate …………
His parents to celebrate – together – one of the most precious moments in his adult life and his dad or that side of his family won’t even give him that. Through those two boys’ lives, their dad has said he’s given them everything they’ve wanted. Just about anytime they asked, they got (according to their dad), but he refuses to give this to our son. It breaks my son’s heart which breaks mine. He refuses to stop being angry at me long enough to give our only living son the only thing he or his brother ever wanted….their parents not fighting, not to be put in the middle of adult squabbling.
I always try to be positive. I always try to see the good in people. I always try to forgive others even though my heart is still breaking.
But right now, after what my ex has done to our children, I am finding forgiveness not so easy come. It’s a daily battle…….
It’s not easy to move forward even though I know I need to.
I am scared to admit when the days are easier so I don’t let myself say it out loud. I don’t ever say, “yes, my day has been good. I have felt happiness.”
Why be scared, you may wonder?
Because Darren was one of my children and he always will be. To move forward, after he’s no longer here on the life journey with us, feels like I am betraying him in some way. Also, because I’ve may have gotten comfortable with the pain of losing him and to go back to happiness feels like I am betraying him.
It’s a crazy thing that mothers feel about their children. I have spent many years as a mother trying to take advantage of every second of spare time we could all muster up trying to be involved in his life. He didn’t live with me so time was a luxury I didn’t want to give up when it came to being with he and his older brother.
But, as it stands, seventeen years was all I got so looking back, time was more of a luxury than I truly understood.
Now, as I rebuild the pieces of my life, my family’s life, that Darren’s death shattered, my new normal is living with the constant heartbreak of him not being here.