Everyday is a struggle to balance it all. How do we smile everyday when our hearts are broken? Sometimes I wake up and think, I can do this, others, not so much. Thing is, we have another child that we have to function for. I can't imagine what it's like for him, he was suppose to go through life with his partner in crime. Drew was there the moment we knew Rylee was not going to make it. I fight every moment to make life as normal as possible for him. "Normal" such a funny word. Nothing about our life is "normal." Days that I think Drew is Ok, are always the days that he falls a part. This kid can go from smiles to gut wrenching crying and screaming in the blink of an eye, and just like it us for us, you never know when it's coming. This past weekend Hurricane Irene reared it's ugly head. Funny that we live in FL, but it missed us and went up the North. The Hurricane was headed straight for NY. Rylee is buried in NY in our hometown. Drew was watching the news with me, asking all sorts of questions about hurricanes when all of a sudden he started crying and freaking out. He was petrified his sister was going to wash away. Stick the knife in a little deeper and turn it. The worrying never stops, it's never out of our minds. Hurricanes are nothing compared to what we live everyday. A few days with out power, flooded houses, roads closed. That's cake, I can handle that. Can you imagine your 7 year old worried that his sister whom he has already lost, washing away!!?? When does it end? When will he see life through normal eyes? The answer is simple, NEVER! There is nothing I can do to change this. Mom's are suppose to make these things better. I can't change this, but I can be there to hold him, and wipe his tears away. We all miss her so much. Days, minutes, it doesn't matter, the loss is still as fresh and deep as the moment it happened. Shhhh don't tell to many people that, society thinks we should be OVER it. Some of our friends actually think we are ok, and moving forward. I don't want to spoil it for them. I'm not saying it like that to be a bitch. It's easier for them to think we are ok. I understand they have no clue what to do. We have lost friends, and we have gained friends. I thank and love the people who are not tired of hearing us talk about Rylee, or at least put up with us when we do( which is a lot.) A huge thanks to a family friend who went to Rylee's gravesite during the storm to take pictures of Rylee's headstone for Drew. This was no easy task as almost all the roads to the cemetery were closed. The amazing thing is through all the snowstorms during the winter, and now a hurricane, not one thing that we have put at her site or on he headstone has washed away. This is simply amazing, makes me wonder sometimes, hmm......
I have heard so many things over the past year. I try and tell myself "they don't know any better." Oh, how I am thankful they don't know. That is what we call innocence in the grief support group I go to. I do however want to vent about people saying " I would Die If I Lost My Child." It makes my skin crawl. It's like saying " I love my child more then you love yours." Don't get me wrong, I feel like dieing, and part of me already has. How selfish of me to do that to Drew, my innocent, sweet, albeit rambunctious 7 year old. He has already endured more then any child should. He watched his sister be so sick. I left him for weeks at a time to be at a hospital 2 hours away, he was whisked away as his sister was dieing in my arms not knowing that he would NEVER see her again. I could never do that to him. Then there is my parents. I know what it's like to lose a child. I could never choose to make them live this life. They already have to deal with the lose of their granddaughter and endure the pain of watching their child face the worst thing in the world, and there is nothing they can do. How could I do that to James, the only other person who knows how I truly feel. You will die a different death, an emotional one, but not a physical one. It will hit you, that no matter how painful it is to lose your child, you are not honoring their memory at all by dieing. I look forward to the day I die, because I will once again be with my baby girl. I want it to be when it's my time though, right now I need to be here for my son. I don't love Rylee any less because I'm still here living.
As usual it has been forever since I blogged. I just never know what to say anymore.
For me, life stopped. When life stops, it leaves very little to be said. I think what I'm going to try and do is go back and do different post about things we have been through or done since my last post. Hope I actually come back and do it. Stay tuned!
So much has happened in 9 months. We started a foundation called Butterflies of Hope, have held two big events. I'm a consultant for thirty-one all proceeds go to Butterflies of Hope. The websites are butterfliesofhope.org and mythirtyone.com/JanetCongero We have spent the summer traveling, did Rylee's headstone. The list goes on and on and yet, I'm still in the same place as I was 7:57pm on January 10th. Life is going on, I look like I'm living it, I should win an oscar, because it's all fake. Life has stopped, it does not move, I just act. I love when people tell me how great I look, and how well I'm doing. Cut me open, slice me in half because that's what my heart looks like inside, split forever. The holidays are looming and the cement boulder that sits on my chest gets heavier and heavier. I don't want to trick or treat with out Rylee, I don't want to be Thankful on Thanksgiving, I don't want to wake up Christmas morning to a half empty tree, I don't want this life. I don't want January 10th to come. She has been gone as long as I carried her inside me. I live for Drew. He needs his Mom and Dad. I feel like we are doing the best we can for him. His life is as normal as possible. I pray he has no clue how hard this is for us.I'm petrified of the next few months. Every night, I cry. I will never understand. I wonder if I will ever write an uplifting entry again? If I do, I wonder if it will be real or me pretending? I know it's only 9 months but, it's 9 months of not having her. Her big eyes staring into mine, head on my shoulder, hand on my heart, hands in my mouth feeding me food, dreams, just dreams. What's she doing? Who is with her? Can she eat? So many questions.
This weekend will be 6 months. I don't know how we have made it 6 months and not sure how we will make it though 6 more. I miss her so much.
This is something that was given to us from one of the leaders of a support group we go to.
SAY RYlEE TO ME
The time of concern is over. No longer am I asked how I'm doing? Never is the name of our daughter mentioned to me a curtain descends, the moment has passed. A life slips from frequent recall. There are exceptions close and compassionate friends, sensitive and loving family, for most, the drama is over. The spot life is off. Applause is silent, but for me the play will never end. The effects on me are timeless. Say Rylee to me. On the stage of my life she has been both lead and supporting actress. Do not tiptoe around one of the greatest events of my life. Love does not die. Her name is written on my life. The sound of her voice replays within my mind. You feel she is dead. I feel she is of the dead and still lives. She ghostwalks my soul. Beckoning in future welcome. You say she was my daughter, I say she is. Say Rylee to me and say Rylee again. It hurt to bury her memory in silence. What she was in flesh is no longer with us what she is in spirit stirs within me always. She was of my past but she is part of me now. She is my hope for the future. You say not to remind me. How little you understand and I can not forget. I would not if I could understand you. But feel pain in being forced to. I forgive you. Because you could not know and I would forgive you anyway. I accept how you see me, but understand you do not see me at all. I strive not to judge you. For yesterday I was like you. I love you, will make no exceptions toward you, but I wish that you could understand that dwell in both flesh and spirit. The mystery is that you do too, but know it not. I do not ask you to walk this road. The assent is steep and the burden is heavy. I walk it not by choice. I would rather walk with her flesh. Looking not to the spirit roads beyond. I am what I have to be what I have lost you can not feel. What I have gained you can not see, and I would not have you. Say Rylee to me for she is alive in me, She and I will meet again, though in many ways we've never parted. She and her life play light songs on my mind, sunrises and sunsets in my dreams. She is real and shadow was and is. Say Rylee to me and say Rylee again. She is my daughter and I lover her as I always did.
I am wearing a pair of shoes. They are ugly shoes. Uncomfortable Shoes. I hate my shoes. Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair. Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step. Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes. They are looks of sympathy. I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs. They never talk about my shoes. To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable. To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them. But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes. There are many pairs in the world. Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them. Some have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much. Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think of how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes. Yet, because of the shoes I am a stronger woman. These shoes have given me the strength to face anything. They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.
Everyone keeps asking if I have blogged? I want to, but, writing is almost to painful. Mother's Day and 4 months happened with in a day of each other. The day before Mother's Day we picked out Rylee's headstone. I can't begin to explain how awful that was. In that moment, it seemed to real. The guy had to draw the whole thing out. Looking at a piece of paper that is designed like a tombstone with Rylee Bridget Andersen 2-5-07 - 1-10-10 on it hit like a ton of bricks. Why? What purpose does it serve? I will never understand why my arms were not good enough. Mother's protect their children, they make them better. On the night of 1-10 my baby looked into my eyes, crying and gasping for air and there was nothing I could do. I could not take her pain away, I could not save her. So, on Mother's Day I felt as if I had let her down. I am proud to be Rylee's Mother and I will always be her Mama. I just hate that she is not here and that I could not stop her body from failing her.
I'm a Mom of two wonderful children, Andrew(4) and Rylee(1). My husband and I are originally from NY and moved to FL 6 years ago. I love it here and won't move back but this is where I live my home will always be in NY. When I die someone better fly my ass back there to bury me. I love hanging outside with the kiddos, sports, working out and taking pictures.