Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Day After

I would guesstimate that most of us don't have a routine for what we do the day after an extreme life change occurs.

Why?  Because it's extreme enough that it doesn't happen often, so we don't have to have a routine for it.

I'm kind of thinking I might need to think through a routine.  Something comforting.  Something stress relieving.  Something that cuts through the tangle of emotions and weirdness that is "extreme life change" and helps me to see my new normal again.

Friday after school, I stayed late to talk with Sara.  Sara has become a dear friend...someone I go to with joy and with heartache.  I left work about 5:30 or so.  I had thought wine, chips/queso and pajama pants.

I went with diet coke, pizza and chocolate lava cakes...and pajama pants. :)

I thought I'd watch DVR, but several people called to check on me.  I am blessed.

I slept on the couch, because I couldn't brave sleeping down the hall from her empty bedroom just yet.

Saturday, I slept in a little and worked for 9 hours.  It was good to stay busy.  Sunday was the first day I got ready of a morning without her.  Our morning routine wasn't there, and my heart was tender.  Our family celebrated Mom's birthday that afternoon, and it was good to have a family day.  We played cards, went for a walk, and just did family things like we used to, and we all enjoyed it.

Monday, I made an appointment for a massage and a hair cut/hi-lite and a house cleaning.  I'm looking forward to each of those in the coming days.  I hadn't been in her room since we left Friday morning.  I wasn't scared, per se, but neither did I want to go in.  Monday, I realized I hadn't checked an issue maintenance had come out to fix on Thursday, so without even thinking about it, I went in to her bathroom to check the faucet.  It was good to break the ice and enter.

Tuesday evening, I stripped the sheets from her bed to wash them, so the ladies coming to clean today could put new ones on.  This was weird.  It seemed so final.  Like, I was getting rid of the last remnant of something that was J.  I just had to do it pretty matter-of-factly.

Many people are asking, "How are you?" and I don't know how to reply.  I'm okay.  My heart is bruised, but beating.  I'm working more.  I'm reading more.  I'm talking on the phone more. (gotta up those minutes!) I miss her.  I think of her regularly.  I still use her as my example in class for a lot of things.  (Teaching commas, she is the subject of the sentence.  Character development?  She is my analogy.)  My kids relate to her.  I relate to her.  We can laugh and smile at her antics.

Friday morning wasn't a good time for hugs.  I was too close to an emotional meltdown.  But now?  I like hugs.  Several moms of students hugged me Friday afternoon, and it was good to feel human and not like "the teacher."  Friends hugged me Sunday at church.  Friends have checked on me via Facebook and text message and stopped me in the hall at work.  Hugs are a good way to connect and show support.

It takes a village?  No joke.  I feel like I'm surrounded by a village of loving, caring, wonderful friends and family, and I so appreciate every one of you!

I think my routine for extreme life change will be prayer, comfort foods, comfortable clothes, alone time, friend time, and giving myself a few days of grace where kind of anything goes.  Then, some pampering: whatever seems to be needed or wanted right then.  Many friends are reaching out this week and most of my evenings have something.  That's nice, too. :)

I am loved.  By my Heavenly Father, my earthly family, my friends near and far.  That's a pretty good routine to have. :)

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