This is the first week that I have driven in six weeks. I got released from all of my restrictions a week ago today and can now resume all regular activity. I drove for the first time on Tuesday, making stops at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and Target. I was exhausted by the time I got home and I was by myself; no boys to get in and out of shopping carts and the car. Wednesday we met friends to play at a local business full of fun activities for the kids and on Thursday, we checked out the new aquarium in town. Again, I was tired after each of these days, but enjoyed seeing the boys having fun. My stamina is not what it used to be and it is going to take some time to build it back up again.
When people hear that I am getting out and about, or see me out and about, they are excited for me. They are glad to hear that my restrictions have been lifted, as that must mean that I am healed, physically, at least. What most people don’t realize is that getting out and doing anything right now is a struggle. I cried in the middle of Hobby Lobby because I had to pick out flowers to place on Kyleigh’s grave for Memorial Day. I walked around Michael’s forever trying to find the perfect arrangement of red flowers, because that’s what the boys requested for Kyleigh. Target was exhausting on every level. I hadn’t been in so long that I forgot where a lot of things were and had to double back more than once, making me even more tired physically. Every time I turned the corner of an aisle, I prepared myself emotionally, just in case I saw a newborn baby. You don’t realize how many babies are out there until you really don’t want to see one. Our play date on Wednesday was successful. Not too many others were there that day, the kids all got along and I had some time to have genuine conversation with a friend I have known since at least Kindergarten. I left feeling pretty good and thinking to myself that I can do this. Going to the aquarium on Thursday was another fun day, especially because Grandma went with us. The boys were excellent and I powered through seeing the occasional infant. Getting out of the house really is good for me, I realize that. I also realize that it presents a whole other set of triggers and by today, Friday, I am exhausted emotionally and physically.
I made it through this week. Another week down. This was the last week of school for many and Memorial Day is this weekend. For most, this marks the kick-off of summer. When Garrison saw that the pool was open today, he clapped from his car seat and said, “Yay! Summer’s here!” The timing of me being able to resume regular activity at the same time as summer starting is not necessarily a good thing. It means that time is marching on. A new season is beginning, but I am still stuck in the old one. Rodger and I mapped out the next few weekends and before I knew it, we were into July. This weekend is Memorial Day, the next is our family tradition of making the drive to ride Thomas the Train. A free weekend after that is before Father’s Day, followed by our anniversary weekend. The next weekend gets into the Fourth of July and Oliver’s birthday. I know not everyone cares what our weekend plans are, but this was a huge realization to me that life is moving on whether we want it to or not. It’s going to be the middle of July before I know it and while I am excited to celebrate my son’s fifth birthday, I am so saddened by the fact that Kyleigh won’t be here for it. Every holiday, every family celebration, every trip to Target, is a reminder that Kyleigh isn’t here for it.
We have plans to travel later in the summer to see family and I am not excited about it. Rodger and Oliver were to make this trip by themselves and I was to stay home with Garrison and the baby. Now that there is no baby, Garrison and I are going too. How can I be excited when every time I think about it, it reminds me that Kyleigh’s death is the reason that I am going? I am going for the boys, for they are the reason that I do everything right now. It is their lives and their time that make me get up every day and power through. Their lives are continuing. Their time is marching on. I don’t want my boys to miss out on life or time because I am too sad to take them to the park where I might see a baby girl. Just please realize what a struggle it is for me to do so.