Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lots going on...

I feel like SO much is going on right now. In reality, it is.

But I also feel like there's nothing about which I want to write.

In reality, there is.

I just haven't really been able to bring myself to do it.

On Sunday, I had a near panic-attack. Truly. A breakdown. I had to make a decision that I have been seriously worrying about for a long while. And I had, simply HAD to decide that day. No more "Maybe," or "I hope to,"....had to decide, knowing and feeling like I was just in a NO-WIN (what's new?) situation.

If I just had a little more time...I feel stronger today than I did a week or two ago...which is stronger than I was two months ago.

Every now and then, I look in the mirror, and see a little, teeny piece of me.

It's only for a second...because then it IMMEDIATELY jolts me into the reality that the teeny piece of me I see I also see in his chin...or my thinking about how he shared my love for music, or that the little smile I am able to muster is NOTHING like what I used to be able to beam thinking of all that was to come when my sweet boy was born.

If only I had a little more time to feel stronger and more up to it.

But I didn't.

So, I decided I was not going to go back to work. I have been planning to go back in mid-May...thinking that we'd have this IVF cycle out of the way and I could finish the year and give my sweethearts something other than, "Yeah, I had this teacher in 2nd grade and she had a baby who died and I never saw her again." I wanted to be able to do SOMETHING I chose...I controlled. I wanted to help take some burden off of John in being responsible for everything. I wanted to feel SOMETHING normal.

And Sunday, I realized that I had to chuck all those 'wants' into a very big bucket of unfilled wants I tend to every day...because the truth is that for me, there really isn't anything normal anymore.

This is all uncharted territory, and as much as John can say stuff like, "Honey, take your emotions out of it...think of it as just a job." I just can't do that.

Teaching has not ever been, nor will it ever be, just a job.

It's little lives, who expect you to be the same Mrs.Ennis who calls them "Honey" and "Sugar" and who bounces all over the building smiling and waving and making silly faces at every kid she sees. Little lives who feel like the world revolves around them because I TELL them that to me, it does! Little lives who have no idea that my life has changed forever and I just try and make it through each day the best way I can.

It's walking back into a world that WAS normal...and is now SO. VERY. NOT.

The thought sort of reminds me of opening up a coffin.

I know that if I went back, being the type of person I am, I would absolutely give them 100% and more...that's how I have always been--even when I certainly didn't feel happy with circumstances, kids NEVER should suffer for what's going on in the lives of 'their' adults. I have no doubt that they probably, after the initial novelty wore off, would not even know much of a difference between the Mrs. Ennis that left in October and the one who came back to them next week. I'd work my bottom off to make sure of that.

But at what cost? It takes so much for me to put on my game face every day. I'm getting better at it, but it still takes a lot.

If I gave my all to those kids, and I would, what would I have left for John?

For Matthew?

For more children?

For me?

And so, after literally torturing myself with what-to-do, John and I decided that it just was too early.

I have not even really been able to do what I've needed to do in grieving for and missing Matthew in the last few months because of the medicines I've been taking and the 'optimism' I've been forced to muster so that I don't have the guilt of sabotaging any of our IVF efforts.

It's just too early.

Couple these torturous feelings with the fact that Mother's Day is coming up and honestly, I've been a basket-case inside. Granted, I feel a lot lighter having made a decision that I really feel is the best decision for ALL involved. But it still breaks my heart in missing out on those kids.

I really wish that I could go to sleep on Saturday night and wake up on Monday morning.

Yes, I'd rather skip Mother's Day.

I celebrated one of the happiest days of my life last year when I had a sweet little Baby M tucked safely inside on Mother's Day. I got cards, flowers, lots of sweet little belly rubs...and I just couldn't WAIT until THIS Mother's Day, knowing that I'd FINALLY have a precious, precious little one after so, so many years.

I know everyone grieves differently, and honestly, I have ALREADY been so overwhelmed with so many people pouring out love and compassion for me this Mother's Day...letting me know they do not forget Matthew or me and that this is a special day simply for the joy of Matthew's little life.

But this is one of those days, things, times, situations...whatever you want to call it...I just want to be not happening.

At our support group last night, a great analogy of grieving was given. Imagine a little boy riding his bike, fast and furiously. He falls, tumbles and scrapes the heck out of his knee. Big time. He goes running to mom and dad and they plop him up on the sink, getting ready to clean it out. He's just sitting there, sort of numb and wondering how he messed up that bike ride. Then mom and dad get out the neosporin and bandaids, but first get the washcloth ready so they can clean the wound. The little boy SCREAMS! Why? He knows that as soon as that washcloth hits that big, gaping and gory wound, it is going to H*U*R*T! Of course the parents have to wash it out; if they don't, it will get infected. So, as painful as it is for him, they do clean and treat it and bandage it up, it heals.

It's a heckuva wound, though, so it takes a while. And eventually, it scars up and that little boy, even as an adult, every now and then will run his hands over the scar and remember, "Man...THAT was painful."

I'm looking at Mother's Day as the BIGGEST WASHCLOTH EVER. Headed for the BIGGEST WOUND EVER.

And I'm screaming. Like mad. Just on the inside.

I know it has to be done. I just don't want to do it.

I DID think of something I could do on Mother's Day, though.

It makes me cry just to type it. (Cry more, rather.)

I am going to go to Cheesecake Factory and have a piece of their Blackout Chocolate cake. I may have to choke it down, since I'm back to normal with NOT liking chocolate, but...

That was Matthew's absolute favorite, and since he's the reason I'm a mother, I feel it only fitting.


  1. I always enjoy reading your blogs. They always make me cry. What a sweet thing you're doing on Mother's Day. Maybe I'll eat something special that Lily loved (hashbrowns, cereal with strawberries, and yes, she absolutely loved chocolate too.)

  2. oh lori...... (((hugs)))

    love your analogy. giant washcloth... yeah, that's about right:(

  3. A difficult decision indeed. Only one that you can make. You'll be in my prayers Lori.

  4. ((hugs)) I was a teacher too, there was no way I could have gone back. There would have been too many questions, the parents were nosy and up my ass, I felt bad for a day or two, but it was all about me and should be all about you and your family. I am SO glad that I didn't go back to that stress!! Happy Mothers Day.

  5. I know that is a really hard decision. I made the same decision almost a year to the day. You're so right. We are not the same people we were before our loss. And I think the most important thing we can do right now is be kind and gentle on ourselves. I've gone back a few times to visit my kids. Of course, I cried like a baby the first time, but it was nice to receive all the love and hugs.

    Mother's Day will be tough. I like your idea for how to spend the day. I have kind of blocked the day out myself.

    Sending love to you!

  6. Lori your blog was sent to me by grieve out loud .... you write down everything i am feeling as well :( i wish i could wipe that day away for you but then i have to face the dreaded 6 month anniversary tomorrow and i feel the same about that too :( i hope with all my heart that it passes quietly for you & peacefully...

  7. Lori~You never cease to amaze me. I can only imagine how hard the decision to not go back next week was. Since our family first met you we knew you were special (maybe a little crazy for giving me your cell & home phone numbers...Wait you gave me Johns Cell # and he and I had a wonderful talk during one of my panic striken moments). Never for a second doubt the impact that you have made on EVERY student you come in contact with lives. I have talked to parents of kids who you never even taught who adore you. Even though you were only with this group of children for a few months this year I have NO doubt at all that they too will remember their Mrs. Ennis the way my own child will. The best hugger, coolest ever teacher, who made school not a big scary place they worried about going...yet a place they could not wait to get up the next morning and get to so they could see what that days adventures would be. Hokie wins (chomp chomp Pop)*wink wink*, DOGS in class, am hugs, pm hugs...heck just hugs because. You have given so much more than your very all to so many kids for so long now and I dont doubt in my heart that you will again someday do so. But for now, its time for you to give yourself & your family those hugs and love and attention. Never second guess yourself, you are doing the right thing. And those kids are not going to remember you as the teacher who was pregnant, I am sure each of them, as my own does will remember you not only as Matthews mommy BUT also as the bestest teacher they have ever had :) We love you

  8. You do it, girl. You go eat that cake. For you and Matthew.

  9. I've been dreading Mother's Day too, for similar reasons. Mother's Day last year was such an exciting time for me. I was so close to my mid-pregnancy ultrasound. I was showing and loving it, and I also was getting cards as everyone in my life was so thrilled for me. A week or so later, my world came crashing down when we got the ultrasound baring bad news. So for me, Mother's Day was the last really joyous memory I have of my pregnant. Well, I can't say the last joyous memory - that's not right. But it was the last INNOCENT memory I have. So I do get it. I really do.

    Thinking of you.

  10. Oh Lori... Mother's Day really is salt in the wound (or a giant washcloth) for so many woman. It is so tragic.

    My first baby that I lost was due 5/5. I remember vividly when the EDD rolled around.... and then Mother's Day was a few days later. That week was terrible and I was a total mess. Inconsolable. Medicated. :(

    I will be thinking of you this Sunday and hope that you feel the love and prayers. I will gladly eat some chocolate in Matthew's honor! (twist my arm).

    Love you!

  11. Lori, I wish I had a teacher as kind as you! Your students are so very fortunate to have you in their lives. That said, it's good to hear that you made your decision about what's best for you, and also that John supports it. Good for you.

    Dreading Mother's Day here, too. Last year, it was about three weeks after my miscarriage. I *would* have been 20 weeks, so it was a milestone I had mapped out. This year I have two babies in heaven. I'm just not placing any expectations on the day. I read and do laundry on Sundays...

  12. (((LORI)))

    What a treaure you are to have those little childrens best interest at heart, and to realize that you are not ready to go back to teaching. I think you are BRAVE for making this decision, and I think it is the right one for you right now.

    I agree with Mothers Day and your analogy. And although Zac is not here, his twin brother is...once again there is a milestone oh so bitter sweet. I dream of what it would have been like to have both my sons here...ALL my sons here, to share this day with me.
    Bitter sweet...

    I know how hard it will be to go for that piece of cheesecake...but I think it is a precious way of sharing the day with Matthew. I wish I could be there with you.

    You are in my heart sweet friend!

    Heather (heathershope - HP)

  13. Lori,
    As a parent to one of the students you had this year, I can say that I completely and totally agree with what Jennifer Richardson said... I can not add or subtract from her words for they are so very very true.

    This mother’s day I will also have a piece of chocolate cheese cake in Matthew's memory also; and as I bless it, I will ask God to blow on your wound as the wash cloth is being applied, knowing that it wont take the sting all the way out, but that it will help make it a little more bearable.

    Praying for you always and double on Sunday.


  14. Lori,
    I so hear what you are saying about Mother's Day. :( I share the feelings that you are feeling right now, and to be frank... they suck. And no one, other than people who are going through what we are going through, will ever understand.
    I'm praying for you, especially Sunday. Praying that the day may be peaceful, that it might go quickly, and that you may be overwhelmed with love.
    The cheesecake is probably one of the sweetest things ever. Enjoy it, and enjoy the memory.
    I just had one of Lilly's favorites today...spicy chicken from Wendy's lol. She used to go crazy when I ate it.
    Prayers coming your way sweet lady!


  15. I've been thinking of you alot lately. Sorry it's been so rough:(. I like your idea and I think I'll have a blueraspberry icee In honor of Gracie since that's what she liked. Sending a big hug to you for Mothers Day.

  16. So sorry that the last few days have been so tough! I know exactly how you feel about work and Mother's Day. I will be thinking about you and praying! Many hugs and thoughts coming your way!

  17. Oh dear, dear Lori. I wish you didn't have to face Mother's Day as well. I remember that a few years back ALL I wanted for Mother's Day was a referral. I didn't get it and was just so upset and wanted to just forget the day. The referral came on Monday. NOW... I know that in NO WAY compares to your situation, but I SO SO SO want you to know that in a very, teeny, tiny way, I can understand that LONGING that surrounds Mother's Day. Spend time thinking about and remembering YOUR MOM on Mother's Day too. What a wonderful woman she must have been to have raised a woman like you!! I think you made the right choice on going back to school. You need to continue, for as long as you can, to take care of YOU first. It's that analogy of the airplane and the oxygen mask. Love ya' friend!! You know I'll be thinking of you on Mother's Day -- you are a WONDERFUL Mom!!!

  18. (((Lori)))

    All of the children in your life are so fortunate to have you. You are a wonderful mom to Matthew. Enjoy that cake.

  19. Enjoy your chocolate cake Lori! I wish you could skip Sunday as well .. heck I wish I could skip Sunday!


  20. Enjoy your chocolate cake!! I too wish you could skip Mother's Day ... heck, I wish I could skip Mother's Day!


  21. I went back to work 4 months after the twins BUT I had been a labor & delivery nurse. Yeah, no way. I went back to taking care of old, sick people. It was all I could stand.

    I like the Mother's Day analogy. I remember that first one after. (((hugs))) to you.


  22. Lori, I'm so glad you made that decision about work. What a weight gone! More than anything right now, you need to take care of yourself and this is the best way to do it. I agree, it would have been much too draining for when you are focusing on something so much more important - you, John, and your family.

    It will hurt, but what a beautiful way to remember Matthew. I too, am remembering my Julia that day. I think remembering our babies by honouring them is a lovely way to spend the day.

    Sending many hugs to you!! XOXO

  23. I am so glad you aren't going back to work!! Those kids know you love them and they won't forget that!

    Been praying for you both this week. I love you guys!

    We'd be happy to eat any leftover chocolate cake...hate picturing you choke it down. In Matthew's sweet memory....choke away.

  24. I'm so sorry that you are hurting. You along with some other mom's I know who have lost children will have a hard time tomorrow.
    Although I don't know how you must be feeling, because I've never had to go through what has happened to you, I do know one thing. You ARE a mother. You were and always will be Matthew's mother.
    This mother's day will be especially hard. I loved your analogy about the hurt knee. This first time is gonna hurt a lot. This hole that you must feel in your heart will always be there. Hopefully the hole will become a little smaller, a little more manageable, a little more like a place you can go and remember and not a place where you fall into that hole.
    I used to be a teacher, and I know the emotional drain it can have on you. You are exactly right. You need to take care of yourself first.
    I loved your video/blog you made. So beautiful.

  25. It really just clicked with me for the first time, truly ever. I am a Speech Pathologist (though I haven't done it since we moved in August), and I lost my love for it. I had no drive to do it, and I could never give my kids all of me. I LOVED therapy, adored those children, missed them when they weren't around, and then I didn't anymore, and that wasn't fair. And I just put two and two together, that when I lost Layla, I was different. I know I've felt guilty for not giving my kiddos (patients) my all, but couldn't put my finger on it.

    I support your decision to not go back. I don't think children should have to suffer for what 'their' adults are going through. Poor things will have things enough of their own to deal with one day! But it's part of why I dove into working with youth, they were older, they didn't need the same things, and they didn't expect the same giddyness, and they loved me so deeply, so fully, so honestly. My youth helped save me both times and sometimes, I feel like a cheater b/c I think I get more from them that they do from me!

    I am sorry I haven't been keeping up with your blog, I didn't have it marked and wasn't getting your updates, so glad we're fb friends too!!