Today I found myself kicking butt and taking names… well, at least I seemed to be more on my game. I made sure our lenders had me on all the accounts, and I faxed/emailed out copies of powers of attorney and deployment orders. I called legal and made our appointment tomorrow for the macabre task of updating our wills. On a happy note, I also sent in my diploma information form to Troy University. Today, I felt like I was on my “A” game. I felt in control and slightly empowered. Yeah…. okay.
Oh, denial is a happy, happy place.
Days. Hours. Even Minutes. That’s what our countdown is down to.
It hits me in the strangest of moments like doing dishes while I watch my boys play soccer with Jason in the backyard, surrounded by crisp, falling leaves. Such a Norman Rockwell moment. But bittersweet isn’t just a chocolate or a song by Big Head Todd. No, it’s these moments. It’s watching my boys play and wrestle with their dad, knowing that it won’t be happening again soon. It’s hearing Brody giggle while his daddy tickles him, and knowing that despite any efforts I make, Brody won’t remember Jason when he gets home. He’ll only know a face and a picture, and it breaks my heart.
So, in this spirit and trying to keep my head above water, I’ve decided that I need to respect the process. Because denial is fading, and reality is going to hit very hard. So here are my promises to myself…
I promise that I will allow myself to wallow and stress eat… for a few days, or a few pounds, whichever comes first. But then, I’ll stop.
I promise that when I want to yell at the kids, I will stop, take a breath, and decide if it’s really worth raising my voice over or not. After all, I’m the only parent they’ll have at their disposal.
I promise that I will write Jason every night. No matter how tired or crabby I am.
I promise that I will not overschedule myself.
I promise that when I realize that I have overscheduled myself, because let’s face it, I’m overscheduled on an hourly basis, I will evaluate what needs to be let go.
I promise that I will let it go. Perhaps it will be pried from my unwilling fingers, but I will let it go.
I promise that no matter how cranky and tired I get of changing diapers, screaming boys, referee’ing fights, and nazi toddlers, I will remember that Jason would give anything for even those five minutes.
I promise that I will not hermit. Well, I’ll leave the house at least a couple of times a week. After all, we always run out of milk, and I have yet to break down and buy a cow.
I promise that when I haven’t left the house in a week, I will call someone who will drag my butt out. Hopefully these girls know who they are and will repsond accordingly: with pliers and a lunch reservation.
I promise that I will use my respite care to grab some mommy time.
I promise that I will not sleep in the middle of the bed, nor will I encroach on his side of the closet nor will I move his chair at the table, so that when he comes home, he can just slide back in to where he belongs.
I promise I will kill the spiders. Okay, I’ll suck them up in the vacuum, but either way, they’ll be gone.
I promise to pay attention to the wear on the tires and when the oil needs to be changed in the cars.
I promise I’ll find out who I am when Jason’s not here buffer the outside world for me.
I promise myself so much, but mostly, I’m just promising that I’ll make it. This year will pass, and at the end there will be four little boys (who hopefully haven’t been yelled at too much) and myself.
I promise we’ll make it.
So these bittersweet moments are ones that I’ll savor. I’ll bite the tears back when they prick at my eyes and remember that these days are for basking in the normalcy that won’t last for long. And besides…. I’ve got a game plan.