Recently, I made a decision to change my course in life. For almost 29 years I traveled the same road with little thought about taking a detour or going in another direction. This path seemed to fit me and my once upon a time life before Devastation Day.
However, when life happened and my mind was short circuited by the shock of losing Amy, everything changed. Even my most comfortable shoes hurt. The robe I wore on “that day” became unwearable. The summer top I had on the last time I hugged Amy after the doctors told us they had done all they could to bring her back is hidden in a drawer. The same top I wore for her funeral continues to hang in my closet never to be worn again. Do you keep clothing that reminds you of the worst days in your life? Is the irrational voice in my head wrong as it worries that a day may come when these items may become sacred because of that last contact with my Amy?
Many familiar steps I traveled pre-Devaststion Day day now present new challenges. A secret countdown started as I retraced those steps and traveled down Memory Lane. Memory Lane is not always easy to revisit. A countdown which kept asking me how much longer can you do this? “This” being trying to live a similar life without Amy? “This” meaning doing anything that required so much effort?
Yesterday, while walking my dog with my husband, I tripped over an uneven sidewalk scattered with what I refer to as sticky balls. Hmmm. Sounds similar to my life now as I travel in an unbalanced world surrounded by thorny encounters. Many times I have heard how grievers are accident prone because they are distracted and stressed. Yet I admit as I started out on my walk, I noticed my sneakers were fitting rather loosely and I wondered if I should stop to retie my shoelaces. Not 5 minutes later, I hit that concrete sidewalk with such force that I can still hear the thump as first my knees, then my stomach and chest, and finally my face hit. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how my dog was the first one to race to my rescue with my husband trailing right behind him.
When we started our walk, I noticed a man sitting in his car parked at the intersection as we crossed the street on our regular walking route. That same man had a perfect view of my fall yet never exited his car. He made a choice to ignore my fall. As I sat on the ground trying to get myself together before standing up, I looked over at him. Even then I thought of Amy dying and how some people just don’t want to get involved for fear they may have to do something. As my husband helped me hobble back home, I glared into his car to see if he was even awake. He stared right back at me as I suppressed the urge to flip him one of my fingers in acknowledgement of his choice.
As soon as my husband assisted me into our home and then scurried to find ice for the bump which was growing above my eye, I found myself crying “I want Amy.” “I need Amy.” I don’t want to take a frightening tumble without her. For a moment I also confess wondering as my heart was racing whether I would have a heart attack from the stress of this fall? Then my voice of reason comforted me by reminding me that my heart survived Devastation Day, planning and attending a funeral as well as burying my youngest child. If anything was going to do me in, surely it was that.
Today my body feels as though I went a few rounds in the ring. Today I wear my battle wounds on the outside. Seems to be a perfect match to the grief and bruises I carry on the inside after existing 19 months without Amy.
Always remembering Amy.