Lately, after the babies go to bed, I am more than likely alone. Bo and Steve are usually at football and Mia and Wes are out playing in the neighborhood, soaking in the last bit of joy that summer has to offer their childhood. My favorite thing to do lately is to sit in my backyard. I watch the sun sink lower in the sky, feel the warmth of the air, listen to the squirrels chirp in the trees and I just sit. I could do it for hours. From the outside, it looks like a whole lot of nothing, but this is where I go to soul search.
Last night I did the babies usual bedtime ritual and then found myself on a corner bench, under a shady tree in my backyard.
I could hear the neighbor kids laughing and enjoying life while they raced on their bikes down the street. It has been so long since life was care free. I mean, when is life really care free for any parent, but I thought about it and it hit me, I haven’t had a reason to really laugh in a long time. The past week or so has been hard. I haven’t cried a lot, to be honest, but I don’t laugh a lot either. I am starting to feel a numbness. A lack of feeling is present. There are deep emotions that have fueled me for the past 9 months since losing Hayes and lately, it is missing.
I heard those kids laugh last night and a question worked itself into my head. How can they be living so freely and yet here I am, just feet away from them feeling lack luster about everything. What happened to my life? My magical story? I found a little bit of jealousy creep in, for these 10 year old kids racing on their bikes.
Here I was feeling sorry for myself and it hit me how selfish I was acting. I live within my four walls. I smile and wave hello to the neighbors, but that is surface. It goes without saying that there is nothing as gut wrenching as losing a child…I have had to face the depths of serious anguish. But, we all have a story. We all have to stay steady in our own gusts of wind. While one persons gusts may not be as intense as mine, we all go through those times when we have to dig deep and keep pushing against the winds that try to tear us down. We all have a story.
The only way to get out of the fog, is to reach out for others. To look outside myself and be aware of those that are in need. I know that is what Hayes wants. It is the only solution for selfishness…”to rise we have to lift others.”
I am sure all of these feelings are just part of the grieving process, but I don’t like it. I don’t like living my life closed inside myself. Life is meant to be vibrant and I have had lots of moments of vibrancy since Hayes passed away. It was in these bright moments that I have felt a greater purpose and found a need outside of myself. No man is an island. I will give myself an hour or two of floating alone, but after, I will lace up my shoes and find someone else to lift.