While she was alive, I was fixated on her. All else fell by the wayside. But not only was everything off to the side, it was so far down my list of priorities. It's strange to think I had more time while she was here, but it's true. I don't quite understand with how much it took to care for her physically, mentally, and emotionally. I try not to put too much thought into how, but maybe because I was in a flux and we were unable to truly live our lives.
Since she died, life has been moving. I'd venture to say it's because we were in a holding pattern before, and transitioning back into a more normal kind of life takes some getting used to. Whatever the reason, for me, it's been both exciting and uncomfortable at times.
I can't adequately, or accurately explain what moving forward with what feels like a piece of me missing feels like. I think that's one of the reasons I now find it more difficult to write here sometimes. The conflict I felt before has become more peaceful, but yet evolved into finding a new way without her entirely. It both makes me happy and sad to know she's no longer here. What an odd way to spend the duration of my days.
Ever since she died, I've had to remind myself - there was a me before the we. Beforehand, I had a strong sense of myself, but as the years after the accident marched on, Meek and me understandably became much more intertwined. Especially within the last years of her life. We spoke our very own secret language. I knew her every feeling, emotion, need, want, like, dislike, and so on. In many ways, we became one. We spent hours upon hours together - day and night. For better or worse - in sickness and health. I tried to give her as much independence as I could, for both of us, but due to circumstance, we were us - whether we liked it, and even sometimes not.
There are many times I still feel odd without her by my side. I have to remember how to be a single, independent person again - one who will always be a mom - but yet, isn't physically a mom to my very special little anymore. Navigating the world is so different now that she's gone, rather than when she was here and hurt. There are more general questions asked, which means we need to figure out how and when to answer. Sometimes I need to assess the situation and see how I'm feeling? Am I strong enough to endure a line of questioning, or will I lose it and cry in front of strangers? Yes, it's important to sometimes size up a situation in order to know how to answer, but often times, I'm blindsided and give my accidental deer caught in the headlights. I'm new to this, and in my life up until now, most everyone has known us and our situation. But this is what I've wanted, to move to a place where no one knows our name, our story, or what happened - that is - unless we choose to let it out. That's why I loved the new gym I joined a year ago so much. Not one person knew anything about me. It was my little secret - and for that reason that single place provided a refuge for me to come and go as I pleased. It was a place I could truly go to escape for a moment.
But anyway, in this time since she's been gone, I've had to figure out how to live like I used to. Like before that ball of fire looked my way in Guatemala and just knew she was going to take my life and rearrange it. That she did, because often times, I feel there's almost no semblance of the person who peered in and locked eyes with that cute little Guastatoyan, all clad in her red, white and blue best. And actually, I'm all good with that, because not for one millisecond would I want to be the person I was before Aviana.
But...now without her and maintaining the endless wake which followed - I have some work to do. Who am I, without her? Sometimes that's easy, sometimes I stumble. Sometimes I think it's because I'm missing her and know that each step forward is just another away from her.
I miss her extra these past few weeks. To be honest, I don't even know what I'm writing. I sat down to say something completely different but this is what appeared.
I again can't post what I've been wanting for what seems forever. Most all our pictures didn't transfer over. I'll have to continue my search. Lesson learned, never use computer and dialed in the same sentence.
In the meantime...
This was Rainey's first picture in our new house. We had just gotten the keys and this is how I would find her every time I'd go to the car for something else.
What a beauty.
We have this great new neighbor. Everyday she takes us to a new place somewhere in the forest. Rainey loves running wild and free through the woods.
This is the reservoir behind where I went to high school. I love this picture so much. When Rainey sees water, she can't resist. She runs and jumps off the wall.
We live right across the street from the lake. Rainey was born for the water, so she's in heaven. My dad comes over sometimes with his dog Ronda.
This is one of my favorite pictures. The night before we'd just hung what we call our "Rainey" picture. First thing the next morning, I turned around to this. It just doesn't get any sweeter.
Dave works right next door to his absolute favorite coffee shop. How convenient ; ) They just recently opened, and I agree...their coffee is the best!
Last night we took Rainey for a sunset swim. Yes, that's her swimming in beside the ducks. It was really cold out, but of course she didn't mind a bit. She wanted to keep going all night long. We finally tried to explain that it was dark, she didn't care.
It was one of the most beautiful nights I have ever seen.