Today I saw my therapist (I used to call him my Crazy Doc - as in the Doc that keeps me from going Crazy - but Aaron said it sounds more like I'm saying that Doctor that is Crazy... so I stopped). Things are kind of piling up on me and it was good that I went. I actually almost canceled, but forgot to - and since I'm cheap (you have to pay for the session if you don't cancel within 24 hours) I went.
One of the things I've been struggling with is a way to commemorate Nora. At first, I thought the tree would be the right thing. Help bring closure (whatever the hell that means). Well, it didn't. Putting her ashes under that tree didn't make me feel any better. Add in the fact that the tree looks like it's dying, and I was stressing out. Fortunately, we had a tree guy come and look at it, and it is in fact still alive - just stressed. Which makes sense with all the heat we've had. He told us that a new tree can look rough for up to two years after you plant it. I feel better, but not all the way.
I have a necklace with a very small single diamond on it that I got when Cam was born. I love it and I never take it off. I was trying to think of something similar to do for the girls... and just never could come up with anything. I finally decided to get some earrings. I have 2 holes in my left ear (remnants of the '80's) so my idea was to have an earring with Nora's birthstone in that second hole. I would leave it in all the time. I decided to get two citrines (the girl's birthstone) and one blue zircon (Cam's birthstone). I would wear the girls in my left ear, and Cam's in the single hole on the right. I found some simple hoops on Etsy that I could keep in all the time. They arrived on Tuesday and I put them right in. The one that was for Nora? The citrine freaking cracked.
I know it's silly. It's just a tree and an earring. They don't REALLY represent Nora... but seriously. SERIOUSLY. Can I catch a break? My good friend told me that maybe it's a sign that Nora it meant to only live in my heart - but I just wanted something nice and small... and it seems like every effort fails. The Esty seller is sending me another stone, but it was just bugging me.
So - he helped me talk through those things, and also help me with the fact that I can't stop thinking about what our lives would be like now if Nora was still here. Because I can't stop thinking about that either. You ever think back on little decisions that changed your life drastically? Like what college you chose or what little thing you did that made you be able to meet your spouse? Well, if Nora hadn't died, my life would be drastically different. We wouldn't have the kids in daycare (where we now have lots of friends). Life would certainly be more hectic. I would have had to get a new car, and a load of other huge expenses. I'm sure I would be under massive pressures. But I'm not. I'm under different pressures, but life is good. The kids are good. Aaron and my relationship is good. And he said something that helped - you can think about what your life 'could have been' - but that isn't what it is. Your life is what it is, and you are doing the best you can with it. And he is right.
And something else struck me this week. While I was feeling crappy, Mel wrote a post on jealousy. This part really hit me: I’m not a fan of this idea that we need to be happy 100% of the time. We were given this enormous palette of emotions for a reason. I don’t think it’s our job to always try to realign towards happiness. I think it’s okay to remain for a while in sadness and explore it as long as we don’t allow ourselves to inadvertently board up all the exits out of the emotion.
She is right. Why do we always strive to be happy? Happiness is great, but you should feel sad sometimes. Or angry. Or jealous. So the fact that I'm sad about losing Nora every once in a while - that's good. Or jealous of new moms that have the luxury of complaining about the fact that they are having trouble breastfeeding (I get jealous often of mom's that didn't spend the first three months of their babies lives freaking out that they may die. Sigh). And that I'm feeling these emotions is good too. Not only good, but normal and healthy. And that is OK.
Bah. Sorry to dump all this out at you - but it's good for me to get it out, somehow.