Tuesday, 30 November 2010

When people you love let you down- part two

Maybe I need to trade my family in for a new one. Or maybe I just need to accept the fact that some members of my family are amazingly self centered. Two weeks ago I posted this story about how someone dear to me had let me down. A couple of days later I retold the story to my sister and explained to her about how upset this incident had made me. She was very supportive and had some very kind words to offer. So what happened last week was doubly surprising because I thought she would have known better.

To start with, I should explain that my sister has always been self centered. Not in a conceited, "I'm better than everyone" way, but more in a "the whole world revolves around me" way. No matter what the situation is or who it should be about, she finds a way to make it about her. So really, this conversation isn't out of character for her, but it upset me nonetheless.

Anyway, after Thanksgiving dinner I went upstairs where my sister was getting her things ready for bed. We had not had any alone time this visit so this was our first time to chat and catch up. Since we were finally away from all the holiday craziness I was expecting (and hoping for) her to ask how I was doing. But instead she decided to take this opportunity to complain to me about unhappy she is and how bad her life is. She was telling me all about her financial troubles and how her husband doesn't help out enough at home. She cried about how she wishes she had more friends and a better job. She spent almost an hour crying about herself and not once did she even think to see how I was doing. I just sat there thinking, "Are you serious?? You think your life is bad?? My baby just died and you're crying because you can't afford to have people for dinner parties??" Of course I sat there and said nothing because that's what I do.

I'm back home now and she has just sent me an email asking me if I'm mad at her. I guess at some point she figured out that I wasn't myself after our very one sided conversation. I don't usually tell her when she upsets me because then she overreacts and somehow finds a way to twist around what I say in a way that makes her the victim. So usually it's easier for me to just ignore it. But something in her email struck me. Two things she said make me think I should reply. One is that she asked me to please reply. The other thing is that she feels like we're drifting apart,, which in a way we are because I am pulling away from her because it can be so exhausting trying to deal with her sometimes.

So I think I will let her know how I feel. Yikes, I may be stepping into a hurricane without a raincoat. Wish me luck.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Back Home

Well we made it back to London. Now I'm trying to overcome jet lag and unwind from the trip. Three weeks is a long time to be away from home. I still have lots to blog about but need another day or so to get my life sorted and gather my thoughts. Until then I'm trying to de-stress by remembering how beautiful it was when we were in Lake Tahoe. Here's a picture I took while I was there.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Here, there, and everywhere.

What a whirlwind of a week it's been. We have been from Southern California all the way to Lake Tahoe, then back to Northern California and now we're back in Southern California again. I'm tired just thinking about all that driving. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and then we leave Saturday to go back to London. Lots to think about and post but not much private time to do it at the moment. Will post more when I can.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Ashes to Ashes

Yesterday at sunset, my husband and I scattered the ashes of our son. It was one of the most painful and beautiful things I've ever had to do. We chose Lake Tahoe as the place to to it because it's one of the most beautiful places in the world and also because I've been coming to Tahoe since I was a kid and have many happy memories here.

It was a simple and beautiful event. We went out to the end of a small pier on the beach where we are staying. We brought out a candle that we bought especially for this day and also a bottle of champagne. We popped the cork and toasted our son. Then we sat while the sun went down and cried and hugged each other. We didn't say much, I think it was better that way. Once the sun went down we scattered his ashes over the water and watched as they drifted away.

Today I am feeling lighter. I am so happy that we chose this place and this time to honor the memory of our angel baby.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Pedicures are like magic.

So today I looked down at my toes and realized that I just had to do something about them! We are on vacation so it's not like I can just pop down to my local day spa and get them done. But luckily for me, the resort town we are in has a fantastic place. I had a very relaxing pedicure which lasted for an hour. I could have sat there all day. Plus my toes look human again. Sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest difference.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

When people you love let you down.

I've had a few really good days so I should have been expecting a crash. What I didn't expect was who would trigger it. I stayed a few days with my grandmother who struggled with infertility and multiple miscarriages when she was young. She was also there to support my mother when she gave birth to my brother who was stillborn. So one would think that she would be the perfect person to turn to when dealing with the loss of a child. Wrong!

We had a big family dinner to start with which was nice because it's hard to try and get to see everyone in the short time we are in town. Once everyone left I was expecting (and really hoping for) some time to chat just her and I.

To say I was upset at our conversation is a huge understatement. It was bad enough that she didn't ever ask how I was doing. It was even worse that she spent the entire night talking to me about how upset she is about her relationship with her son (my uncle). **A bit of background,,, basically they have had a falling out and are not speaking. He is married and has a 1 and a half year old daughter. As a result of the estrangement she has only seen her grandchild once.  It is a very sad situation and I am hopeful that one day they will work things out. But there is nothing I can do to fix things**

During our conversation, she cried about how much she wants to be able to spend time with him and his baby girl. She then went on to cry on and on about how special babies are and how terrible it is that she can't see this baby. On and on and on and on!!! She spent the entire evening talking about herself and how sad she is. Are you kidding me??? Does she not realize that I am sitting here dying inside because I have lost my baby. Does it not occur to her that perhaps she shouldn't be going on and on about how special babies are when she knows that I would like nothing more than to be able to be with my baby?? Does she not understand that I am grieving and really need my grandmother to be there for me??

At one point when she was talking about how badly she wants to be able to hold her baby grand-daughter I almost snapped. I was so tempted to tell her that if she really wanted to hold a baby, I had my son's ashes in an urn in the other room and she could hold him if she wanted. I just couldn't believe she could be so insensitive to my feelings. Not to mention the fact that I feel like I'm being manipulated. I know full well that she is hoping that I will share this conversation with my uncle to make him feel bad for not talking to her.

I am so angry that what should have been a wonderful few days spent with her have ended with me feeling hurt and angry. My husband thinks I should say something to her about it, but I know that I probably won't.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Wine and rings

I am going to be getting a new ring with our son's name engraved inside. It's sort of a push present, plus ring upgrade, plus memorial all in one. I normally love jewelery shopping but this time it's different. We only have a few days on our own this trip and I couldn't find exactly what I wanted so at this point I still have no new ring. I think I have decided what I want but am starting to stress a bit that we won't have time to get back to the shop to get it. I know it sounds a bit superficial to be stressing about buying jewelery, but it's so much more than just a bigger diamond. It really is a new ring to reflect the love and commitment I have with my husband and our son. So it has to be perfect and I think that's why I'm having so much trouble making a final decision.

After our day of jewelery shopping it was time to move on to the next part of our trip. My sister lives in Central California and there are a bunch of great vineyards nearby her house. We drove up to visit her and stayed at a beautiful hotel on a cliff overlooking the ocean. The view was absolutely fantastic. There is something so calming about being able to hear the ocean. Here was the view I got to see each morning.

My parents came up as well and we all went wine tasting. It was so much fun. The wine country here is absolutely stunning. It's like driving through a postcard. There's something about visiting small vineyards and tasting wine that just make me happy. I bought too much wine to take back with me to London so I will have to drink a few bottles while I'm here!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Blessings and white teeth.

Yesterday contained an interesting combination of events. I suppose in a way it quite fits in with my idea of having a new normal. In the morning I had an appointment to get my teeth whitened. This is something I do every couple of years when I'm visiting home. I know they have dentists in London who whiten teeth, but no one lightens them up quite like an American dentist. Since I'm obsessed with white teeth, this is a must for me!

Then in the afternoon we had an appointment with a priest to have our son's ashes blessed. As a pretty much non-practicing catholic, church is not a place I usually visit outside of Christmas and Easter (OK, being honest I don't always make it even then.). So driving up to the church I went to as a child and also where we got married felt a bit odd. I have to say, there was something so familiar and wonderful about the experience. Of course it was sad, but I also had this overwhelming feeling that we were doing the right thing. The church is on a cliff overlooking the ocean so the priest had us sit outside on a bench and watch the sun set while we were having our talk. It was both beautiful and sad and I'm really glad we did it.

So that was my strange day, a combination of ceremony and vanity. Oh, and in case you were wondering,,, my teeth look great!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

We have landed.

It's nice to be back at my parent's house, the house I grew up in. I always feel safe here.

The flight went much better than I had anticipated. I was quite worried about bringing our son's ashes through security. My husband volunteered to be the one to let them know what we were bringing along as I still struggle with verbalizing things like, "my son's ashes are in this bag." I have to say that the people working at the airport could not have been more wonderful. The security person quietly whispered to the x-ray person about what we were carrying and it was all handled smoothly. I also was pleased that I held it together during the trip. There was only one time when thoughts of what the trip was meant to be crept into my thoughts, but I was able to hold it together and didn't even cry all the way. This is a huge accomplishment in my book.

Friday, 5 November 2010

I should be packing right now.

I really should be packing. We are flying home to see the family for the first time since losing our son in August. This was going to be the first visit home for him to meet his grandparents and extended family. But instead of bringing home a happy baby, we are bringing home his ashes in a tiny plastic urn. Instead of being held by his loving parents, his ashes will be scattered in a beautiful place that we both love. It is not fair and I do not want to have to be doing any of this. So this is why I am not packing yet. Because once I start packing I have to face the reality that I am only packing for 2 and not for 3.