She is here. But part of her is elsewhere for eternity.

Paxton, I made it through the fuckwad days in May that I hate so much. I went to work on May 8th. That was  a major accomplishment in it of itself. Last year, I willed myself a million times over to die in my sleep. I didn’t get out of bed until the girls showed up, dug me out from underneath my pillows and held my hands as they guided me downstairs. They kept me busy: setting up new phone/cable service, buying tv’s, taking toys and contraptions you never got to use from the basement to Goodwill, sorting and packing some of your other things and safely storing them in the attic, cleaning out extra-large items abandoned in the garage, organizing copious amount of medical bills which somehow got backlogged in the insurance system, and attempting to make me eat. This was just three months after your Dad moved out, and left me holding a shit ton of bags of shit. Thank goodness for Momma’s girls; they swarmed in and helped me take care of a lot of that shit. Alas, this year I navigated my way to work. While my body was present, my mind was far, far away…recounting every detail of May 8th, 2012. Scene by scene, the reel started playing in my mind. I relived every minute that led us to Dr. D’s, which lead us to the ER, which lead us to the HOT unit, which ultimately lead us straight to the depths of Hell. Right around the time of day you were officially diagnosed, Allison appeared, grabbed my hand and said, “Let’s go.” She knows just how to make Momma listen. Your girlfriend, Ms. Nicole smiled knowingly and said, “Go. I got you. Please go.” And, just like that, two of Momma’s loveliest lovelies saved her heart once again. Allison had just come from Children’s Hospital. Somewhere along the way, I mentioned how much it would mean to me if PaxLove was spread throughout the HOT unit and the Clinic on May 8th. Allison and Erin found a way to make it happen – even though it meant taking a 1/2 day off of work, and exposing their vulnerable hearts to the very place in which you ended your brave battle. They packed your Treat Cart to the brim with ‘happy’, and rolled it right through the HOT unit and right into the hearts of so many brave, little warriors. Have I mentioned how much I love those girls? After work, I met up with Lala and her crew at Papa & Gg’s house. Lala received a “Cold Water Challenge” earlier in the week; she fittingly saved her debut for the most appropriate day. The point of a “Cold Water Challenge” being to jump into cold water, or make a donation to the charity of your choice. Living in Wisconsin, particularly on the heels of a Polar Vortex, finding cold water was NOT a challenge. Willing oneself the mental toughness to take the plunge – a far different story. Lala wasn’t fazed; she said, her super-hero nephew demonstrated far, far more bravery in his (ittsy bittsy pinkie) than she could in a lifetime, muchness by jumping into some cold ass water. Not doubt.  So, into Papa’s lake she went  In turn, she got to challenge three people to do the same.  She challenged her friend Sandy on the east coast, Beth Kille in Madison, and Britta in Cali – to jump or donate $24 – to mark 24 months since your diagnosis. Her battle cry was heard – and despite braving the cold waters, those ladies donated anyway. And they donated $100 each! You certainly have a way with the ladies, lil’ man. Mother’s Day was a bitch to navigate. I spent the day with Lala, the three musketeers, and Nana. Once again, I was physically present; but my heart was a million miles away – searching for you. The day took forever to end. Although I strained to feel you with me, to see a sign, sense a glimmer of your soul somewhere in my surroundings….I didn’t. And despite being in the company of some of the ones I love the most – I felt completely and entirely hollow and alone. It is oft said that being a mother is the hardest job in the world. Well, being a bereaved mother – is unbearable. The countdown is on…15 more days until stupid May is over. (Then I begin dreading the arrival of July.) I am so sorry you got sick. IMG_2098

Stay with me, Sweet Boy…

xoox

Momma

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you made me a momma. i will stay forever yours.

My~My,

As the sun stirred me awake, I did my best to resist its presence and bury my head underneath my stack of pillows. I intended to deep six myself until Monday. Today is your 15 month birthday; today is the 1 year shit-o-versary of the day you started chemo; today is also Mother’s Day. A power packed, heartache trifecta for one day.

Before I could come up with a plan on how to best avoid the day, my phone buzzed. It was a text wishing me a ‘good as can be, Mother’s Day’. A mix of happy and sad tears spontaneously fell from my eyes, rolled down my cheeks, and dropped on top of Giraffey’s soft little head. (Poor Giraffey.) Seeing the word “Mother” directed at me, made my heart smile. I wasn’t quite sure if anyone considers me a Mom anymore. I know that you do – and that I do…but, the rest of this crazy daisy, mixed-up world seems to be all sorts of messed up lately. The most beautiful part of the text, however, was not the contents of the message – rather from whom it was sent: the only other person in this universe who truly understands the depth and breadth of my love for you.

With two pieces of my heart put a little closer together, I got out of bed and almost skipped down the hall to your bedroom. I will always start and end my days in there. Even if I move far, far away – and live in 12 different houses, you will always have a bedroom…and it will always be my sacred garden. I hope you make Momma’s heart and soul your sacred garden. As I gazed out your window, I said aloud at least a dozen times, “Thank you for making me your Momma.” This was not how I was supposed to parent you, Paxton. Not even close. But it is how I must. So I will continue to do my very best to keep you alive, present, and vibrant as you would be if you were here.

After my run – which went shockingly well, I headed out to finish shopping for Dafne. Remember our little Princess Warrior? Her birthday was on May 7th. She thought it was quite special that your “D-day” was one day after her birthday. So, Momma made a promise not to forget her special day. Dr. Mortland and I still conspire ways to kick the shit outta cancer; I always knew we’d be friends on the “outside”. I desperately wish I could bring you to see her, or show her updated pictures as I told her stories aplenty about her “Lil’ Bud”. Nonetheless, she told me that Dafne is checking into the HOT Unit on Thursday…for 30 days. I still don’t have the courage to ask about her diagnosis, or her prognosis. It’s none of my business; and it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that she gets better. I bought Dafne all things, pink, sparkly, and completely radical. I probably went overboard – but, I couldn’t help myself. It is therapeutic to shop for pink things. In this case, it’s especially therapeutic because I am doing something to defy cancer’s punk ass. Further, I can make someone happy, without making myself want to puke because I should be buying it all for you. Please know, as my son, you would’ve been secure and smooth enough to wear pink (and looked totally fly, I may add). But, you wouldn’t have wanted purses, lip gloss, hats, boas, bows, sparkles, wands, and Hello Kitty.

Apparently, that adventure used up all my energy for today, because I wasn’t able to fake my way through much more. I tried to have lunch with Nana, but the food just wouldn’t go down. I thought about getting my nails done – but it seemed so artificial and unimportant. I considered meeting an old friend for drinks, but my heart wasn’t in it. Instead, I went to sleep. When I woke up, nighttime was here. I am relieved this day is almost done. Tomorrow won’t be any different…every day is just another day. But, today was a little over the top challenging – even for a girl pretending to be the bravest Warrior Momma of all-time.

Thank you for making me your Momma. I hope against all hope, I am doing you justice. I watch for your signs; I listen for your whispers. Every single moment, of every single day, I wish with all of my weary might that you are still with me. Today was not happy…not even close. But, it was Mother’s Day – and, I am so very happy that I am Paxton Bowe Andrews’ Momma.

You & Me, Diddy

I love you. I miss you.

Stay with me, sweet boy.

xoox

Momma