Earlier this week, I called in sick. Someone could easily say I had a case of the Mondays but truth be told all I wanted to do was cry. I cry at work but I was afraid if I cried the way I was feeling on Monday someone might put me in a mental institution. So I called in sick. I told my employer I wasn’t feeling well and they expressed that they hoped I felt better soon. Soon? Not when you call in heartbroken. I dropped off Alejandro and was honest with Paul – I just couldn’t and didn’t want to deal with people on a day that I was missing Joaquin so much.
Twelve weeks in and I stared at myself in the mirror. Tear stained, wearing pajamas at noon and completely defeated. For one day at least. Twelve weeks in and I still can’t take his car seat out of my van. Twelve weeks in and his toothbrush still sits in the same place. Twelve weeks in and his inhaler sits on the kitchen counter. Twelve weeks in and his aspirin stares back at me, untouched. Twelve weeks in and I still sleep with his blanket and his t-shirt. Twelve weeks in and I still can’t believe this happened to us. Twelve weeks in and I cannot believe I experienced the circle of life with my 4 year old. At mass this past Sunday, I realized that I stood in the same spot where we promised to raise Joaquin to believe in God 4 years ago only to stand there again and turn him back in to our Lord. At times, twelve weeks in, I still walk in a fog. I often wonder just how I manage to still stand here. To still laugh. To still eat. To still breathe. But twelve weeks in and on days like Monday, yes, I think I can no longer go on one more day without him.
Twelve weeks in and it pains me to see that life certainly moves on whether you’re ready to or not. The bills still need to get paid. The phone calls have slowed. Even Alejandro seems better. Twelve weeks in and at times, my six year old comforts us the way we comforted him in the beginning. He’ll hear us crying, drops what he’s doing and hugs us until one of us pulls away…at just the right time. Twelve weeks in and this child that keeps us going has grown up faster than any child should.
Twelve weeks in and I realize I have a long and tiresome road to travel. I have fallen time and time again. And each day, I manage to pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again. Twelve weeks in and I realize I have two choices – I can let it beat me and break me down or I can keep walking even with tears in my eyes. I choose the latter. It’s better to cry and keep walking than to just cry and let grief consume you.
Twelve weeks in – yes, it can be done.