This picture was taken on 12/3, just 9 days before Grey died. I was so lucky that he was so happy and present for so long. Not many Krabbes parents can say that. My heart aches for those who have not been so fortunate.
I know it has been a long time since I have really blogged about what's going on with me; where I am in this crazy process of grieving, my thoughts, my hopes, my fears. Exposing myself to the world first means exposing myself to that person in the mirror. And at times, I don't even know who she is.
I know that I am no longer, and will never be, the person I was before Grey's death. In a lot of ways that makes me sad. I really did like who I was. But, I also like who I'm becoming. I also realize that Bill, too, is no longer who he was when he was the dad to four boys. I do know that who we become, because of Grey's death, is up to us. We can come out of it better than who we were, or worse. For me, worse is not an option, especially with three other boys who still need their mom. I plan to use Grey's loss to make me a better mom, a better wife, a better teacher, a better friend. I want to become who he would want me to be. I worry about who will come through that journey with me, and who will choose to stay behind.
I also know that I am now more consumed with Grey than I was when he was really here. Boy, how I took that for granted. I am consumed with his loss, his legislation, his everything. I see him in everything I do and everywhere I go. At times it's overwhelming and I wonder if I will always feel the physical heaviness that I feel in my heart.
I guess I'll start with his legislation. It has all come together nicely and rather easily. I need that. I need to affirm that Grey was here so that his loss could save countless other babies. That he was given to me so that I could teach others of the failing system we have here in Texas. A friend said to me that I don't have to be in the classroom to teach. She was right. I wonder at times if educating the country about expanding newborn screening is what I'm supposed to be doing. I wonder if I will ever love my job like I use to. I'm hoping I find a way to do both. Anyways, back to the legislation. Grey's HB and SB have passed through both committees, unanimously. It is now waiting to be heard on the floors. It also now carries the weight of Cystic Fibrosis in it's fiscal note. I hope that doesn't hurt us. I pray to God that Texas sees the need in it's 4 million dollar note. I thank Him for the people that have joined with us to make this possible. We have met so many new people and learned so much through this experience. I think I can honestly say that I am no longer "politically ignorant". All this, and Grey has only been gone not yet 5 months. Again, it seems like yesterday. But, it also feels like a million years.
I did learn that I can still love what I loved before, in the midst of Grey's loss. Last weekend's trip was incredible. I meet Carrie and her daughter Hannah. I was able to make Hannah a bear in memory of Grey and not cry. At one point, I had been pushing her stroller for a good 15 minutes before I realized that I will never be able to push Grey in his stroller again. But, I was able to do it, without thinking about it first. Hannah and her mom have helped fill part of the hole in my heart. It's nice. The Dave Matthews Band was incredible. I know many of you have reached out to them to tell them my story. I think that they closed with "Grey Street" both nights was no accident. Dave was extremely chatty and full of energy. It was so good to laugh. It was good to cry as they played "Grey Street" and "Two Step". It was good to share those moments with my two best friends. The Woodlands show was amazing, as was the Dallas show. The Dallas crowd was horrible. Some things never change.
So, as Mother's Day approaches I guess I just needed to take a second to evaluate my progress, and I have progressed. Grey continues to touch people everyday. Friday it was in the form of a letter from one of my very first student's mom. Today it was a new acquaintance in the bleachers. Tomorrow will bring something or someone else, no doubt. I do still find myself drinking orange Gatorade just because I miss him. I did cry a lot this week, in anticipation of tomorrow I guess. I made photo albums for my mom and mother-in-law for Mother's Day and suddenly realized that never will I have any "new" pictures of Grey. He will always be who he was in the pictures we have, never aging at all, just perfect, even in his broken body. I found myself getting irritated with every "Have a Happy Mother's Day" that was thrown my way. I'm so sorry if it showed. I know people mean well, but it just confirms that other peoples' lives continue to move forward, with or without Grey, and that has to be OK. I, however, am still stuck. Stuck in his smell. Stuck in his smile. Stuck in his laugh. Stuck in his loss. And that, too, has to be OK.
Happy Mother's Day to all those great moms out there; to those who still kiss their kids good night, and especially to those who are no longer able to. To Sabrina and Catherine - know I'll be thinking of you tomorrow as we struggle to be brave for our kids that are still here with us, secretly crying inside for the one that has left. It gives me comfort to know that I will not be the only one torn on this Mother's Day.