Earlier this week, I had the cable guy out to our new home getting things all hooked up. He was probably the friendliest cable guy I've ever encountered.
Small talk ensued. He talked about his wife and his 3 boys. Eventually he asked me about our fire. Sadly, when people ask me that question, I still don't have answers to give. And then,,,,he asked me, "So how many kids do you have?" I answered, "3."
I went on to tell him of our 2 kids, who are no longer on this earth. His chin hit the floor. And we talked for a little bit about Carly and her death. And Brad and his death. We talked about the fire. All the unknowns. I'm sure he'd never been told anything quite like the things he was being told, while in my house.
This guy just stood in my living room and he cried. He CRIED. A perfect stranger..cried. He told me the worst thing that has ever happened to his family, was when his 7yr old son poked his eye out with an ink pen. He went on to tell me how he and his wife had to fight their fears of letting their kids do anything, "kid like"... again. He said, "We struggled with letting our boys, be boys after our son lost his eye."
After a short while, he gained some control, stopped crying and asked me, "How the hell are you still standing on your two feet?" I went on to answer him the best I could. I told him it wasn't really my faith that is keeping me going, because our doubts in God are far too high. I told him each day is a struggle for me. I don't take it one minute at a time, I take it one breath at a time. I told him that I do, now know just how a person can actually feel their heart ache. Really feel it. I know, people always say, "oh that just breaks my heart" in any bad/sad situation in their lives. But, no one and I mean no one feels their heart actually hurting, like a grieving parent. My heart hurts so badly. I even asked my doctor to check my heart, and he did. And I was told, "Joany, the heart does actually ache after enduring such a horrific loss. And you've had two, back to back."
I went on to tell this friendly cable guy about the strength that Carly gave to me/us when she was born. That little girl did more for our lives in 8 years than even I can believe. She showed us unconditional love. Sure we knew it before, everyone loves their kids unconditionally, but Carly opened our eyes to a whole new kind of unconditional love. She showed ME, her "mama" how to fight and how to be brave and strong. Even though I'm pretty sure she was much stronger than I was, during all of her health crisis situations. That little girl fought with all her might. And she took in all in stride. She didn't skip a beat. She LOVED her family and she LOVED her life. She lived each day with joy. Even through her worst of times, health wise-she took it all in stride. Right up to the end, flipping the bird at the EMT's and sticking her tongue out at them as they tried to get an IV in her little arm on that horrible day in April, 2010.
There are many times I think that I can not go on. I've been feeling completely exhausted-to the point that I'm going to see the doctor as soon as we get back next week. Two years of this unbelievable heartache is catching up with me. I'm run down, stressed out, having temper tantrums and I'm finding that my need to keep myself medicated is escalating. But, I still have my family. My broken family. And I still have my love for Carly and Brad and I will hold on to that love and somehow, I'm going to pull myself through this. It may take the rest of my life, but for the sake of all 3 of my kids...these devastating losses are NOT going to beat me.
As the cable guy left our house the other day, he started to walk out the door, turned and said, "Mrs. George, you are one hell of a strong woman. You blow my mind that you are here, standing and not crumbled in a corner. I'm very happy that I encountered you today, you just gave me a new appreciation on my life." He also said, "You have a heck of a story, albeit a sad, horrific one..you need to tell it." I just smiled and said, "Maybe some day."
Woodbine House Books and DVDs
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