Disappointment and Digging Deep

This week was really kind of a rough one.

It was the end of Christmas vacation for my big guy and back to first grade he went.

Although that wasn’t so difficult, it was the signal of more change.

The winter has fully set in.

There is ice in the hummingbird feeder.

The leaves are wet and dark.

The grass is muddy.

My sweet Reiki kitty is sleeping all day long.

My mood is not great.

On my work days, I get up and drive to the hospital before daylight breaks and leave long after the sun is down.

The 12 hour shifts are so long. So, so long.

At work I am seeing people who are frustrating and drug seeking.

I am fighting to find some compassion.

I want to yell at them that they need to JUST STOP.

Then, news that a sweet girl lost her rainbow baby this week just about did me in.

I found myself being annoyed with the nursing students watching me bathe a newborn.

I found myself thinking how mad I was. But at what? I’m still not even sure.

The Universe? My hospital? My patients? What?

So, I came home from work, took a shower, read and rocked my boy to sleep, crept in and snuggled my already asleep 7 year old.

I couldn’t get over how long and lanky his arms were as they peeked out of his comforter.

Then, I went to that place that all baby loss moms go…extreme gratitude for what I’ve been given, but extreme sadness that everyone doesn’t get a happy ending.

I was kissing the beautiful, healthy cheeks of my boys while others are grieving.

I fought a lump in my throat all evening.

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Then, this morning I decided to take action.

We went to the gym.

I listened to my Crisis playlist.

I worked through my uncomfortable feelings of sadness, irritation, anger, and frustration.

I sat with them and just let them be.

I was mindful to not let them take over my heart.

I didn’t give them the power I know they wanted.

Instead, I played soccer with my boy.

We laughed and giggled and ran around until we were thirsty.

We chased and shouted, “good job!” when we made goals.

I lifted him high in the air when he ran at me full speed.

I smiled and felt good.

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And then I realized I was no longer emotionally wrecked.

I had dug deep and found contentment and joy in the moment.

Isn’t that what emotional pain teaches us anyway?

To be present in our moments.

The pack of three…

Who knew that a little pack of three toothbrushes could cause such empathy, love, and heartache to roll around in one’s heart all at once?

It all started with a family outing to Target in which there were a few million items we needed. It was fairly simple. A present for a child’s party, some half and half, some soap, you know how it goes. Next thing you know, the whole cart is full of crap you never knew you needed.

After we got home to unload, the kids want to try out their new toothbrushes. Hubs had grabbed a pack of three toothbrushes that were on sale. They were excited to brush their teeth with something new!

While my seven year old was looking at the box they came in, he examined it and said aloud, “If Baby Bailey were still alive, there would be a toothbrush for him too.”

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And there it was.

My son remembering his brother.

The one we lost 5 years ago.

The one who never got to choose his favorite superhero toothbrush.

The middle one.

And what I love so much about it? Is that he remembered without any mention of it from me, though it’s never far from my mind.

There should be three boys. I know. He knows.

And they each chose a toothbrush on either side, leaving the middle.

Just where Baby Bailey’s place in our family is.