Today I found myself all alone in the house for probably the first time in I don’t remember how long, maybe even before Zoe was born. Marc use to take the kids on outings to give me some precious alone time to recharge my batteries, but over this last year he was far too busy with work and we had a new baby in the house. Today he took Johanna, Catherine, and Zoe and headed to town to visit the Weickers. To escape our new reality, I sat at my desk and told myself it was like old times. I pretended that it was back in the days when Marc had all the girls and I had some time to myself. Bernadette would normally be with her father and I’d be guilt free for a little while. I was going to resume a screenwriting course I started back in September while Marc was on a business trip to the States and before our nightmare began.
It’s amazing how reality crashes back into our pretending at the slightest provocation. I sat here and listened to the opening theme music to the course lessons and it instantly brought me back to September and the dark evenings when I would study and take notes, while in the background listening to Catherine and Bernadette playing or getting ready for bed. But instead of it bringing back pleasant memories, all I felt was intense guilt. Already at that point Bernadette was terribly sick and I didn’t even notice. Just three days before she was crying hard because her side hurt and I didn’t know what was wrong and because the pain subsided I didn’t think much more of it, except to file it away for future reference in case it happened again. Now as I sat here I was crying because I didn’t take her pain more seriously. I was also feeling guilty because had I known what was in store for us all I would have put my own interests aside and spent more time with Bernadette.
Maybe it is too soon to try and resume some of my old activities or maybe this would happen even if I waited a few more months. All I know is Bernadette is so much apart of me and in every area of my mind that I can’t go anywhere or do anything without thinking of her and having to fight back the tears. Even something as simple as going grocery shopping. I walk outside and the first thought I have is, “Bernadette hated it when I left the house” and I immediately feel guilty for leaving the house and leaving the other girls behind – even though Catherine loves it when I’m gone. I feel guilt for all those times I left Bernadette and it hurt her, even though at the time I knew it was healthy for me to get away for a little while. I tell myself that if only I knew then what I know now, I’d have stayed home more. I’d have spent less time in my office and more time reading to her and teaching her how to read. I’d have baked more with her.
I know I can’t change the past and it doesn’t do me any good to beat myself up for my past mistakes and decisions that weren’t mistakes, but I can change the future. I can take more time to just be with my children and not miss as many opportunities to enjoy them. Speaking of which, Catherine just went to bed and Joseph and Johanna invited me to join them for a movie. After spending so many hours alone today, I welcome the chance to be with them. Best run.
Wishing you well.
My Dear Patti. You talk about wanting to write a book. You are writing a book–Diary of a Weeping Mother–Print what you have written over the months and continue to post. God, Mary and your guardian angel are helping you daily. You can over come and your tears will turn to joy. I love you and you are in my prayers daily and at Mass. God willing we will see you in a few months.
Patti, in all of your pain and sadness, know that we are praying for you. Walking through your grief, one moment at a time is probably too much to bear at times so know in your heart that you are not alone.