Saturday was a rather usual then unusual day for us. Marc was at the beach early making a sandcastle, Zoe was up really early for Zoe, Catherine woke up not feeling all that great and I was fighting a brutal headache all day. An early night was called for but then Shane called just after 7:00pm that he’d had an accident with his boat and needed us to watch Nathanial and Jacob while he went to Emerg at the hospital for stitches in his toe. Poor guy wasn’t able to come pick up the boys until almost midnight. Thankfully Nathanial, Jacob, and Catherine had the greatest time, even late into the evening.
Needless to say, Sunday would have been a great time to take it easy but it was our parish picnic day. After Zoe, Marc, and I all took naps, we went to the picnic just in time for supper. Joseph and Catherine, and Paul, Christina, and Ruth had left earlier while Zoe was still sleeping. For me going to the picnic took a huge effort, one I didn’t know if I could do given what we’d just been through the day before. Having the entire family together under one roof Saturday night and Sunday for Father’s Day didn’t help. I know this sounds silly, but having the family all together is still emotionally exhausting. Just watching everyone having fun, I can’t help think what it would be like if Bernadette were still in the mix. How much fun she’d have watching Ruth and Zoe interact. It’s so hard to control my thoughts during such times. A few times I had to hide until I could compose myself.
Going to events like the picnic is like getting back on a horse after its kicked you off, the longer it takes to do it the harder it is. So I pushed myself and went but it wasn’t easy. It might even been a mistake. As I pushed Zoe on the swing I watched all Bernadette’s friends running around having fun and of course I couldn’t hold back the tears. Thankfully nobody came over to join me as I didn’t have a Kleenex and trying to control the tears sometimes makes it far worse. Still, I wonder how long it will take before I can watch all those kids playing together without it being painful.
I learned just how on edge Marc still is too. We had a little communication mishap on the way to the food line and we both ended up in tears! At that point all I wanted to do was go home but that would have made a scene so I tried my hardest to tuck everything in and pretend to be okay. I don’t suppose I fooled Dr. Weicker, he asked me how I was and I couldn’t answer him. I felt like a rude smuck but to try and say something would have broken the dam. Once I had my food I rushed back to where Joseph was pushing Zoe on the swing and I ate my supper in peace and quiet and tears. Thank goodness for napkins and I just so happen to accidentally have the bag of them that we’d brought for the whole family.
When I did have a chance to interact with other adults the conversations came around to Bernadette at one point or another. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t stress if tears come for a brief moment or two, it only makes it worse if I do. In the end we managed to get through the picnic in one piece. The kids all had fun so that was good. Hopefully next year’s picnic will be a lot easier. It won’t be a first.
Today was another first in a way and a brutal day emotionally. After four days of Catherine complaining of a tummy ache and not eating and me doing my best to not get anxious because it was exactly the way Bernadette acted before we knew she was sick, she woke up this morning throwing up. We spent the entire day downstairs in the basement watching TV with a bucket in Catherine’s lap and many trips to the bathroom. The only break for me was when Zoe and Catherine had a nap at the same time (thank you Gravol!!!) , otherwise Catherine seemed anxious if I wasn’t with her. I think this was the first time she has been sick without Bernadette being there to keep her company. Every time I went up and down the stairs with Advil, Gravol, or throat lozenges it brought back the painful memories of all the running I did during Bernadette’s illness. Watching endless hours of Full House was like the endless hours of watching movies with Bernadette. Thankfully Catherine went to bed and actually fell asleep at her usual time. Now I just hope and pray that Zoe doesn’t come down with whatever Catherine and Joseph have. What are the chances! That being said, I’d be crazy if I didn’t go to bed too. Tomorrow promises to be another tough day. I use to think that as a mother there was nothing worse than potty training but there is – watching my children suffer.