For the first time in a very long time, I’m taking a little guilt-free ‘me’ time because I feel like I will come undone if I don’t. I’ve run full steam ahead for ten years (at least) straight and it’s time for me to rest a bit, have a fun summer, and to give myself a break. I’ve been making an appointment with myself to just sit under the stars, in the stillness, in the quiet. I feel more at peace than I ever have, acknowledging every priceless moment and every blessing in my life.
I haven’t been able to write very much lately because so much has been going on. Things have been busy, but I feel really good about all the positive things happening. It’s like the skies have cleared and one by one, my dreams are slowly coming true. All the passion I’ve poured into everything is starting to pay off in big ways and from every angle.
The hard work, the sleepless nights, the get-up-and-go, kissing my fingertips and putting them on my niece’s picture as I hurry out the door… School, running the house, getting kids to college, all the cooking and get-togethers for all the recent boxing events, including this past Saturday for the Miguel Cotto fight, making a summer itinerary, planning our 4th of July at Santa Cruz, planning a baptism… Myself and my services are always being needed and I’m always feeding everyone (smile, here).
I have one of those oversized monthly planners that I use to keep track of ‘ my own self ‘ and everyone I take care of. I make the world go round for a lot of people and have never made that much-needed time for myself. I came to the conclusion not too long ago, that in order for me to be at my best, I need to still ‘do me.’ I’ve always taken care of every thing and everyone, and I made a decision and a promise to spend time with myself this particular year because quite frankly, I don’t know what has happened in the past ten years. It’s been such a tornado that time doesn’t exist while you’re going through it. All I know is it has taken serious effort to get through each day. Everyone that loves me has gone through it all with me, and they continue to be patient and compassionate, knowing full well that we are all in for a long ride, and I don’t mean a fun one like a road trip.
Court, paperwork, unanswered questions, complaints, ‘anger black-outs’ , writing, wondering, eyes so puffy and sore from crying that just touching them hurts. I wished consistently to erase my memory of the last ten years. Yes, great things happened in that time, but so did an awful lot of heartbreaking things. Strange things, dangerous things, magical things, life and death things, life-changing things, life-altering things; way too much happened in that ‘short’ time and just thinking about some of it now gives me a headache.
It has drained me, it’s exhausting, confusing, frustrating… the same emotions being rolled around then popping up like Bingo numbers, in random order. Until this happened to us, I didn’t know that nightmares can happen during the day when you’re wide awake. I’ve been so wrapped up in tragedy that I feel like I’ve blocked out the trauma and I have very few memories of the last 3,650 days. Happy times I remember, the days of crying and withdrawl, I have little to no memory of. I’m so glad I wrote because it helped me to survive and it helped me to tell our story. Getting it out was half the battle. The ‘silence’ of this ‘secret’ makes me enraged, and I feel it is absolutely justifiable.
Every special thing always being bittersweet because my niece is gone and my sister and all of us are hurting so badly. Happy is never all the way, a constant feeling of ‘something isn’t right.’ There’s no pamphlet explaining how to get through something like this, there was never a plan made to make it through such a violent storm, no instructions on how to help life go on when you feel like you’re dead or wanting to die, in constant mourning, grief-stricken…. I, as we all were, changed forever, each of us now unrecognizable to each other.
Once so full of life and love, turned into ‘God, please help me make it through this.’ Living with a heart in pieces, trying to show love to those I do, it’s an issue I have to deal with and tackle daily. I’m very careful with who I let into my home, my heart, my personal space…. I simply won’t trust just yet, and I will stay guarded on high-alert until finally I’m ready to take baby steps into finding my way back to whatever ‘normal’ is, if I ever do at all.
I will be very honest and say that throughout this ordeal, quite a few things have been broken. Whatever was nearest to me, I smashed, threw, ripped…. anything possible trying to get this rage out. I make sure I’m alone in the house or the beach at night, and I quite literally, have the breakdown I deserve in privacy. I can’t allow anyone to see me cry my eyes out because I have to be the strong one, I have to get them through this even though I can barely get myself through it. I’ve punched everything from fences to walls, even the ground when this hurt made my knees buckle. It has been so hard, and I refuse to keep saying that I’m okay, when I’m not. I should be allowed to vent without someone saying ‘ if that happened to us, I would do X-Y-Z.’
We have lost a child in cruel and unusual way, and I should not feel ashamed that this is hitting me so incredibly hard. Each day is like a crap shoot, sometimes I’m on Cloud-9, sometimes I’m in the pit of despair. This is the only part of my life I can’t get under control or even get a slight grip on. I’m hurting, I’m mad, I’m feeling emotions there are no words for. I need understanding and extra love to make it through this. I don’t need judgment, we don’t need judgment. We need prayers and justice. We weren’t crazy and horrible monsters before this happened, and just because we have extra security around us now, doesn’t make us those things even today.
It’s vital that I take this time to rejuvenate, to get pampered, to go to concerts, to make great food to eat around the family table. I want to pack everyone in the car and go on our night trips like we’ve always done. The drive-in, the Japanese Tea Gardens, Performing Arts, Movies on the Beach at Santa Cruz, I need to embrace this time that I’m dedicating to myself. This break I’m taking is all for me… I need to rediscover, I need to contemplate, deliberate, I need to go for walks in the Hayward Hills, I need to play Dominoes with my boys, I need to make dinner with my girl, I need to listen when God is telling me not to wait in sorrow.
So over the next few months, my writing may seem a bit off subject, but it’s only because I want to share the lighter side of my spirit. I want my niece, and anyone who reads my blog and follows our story to see that I’m finding happiness, reclaiming some of what was taken from me. I had to shut down and now it’s time I let my healing be the primary focus. I want to wake up in-hope and go to sleep in-love, I want to laugh more than I cry, I want to accept and appreciate the wonderful blessings in my life, instead of pushing everything good away. I want to know that somewhere in there is the ‘ wisher, dreamer, believer ‘ I always was….