Wednesday, September 30, 2015


And in time
As one reminds the other of past
A life lived much too fast to hold onto
How am I losing you?

A broken house
Another dry month waiting for the rain
And I had been resisting this decay
I thought you'd do the same

But this is all I ever was
And this is all you came across those years ago
Now you go too far
Don't tell me that I've changed because that's not the truth
And now I'm losing you

Fragile sound
The world outside just watches as we crawl
Crawl towards a life of fragile lines
And wasted time

-Ditmas, Mumford and Sons

I was just driving through the neighborhood after dropping D off at practice and Ditmas came on the stereo.  It hasn't come up on my IPod in a while and I forgot how much I like it.  I quickly turned up the volume and started singing and car seat dancing.  I was literally rocking out.  It got me to thinking about what some of the neighbors might think if they saw me. It led me to memories of Saturday night when we went out with our friends from college to see an 80s cover band.  We drank and danced and had a blast with people who've known and loved us for over 25 years.  Dancing to "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and rocking out in my car to Mumford feels like the real me.  Just like I always feel better after I play soccer.  I forget about my stress and only focus on the present moment.

I've gotten out of the habit of writing on this blog.  The first month of the school year (plus all the kids' sports) coupled with being unbelievably busy at work has conspired to wipe away lots of my habits.  I just wrote an 88 page technical document for work which required working long days and late nights for the last few weeks.  Writing for work is exhausting taking away all of my energy to write in this space.  While I'm pretty proud of the work I did for my client, it made it hard to be a good mom.  The house looks like a tornado hit it.  We have all gotten used to grabbing laundry out of the dryer or from piles of folded clothes on the floor in the family room.  Menu planning has gone out the window.  Too many diet cokes and late night Oreos as coping mechanisms. Bad habits have won out.

On the other hand, needing to be overly focused on something as intense as this deliverable means that it doesn't leave a lot of room to be worried about other things.  Work stress has trumped lots of things this last month.  I could put my earphones on and drown in the intricate work I was doing and have the perfect reason not to do things that I would normally do or think about the tough things in my life.  I had a good excuse to let things slide. There hasn't been a lot of mental room for deep thinking. My grief can be put back in its jar.

My little car jam session, though, clicked something in my head.  I am very easily overwhelmed by my life stress that I forget that it's my life--the life of a beer drinking, soccer playing, sometimes bad language using, book reading, Bravo TV watching, goofy woman.  My role as mom (or in the last month principal analyst) sometimes squishes that Peg. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom (I don't love work that much).  I am so busy managing our family, though, that I usually forget about my own needs.  I struggle with finding my own identity outside of being Mommy/Aunt Peg.

We've just entered what I've been referring to as our "cluster of grief."  September 9th was Mike's birthday and then we move to the accident anniversary, Jeanne's birthday, their wedding anniversary and the holidays.  I decided tonight that I'm going to try really hard not to get overwhelmed by the cluster.  I'm going to try to remember to find those moments of being normal Peg (even if the other moms in our neighborhood think I'm a nutcase).

I need to get back into the habit of writing here.  It's so good for my mental health.  I've been forming posts in my head.  Things like my new research on the girls and attachment issues, watching A and M's relationship development as siblings, problems with some other soccer moms, and building issues with CA.  I also need to get back to journaling about our everyday--homecoming asks, baseball fun, and life with a hilarious 8 year old.

Thanks for bearing with me. I don't want to lose the real me.  I don't want to look back on my life and only remember work crap, driving and cooking.  I am more than that.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Some Things Just Don't Go Away

We were on our way to L's soccer practice yesterday when traffic came to a stop on the two lane road which leads to the field.  It's a pretty windy road and in parts there aren't actually any center lines. This is a horse farm area and the initial intention of the road wasn't meant for tons of soccer moms dropping their kids off at our club's soccer facility, or what has become a cut through for a bordering neighborhood to avoid a major congestion area.

First, my neighbor friend called and let me know that the road was blocked.  She said she wasn't sure what was going on but saw two ambulances so we assumed it was an accident.  She also noted that she saw a little girl crying on the side of the road.

A little girl.  I knew my sister was probably just ahead of me bringing my niece to practice.  My thoughts immediately jumped to "maybe it was them."  I quickly called her.  She answered and let me know that she was already turned around and was working on a detour to get to the field.  I explained why I called.  She totally understand why I went there in my mind.

Our car finally got to the part where the police had blocked the road with cones and we were able to turn around.  I said a silent prayer of thanks that due to the nature of the road, and where they had stopped traffic, we didn't have a view of the accident.

40 minutes later, after we had navigated ourselves to the fields through back roads, my levels of anxiety has dissipated, and I pushed the possible accident to the back of my mind.

When I got home hours later after M's high school scrimmage, I mentioned to K what had happened and absentmindedly told him that L's coach wasn't there which made for a crazy night for the kids with other coaches filling in.  K immediately said, "Maybe it was coach C in the accident? Why else would he not be at practice?"  I didn't want it to be true despite his logic.  "Somebody would have known if it was him. Maybe he had something else going on. Maybe it wasn't an accident on the road at all but was something at one of the farms."  I didn't want it to be true and convinced myself it wasn't. L loves his coach and we really like him too.  His Scottish sense of humor, combined with his patience with the boys has been great.  He and I have become friends over the last couple years and as a person I really like him.
This morning the email came telling us Coach C was in the accident.  A woman going in the opposite direction wasn't paying attention and was speeding and smashed directly into his car on the driver's side.

Thank goodness he is okay.  Bruised, cut up, burned from the side air bag, and a bad headache.  No broken bones or internal injuries and the CT scan was clear for any brain injury.

I immediately thought of how I was going to tell the kids, especially L.  When he and D got home from school, I first told him that everything was ok and Coach C was fine but that he was in the car accident from the day before and wouldn't be there tonight.  The initial look on his face was fear.  Raw fear.  Then he repeated, "But he's okay...can we not talk about it?"  D repeated the same assurances and went up to his room where I found him a few minutes later on his bed rubbing the satin portion of Louis (his lovey) which is something he does when he's nervous.  I asked him if everything was ok and said, "Fine, leave me alone."

When I told A he wanted to see the pictures.  He wanted details. He said, "Wow mom, he's lucky...and we know that sometimes you don't get lucky."  Yeah, buddy we know all about that.

M started talking a mile a minute wanting to know what happened.  I kept it simple saying he was okay and like L she repeated me several times and then changed the subject.  I thought about how rough driver's ed is going to be for her this year.

Here's the thing.  I am slowly learning to accept that Jeanne and Mike aren't coming back.  And while I don't go to the same  panic/anxiety levels when I think about the accident the multiple times a day like I used to (thanks to some good therapy work), car accidents are still a major trigger for me and our entire family.  All the kids have been a bit off tonight.  L struggled through practice and was almost in tears declaring "I was awful tonight!!!" I knew why those tears were really building and in hindsight I should have just kept him home.

My day has been peppered with thoughts of their accident.  How did it happen?  Why didn't Mike  keep control of the car? How did the other driver lose control?  Was she texting?  Did they know what was happening?  Why? Why? Why?

It's been almost 6 years.  We may all be getting closer to acceptance, but really, some things just don't go away.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


All five are back to school.  I can't believe how big and old they all are (sniff, sniff).

E in her new apartment.

L in 3rd grade and D in 8th.

Our sophmores A and M.
New schedules.
New friends.
New classes and challenges.
I think everyone is ready for some "new."
I know I am.