Saturday, October 06, 2007

"If You're Reading This, I'm Already Home"

A lot has happened over the past few weeks, and it's left me in a dark and lonely place. I know I don't update this often enough, but I like to believe that when I do, it is at least worthwhile. I don't like being vulnerable, but I've learned to see the benefits. I don't like being scared and lonely, but I guess they have their perks, too.

A few weeks ago my grandmother had a heart attack, followed by five bypasses. That weekend, my phone was cut off. My dad had told me he would keep me on his cell phone plan after the divorce. He didn't pay the bill. He didn't tell me. Friday, Sept. 21, my phone got cut off. That day, my best friend, Leslie, had her son, Joshua Jackson Reeves. The next morning, her husband, Josh, was killed in Iraq.

I know that all the grief I'm feeling is normal, or so I've read. I've read that it's normal that I can't function. I haven't lasted an 8-hour day at work since it happened. To top that off, the Tuesday after, my grandmother had a stroke, and is now in the hospital for rehab.

I can't sleep. I haven't slept through the night since Josh died. I cry every day. I can't function at work. I can't even do my job, and that's all I have in Chattanooga. It's the whole reason I'm there, and I can't even do it. I wake up scared. I have nightmares. Sometimes I even get physically ill. I can't do my job, and I can't be there for my friend. I feel so helpless and scared right now.

People keep telling me to get sleeping pills, or to get on with my life, get back to a routine. But I don't want to. I don't want to bury this. I am sad. I need to feel sad. I need to let this affect my life. I can't stand the thought of burying all this pain under coffee and paperwork. It just doesn't seem right.

I got some sleeping pills, but I don't want to take them. I am an emotional wreck right now. My parents divorced, my grandmother is in the hospital again, and my favorite person lost her favorite person. I'm so fragile, and I'm afraid that if I find something that makes this easier - makes this pain bearable - that I won't be able to let it go. It's a scary thing to have to look at yourself like that, and I like to think there's at least some wisdom in knowing what I may be capable of. It's frightening to be afraid of your own mind. I just don't want to let myself spiral, and I know I'm on the verge.

Josh's service is something I'll remember for the rest of my life. During the procession, people lined the streets, holding flags, crossing their hearts, saluting. Flags lined the streets leading up to the church, and all of the flags in the county were at half staff. Complete strangers not only pulled over but got out of their cars. Children watched in their parents arm, some saluting. It was the most moving display I have ever seen. Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes.

But it's not fair. We aren't supposed to bury our friends. We aren't supposed to bury husbands and fathers, certainly not at our age. I've tried to make sense of it all, and I can't. I have given up. This is beyond any of my comprehension. I can only hope that time truly does heal wounds, because this is a gaping one.

When I was driving home from Georgia, from Josh's funeral, I was listening to "If You're Reading This" by Tim McGraw. During the chorus, I saw a falling star. Some cultures believe falling stars are souls on their way to heaven. I hope so. Seeing that gave me an odd peaceful feeling, like I knew Josh was OK, and that Leslie and Jackson will be OK.

"If You're Reading This" - Tim McGraw

If you’re reading this
My mommas sitting there
Looks like I only got a one-way ticket over here
I sure wish I could give you one more kiss
And war was just a game we played when we were kids
Well I’m laying down my gun
I’m hanging up my boots
I’m up here with God
And we’re both watching over you

So lay me down
In that open field out on the edge of town
And know my soul
Is where my momma always prayed that it would go
And if you’re reading this
I’m already home

If you’re reading this
Half way around the world
I won’t be there to see the birth of our little girl
I hope she looks like you
I hope she fights like me
Stands up for the innocent and the weak
I’m laying down my gun
I’m hanging up my boots
Tell dad I don’t regret that I followed in his shoes

So lay me down
In that open field out on the edge of town
And know my soul
Is where my momma always prayed that it would go
And if you’re reading this
I’m already home

If you’re reading this
There’s gonna come a day
When you move on and find someone else
And that’s okay
Just remember this
I’m in a better place
Where soldiers live in peace
And angels sing Amazing Grace

So lay me down
In that open field out on the edge of town
And know my soul
Is where my momma always prayed that it would go
And if you’re reading this
If you’re reading this
I’m already home

1 comment:

David said...

I came across your blog because we both listed Catch 22 as our favorite book. :)

I'm sorry to hear you have so much pain in your life. I can certainly understand you not wanting to bury it. These are real events in your life with real emotions attached.

Sadly, at some point in all our lives we will be hit with the fact that we are not in control of everything. It's just a part of growing up.

Of course there is nothing anyone can say to take the pain away but in time you will find a way to deal with it and things will get better. You will get stronger and grow as a person.

I hope you don't mind the comments. My thoughts and prayers are with you.