Today, Alex and I went to the gym for the first time. Alex is with me or with Scout *all* the time, so this was big. I told him all about it on the way, how there would be toys, and new people to meet, and that while he got to have fun, I’d be off working, but I’d be back to get him when I was done.
I’d checked out the gym day care before, there were toys, adult supervision and an absence of broken glass so I deemed it good enough to corral my child for a bit.
I walked him in, let him wander a bit while I signed in, talked to one of the two people on duty, scanned the kids and took Alex into the play area. He stuck near me at first, then sat on a chair. The day care person kneeled down to talk to him about his shirt, I stepped out and handed his milk over the door. I told her I’d be back in 5 minutes to check on him so they didn’t have to come get me if it wasn’t going well.
I walked through the gym, picked an elliptical and watched the five minutes click by. I walked back through the gym and got to the window of the daycare. The worker saw me and mouthed, “He’s Okay.” She looked over, double checked with the other worker and then looked back at me nodding, “He’s Okay.” she mouthed again.
I smiled huge and gave a thumbs up and went to ride a bike for 25 minutes.
Now – If I’d have walked him to the door – opened it, shooed him in and walked away, ya’ll would think I was nuts.
For a 30 minute workout, I completely checked out the place, the workers, the kids, the toys, let them know where they could find me if he needed me, checked back in on him and then went to pick him up at the end, getting a report on how he’d been while I was gone.
Maddie died 4 weeks ago. One month. Mike wrote about people saying “She’s in a better place.” and how that just doesn’t really help.
What. Thehell. People.
Mike and Heather have forever. They didn’t get the chance to check out the toys and people for Maddie to play with. There is no window in the walls of Heaven for them to look in and have an angel wave back at them and mouth, “She’s Okay.”
There fuckin’ should be, and I’ll be over here with my booze and my crisis of faith trying to figure out what I believe yet again. I think it’s cruel of a loving God to take a child and not send blazing rainbows to her parents, assuring them, beyond a shadow of any doubt, of any fear, that beautiful Maddie is indeed Okay.
(photo from Heather’s photostream and messed with by me)
Pass the bottle. Right here, crisising with you, nodding furiously, until my fuckin’ head falls off.
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And send that bottle my way when you’re done. Crisis loves company, and I have a lot of crisising to do this year.
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OH geez. If only heaven/the afterlife *could* send a strong, clear message like that. Guh.
She’s in a better place? Well fuck. I don’t think better is a good word to use at all. It’s not like her life down here sucked.
Sometimes words are clumsy.
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She had the BEST here at home with the the parents that loved and adored her! Yes, she is definitely in a “good” place now, but is it better? Can that really be the word to describe it?
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Heather @Domestic Extraordinaire
You said it perfectly.
P.S. Glad to hear that he was okay.
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Pass it over here next.
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Joie at Canned Laughter
That’s the thing about words of comfort when the unthinkable happens. Despite the best intent, they are often like pouring salt in the wound. When my sister lost her 3 year old child, the clumsy condolences and bum advice put her through the wringer for years. And that wound? It won’t heal. I think it’s important to respect that.
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ms. chnages pants while driving
fucking right. i remember after my dad died, i kept wondering… yeah but WHAT is he doing? who is he with? is he okay? and i can’t imagine those feelings for my child. i wonder what maddie’s doing. who she’s doing them with. and it breaks my fucking heart because heather and mike are IN it.
That’s the thing with humans. We always think that we have to ‘have something to say’. Like silence and a hug isn’t enough. Like showing your support in your own little internet world needs some icing. Some words of encouragement sent to those who don’t want encouraging. Maybe they want the silence. Maybe they want to cry, to think, to scream at the top of their fucking lungs.
I know I did.
And it was just my mom I had lost. Not a child. Thank God.
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Well said. It’s rather selfish to think that our mere words can “fix” such a heartbreaking situation.
Well now, don’t I like these digs. Been awhile my girl friend. I’m just gonna sit over there and put my feet on the furniture. Haven’t seen real Bwoobs in a some time. unless I look into the mirror, hardy har, just about lost you for good, wonder’in where you was. This feels good. Good vibs. I’m gonna cry. Missed you. Come over and visit and see a pic of my duck Kaiser in the post Sunday Afternoon. Old freak’in home week for me.
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Yes. Absolutely,beautifully, painfully, truthfully put! The agonizing vulnerability of parenthood undoes me anytime I think about friends who have lost (scratch that) had a child taken from them way too soon. How does one protect against that? How does one deal? Natalie Grant has a great line in her song “Held” – “to think that Providence would take a child from his mother while she prays, is appalling.”
Somehow there is comfort in having your pain validated. This post is wonderful because it is so genuine. And it resonate with those of us who might not know Maddie’s story, but have lived one that is too painfully similar. And in the face of death, I think only truth and honesty will do.
Thanks for sharing both.
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