Friday, February 1, 2013

Monday Morning Mourning

Last Monday morning I was pretty excited. I was about to go to my VERY first teacher in-service with my mentor teacher. (I am currently doing my Student Teaching). I was excited because I FiNaLlY made it to Student Teaching and was getting to do some "big girl" things that are done in the "real world." I wasn't excited that I had to start my "big girl" activity at 7: 45 in the morning. ehhh. Beggars can't be choosers. My husband was starting his third week at his new job and didn't want to give a bad impression by asking for the day off to stay home with the kids, so I asked my sister if she could. Of course, she wouldn't turn down an opportunity for a fun day of video games and chances to steal smooches from some adorable little boys.

~ Before I continue this story I should let you in on a couple of things. I am blogging about a very personal experience. I find that journaling is very therapeutic.  I am choosing to blog my journal of this experience because before this happened, I had NO CLUE what people were going through when they went through this. I had NO IDEA how to help. I am sharing this with you so that you may have a glimpse of what it is like from the perspective I have lived. With that in mind. I will not be offended if you laugh. I laughed myself. Please keep an open mind that people grieve differently. Finally, I will be posting this story in segments.... it was a very long week.~

Where was I.... oh yes. My sister was going to babysit.... I didn't want to be late to my first in-service so I started to get ready super early. I was up and at 'em at 5:50. I started the coffee, set out the kids breakfast so that they could make it themselves, and got ready for my shower. It was a little after 6 when....

I turned on the water, it was cold, so I didn't rush to get in. It tends to take a minute for the water to warm up. I saw the steam coming over the shower curtain. Stark naked, I took that final glimpse in the mirror women usually do before hopping in. I had a brief moment where I was disgusted by my figure and the never-ending scars of carrying 2 VERY large babies. Grumbling how they should be greatful to be on this earth because my body wasn't, I started to climb in the shower. As a mother of two, I learned REALLY early to lock the bathroom door. As my foot was almost in the steamy bathtub, I hear the knob rattle. I smiled to myself . "Caught you, you little twirp, trying to come into the bathroom on MY time," I thought. Then I hear the frantic banging on the door. Not a twirp kind of a bang. A Mad Jeff kind of bang. I opened the door and there he was.... mad... as predicted. My sister was calling. "I hope she is not sick," he said. "I can't take off of work and you can't miss your meeting." He handed me the phone and closed the door. Of course, I answered.
Steph (unusually quiet)- "hey"
Me- "hey whats up?"
Steph- " I just got off the phone will Aunt Sis. Diane called her this morning. She said that Diane called her to tell her that Dad wouldn't wake up."
My thought- "seriously? This man sleeps like the dead. After 4 years you would think she would learn how to wake him. No need to be waking people up so early. geesh."
Steph- "The paramedics tried to revive him, but they couldn't."
Me- "what? I don't understand. What?"
Steph- "Dad died this morning. They are waiting for the coroners to come."
Me- "What? No. What? How? How?"
Steph- "I don't know. He died in his sleep. Diane couldn't wake him. I am so sorry I had to tell you."
Me (the streak of accountability my parents instilled in me kicking in) " I can't miss today. Jeff has to work. What are we going to do? Dad died? Are you okay?"
Steph- "I am in shock, but I am okay."
Me- "Are you okay to still watch the boys? I am not sure what I have to do with this."
Steph- "yeah. All we are going to do is wait anyway. At least I will have something to do."
Me- "Ok. I will see you in a bit."
S- "ok."
--- insert guttural cry I have never heard come out of my body before----
I fell to the floor. Sobbing. Unable to control myself. I cried like I have only heard babies do. Out loud. I hear Jeff bounding up the stairs. Realizing I am on the floor, naked, (still ugly and scarred) in a steamy bathroom, bawling uncontrollably,I lean against the door so he can't come in. I don't want him see me like this. It is bad enough he has seen the INSIDE of my body and children pulled out of it. I am lucky he still like to wake up next to this mess! He pounds on the door. He banged on the door yelling for me to let him in. (No Way Hosea!) Then I realize, I can't move and I am extremely uncomfortable.... and my dad is dead. The man who wanted me to show off my hideous belly because he was proud he was going to have a grandson. The only man whose hands made mine look small. The man who made me feel beautiful when I was concerned that I looked too manly to ever be. My dad was gone.

 I was on the floor. Dirty. Naked. Now starting to sweat. Starting to cramp..... in my chest? What was that feeling? My heart. I thought I felt heart break before. It was nothing compared to this. And I was still bawling out loud. "Pull yourself together," I told myself. I grabbed the sink and pulled myself up. Now that ugly body didn't seem important. Jeff barreled in, grabbed me by the shoulders and demanded to know what happened. "My dad died. My dad died in his sleep." Total disbelief was all I could gather from him. He hugged me so tight and wouldn't let go until I pulled myself together. Finally it clicked that this was incredibly awkward. I told him I was okay and needed to get ready for my in-service. He was not pleased about me going, but I convinced him that I HAD to.
Check list:
Have another cry in the shower.... check
Get dressed...... check
Fix hair.......... bun will do
Put on make up........... not today
eat...... nope
drink....... nope
go to meeting............almost

After I told my mentor teacher what happened, she cried with me. Then she politely kicked me out of her car and told me to go home. >>>> I LOVE HER
 Did I go home? Nope! I had work to do at my job. I can't very well shut down when I have a job to do. So, I went to work.  I typed an email to send out to my coworkers letting them know I would be unavailable because my dad died thus alarming every single one of them. My friend/ boss Ami was more panicked and concerned that I expected. I  started to make a schedule for my volunteers to work the nursery.... making my coworkers very uncomfortable with my random sobs.They sent me home too>>>>> I LOVE MY COWORKERS.

After a couple of hours, it was decided that my sister and I would have to drive to Florida to take care of my dad's business of passing away. Our husbands would let us go without them. My husband was even able to get bereavement and personal time so he could come with us for a week.>>>>> WE LOVE HIS NEW JOB!!
Off we went on our adventure to Florida.....but before we left. We received news that a 22 month baby boy who stole my heart at the church lost his battle with brain cancer. Before noon, I had a Monday morning full of mourning.

Rest in Peace. Sweet Baby


  1. Erika, this was so articulate and real. Thank you for sharing you experience.