I get a text once or twice a week about getting together for a play date. Simon is a few months older than G, and he can say her name now and screams when we drive by their house and don't stop. They get along as well as all toddlers do, and they hold hands occasionally. I try not to fast forward 12 years in my mind, when holding hands is something much more weighty.
G's mom, and I have a blast when we get together, even if it's just trying to tame the chaos that our children are together. We share current town news, upcoming events, and our hard dead baby days. The circumstances aren't similar in any way, until you get to the picking out a baby casket, and how to tend to a grave you no longer can easily go visit because you've moved.
We shared the other day how we watch children the age ours our supposed to be, and try to imagine what ours would look like, or how they'd act. And how it guts us to think on what we're missing. I draw and paint butterflies for her, and she participated in Dia de los Muertos with me back in October.
And I know that if we didn't have each other, the move to this town would be that much harder.
When I'm not in charge of a my two year old and the normal responsibilities of running a household, I'm planning my next art project and what my next run will be. I'm surprised to say that running takes up a large chunk of my brain space now. An earlier post described my shame in forgetting a BLM holiday due to my anger in having had to miss a race due to illness. That forgetfulness is unheard of, until this year. I speak about Lyra, and miss her more than ever. But it's not always at the forefront of my thoughts like it used to be. I'm not sure if I can say that's a good thing, or if I feel like I'm losing the hold I had with that grief. I won't ever lose it all the way, if that scenario is accurate.
My running has allowed me breathing space to feel a sense of normalcy again. I'm a part of an online running/athletic community where we encourage, support and ask questions about whatever we're trying to accomplish. There are no politics, no religious questions or thumping, and for the most part, no one divulges much of their personal lives. To everyone there I'm just Rachel, a newbie runner who dabbles in strength training and crossfit. I've lost four toenails, my knee has been injured, and I had to miss my first half marathon due to bronchitis.
And it's kinda nice sometimes to only be known by those things.
I'm learning who I am still. Who I am with her gone. And who I am without now feeling I have to tell everyone about her. Who I am as me, and not just me missing her. I suppose the two are synonymous. Just like with live children, you have to figure out who you are, separate from just being "Mom". But it's never questioned that you are still "Mom" and your heart would never love your child(ren) less. So I have to remember the same goes for Lyra, even though I don't have her here with me.
I think it's scary to look back at what we've come through. I don't ever want to go back to that kind of pain and hurt again. I hate thinking of Lyra's death as some catalyst for change that could not have happened otherwise. But the grief and pain and my experience of loving her still caused change. And for the first time in a long time, the hurt is not at the forefront of my thinking.
Year One: Right Where I Am: One Year Five months
Year Two: Right Where I Am: Two Years, Five months
Add your "Right Where I Am" here.