I've written so many entries in my head over the past few weeks, but just haven't sat down to write. I don't even know where to begin. For the most part, I think I'm still in shock. This past Thursday, though, was by far the worst day I've had so far. Up 'till then, I'd feel the pain of Matt's loss in short little spurts. Thursday was a different story. I felt it all day. It was horrible. I cried all day, and wondered if I'm too young to die from a broken heart. Does that only happen to old couples when one spouse dies? I know I have to keep going for my kids, and that's the only thought that barely kept me going that day. Tha'ts the thought that keeps me going every day.
I had a really hard time eating in the beginning. Nothing looks good. When I put something in my mouth and chew, I can't swallow it. If I do swallow, it gets stuck in my chest. I felt nauseas. Even when I was hungry, I just didn't want to eat. It's not as bad now, thank goodness, but it gets bad again during the really rough moments. I probably lost 6 lbs in those first 4 days. I put the scale away after that because I didn't need anything more depressing to look at. I wondered how it would be with Thanksgiving - with all that food. Thanksgiving. I had a really hard time being thankful for anything. Forget about saying Happy Thanksgiving.
I took the kids and went to Arizona for Thanksgiving. We left the Wednesday before, and I'm so glad we decided to go at the last minute. It was therapeudic being with Matt's immediate family, and I think it was the same way for them to have us there. It was great to be with everyone... The whole family gets together for Thanksgiving - Greg and his family from San Diego, Chris and his family from New Mexico, and Jeff and his boys who are already in AZ near Matt's parents. I decided that even though it's the busiest time of year at my work and I usually need that time to get caught up, we are going to make it an annual tradition to get together with them for Thanksgiving. I'll make it work somehow.
Jacob got to ride in the Rhino (a four wheeler with a little cage and straps) and loved every minute of it. His first ride was around 10:30am on Thanksgiving morning, and that's when I started drinking. I figured it was 1:30pm where I lived, so it was OK! LOL My wonderful sisters in law whisked me away for some shopping and my sweet mother in law watched the kids so I could have some free time. It was great to be thousands of miles away from my house where the reality of my situation and all of my new responsibilities and confusion were staring me down. By the time I got back, I was a little more refreshed and able to tackle some of it. My sister (who is staying with me until the beginning of January, thank God) had my house spotlessly cleaned by the time I got back. Everything sparkled! I'm so glad that she left Matt's t-shirt and shorts on the floor by the bed where he left them on that Friday before, though. And his work-out clothes that he had washed and hung on our drying rack in the bedroom. I just can't bring myself to move those yet.
The flights there and back were rough with the kids. Sydney does not like being confined to a small space - Jacob being a little older could tolerate it a bit better. We had a layover in North Carolina on the way there and back, and I thought for sure on the way from Phoenix to Charlotte that they were going to make an emergency landing and kick us off! Fortunately for us, we had some really understanding passengers who were trying to be as helpful as they could. I think the guy that sat w/us from Phoenix to Charlotte was an angel from heaven. He looked pretty rough around the edges, and I bet most people probably would have been afraid of him, but he had really kind eyes. During the times when Sydney wasn't screaming, we talked a bit - his name was Rod - probably in his late 40's, early 50's maybe. He said he raised his two young kids - a boy and a girl - by himself due to divorce. I told him that my husband died a couple of weeks ago. It was a bit awkward for a few moments after that - I mean, other than I'm sorry, what can you say to that. I actually feel bad for people trying to come up with what to say to me. Honestly, I wouldn't know what to say to someone that is in my situation, either.
For nearly the whole flight, Sydney screamed, cried, kicked, squirmed, you name it. She was so tired, but fought sleep with everything in her. My kids aren't the kind of kids that will sleep through anything because they don't want to miss a thing. There were a few brief moments when she would settle down, and a couple of times even put her arms out for Rod to hold her! Anyone who knows her knows that she doesn't warm up to people she's not very familiar with. It seems now, though, that she takes to most men - maybe because she was Daddy's little girl and she is now looking for any kind of comfort from a man for some familiarity? After that hellish flight, we landed in NC, and I thanked Rod for being so understanding and helpful, to which he responded, "It was the best flight of my life." I couldn't believe my ears. That's when I came up with the conclusion that he must have been an angel.