Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Beginnings or Scary Continuings?

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"Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past.
Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go."
-Brooks Atkinson

I like that this photo of Aaron and Aaron Jr seems like they are looking forward to the future. Like they are both full of hope in what the future holds.

2008 is here. Am I happy or sad about that? I really don't feel much either way when it comes to last year ending and this year beginning.

Actually, as I sit here and think about it, I am sad that 2008 has arrived. Even though 2007 has memories of the worst year I have ever experienced... 2007 also brought some of the most memorable experiences that I have with Aaron. Looking forward to 2008 brings me no such hope. I will never be able to look back at 2008 and remember experiences that I had with Aaron. Even though this should feel like a new beginning, it actually brings a lot of pain knowing I won't get to make memories with my best friend, my partner, my husband who I was supposed to create endless memories with.

Here are just a few reasons that 2007 was so memorable:
* I turned 30 years old, so Aaron took Aaron Jr and me to St. George and we stayed in an amazing place and went mountain biking in Snow Canyon. We had a great time together.
* Aaron turned 30 years old, and I planned yet another surprise birthday party with friends and family up in Park City.
* We celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary and Aaron took Aaron Jr and me to Brian Head to go mountain biking. We had so much fun.

Snow Canyon near St George for my 30th birthday.

What a blessing that we hit so many milestones this last year. Both of us turning 30? AND our 5th anniversary? It meant that had more adventures than we would have had otherwise... even though we really couldn't afford it.

The funny thing about the last surprise birthday party I threw for Aaron is that I told him I wouldn't be doing anymore because he had started to catch on. But really it just made it more challenging for me and I wanted to try to come up with something better each year. I would have still planned one for him this year. I couldn't resist.

As I was reading the blog of that Mom in Australia who lost her daughter almost a year ago, what she said regarding the new year rang so true to me. She mentioned that time won't heal the pain... "time will only make other people think it has".

As I thought about her words, they described how I feel so perfectly. As this last month has passed, I do not hurt any less... but I feel like people are expecting that time is healing me. I am not saying that I don't think I will ever feel better, I am just saying that the pain isn't getting any easier... it is just getting to the point where it isn't showing itself so outwardly anymore. I am holding a lot more emotion in than I was when it was so fresh.

Some days I feel like I am doing a little bit better, but then I will look down and realize that I have been wearing the same shirt for three days straight... sleeping in it and all. That is what happened to me today. I have lost the desire to 'fix myself up'. I did that for Aaron mostly. When I realized today that I had been wearing the same shirt for three days, I realized that I must not be doing as well as I am trying to be doing. I was doing that in the first week as well. So, I haven't come as far as I thought I had.

I hope this doesn't sound like I am losing hope altogether. It is just that I have days that are harder than others. I have tried all day to look into this new year and see something wonderful, but then as I sat down to type, I couldn't find anything wonderful once my feelings started to flow. Today has been a little more difficult for Aaron Jr as well. Every time I sat down at my computer today to start typing, he would come up to me and just want me to hold him. He would just stare at the photos that I have hanging up next to the computer. They are the ones that we took on our biking excursion up snow canyon for my birthday. He would just repeat the word 'Daddy' over and over as he looked at them. He threw in the word 'Mommy' a couple of times, but he was wanting his Daddy. All I can do is try to comfort him, since there is no way for me to know how he is feeling inside.

I guess one good way of looking at this new year is knowing that one more year is behind me... and puts me that much closer to seeing Aaron again. And since I know that will happen someday, that gives me hope.

Looking back, Aaron and I never celebrated the new year with big celebration... in fact, our very first new years eve together, some of Aaron's family came down and helped us throw all of our belongings into boxes as quickly as we could because we had to be out of our apartment by midnight that night. That is a funny one to look back on. Most of the time, we were just sitting watching TV or a movie and just spending time together the two of us. I would take one of those nights anytime now.

2008 will be a year of sadness... I know that. But... if I can make one resolution to make someone else's life better, it will be that I will try to make 2008 a great one for Aaron Jr. He needs to have great experiences and I pray that Aaron will be there with us for all of the important memories we will be making together. The moments when we can feel him with us will be tender mercies from the Lord.

Several people in my family get emails each day from something called LDS Gems. They send a daily quote from one of the church leaders. This one was given to me by a couple of different people the day after Aaron passed away:

"Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire." -Joseph Smith, 1842

I know this is true, yet... it doesn't take the pain away. My heart is still broken in a million pieces. But I know that God does have a purpose for what He is requiring of me. He has to. Or else what would be the point of going on?

Aaron... the half of US that is you is missing... and I look forward to when WE are complete again. I love you.

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Melinda said...

Leslie, I love the first picture of your Aarons!
I have been sitting here, stiff and freezing for the past couple of hours reading, crying, laughing...thank you so much for telling me to look at Sheye's blog when I visited on Sunday. I really have to say that reading her blog, and yours also, has changed me. Thank you.

Karey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karey said...

Sweet, sad thoughts. Every milestone (like the new year) will be a reminder of what you've lost. I hope that as you build beautiful memories with sweet little Aaron over the next year and beyond, that you will find joy in those things. We love you and pray for you every single day. It was so nice to see you while we were in Utah. Love you!

Sheye said...

Dear Leslie
Please be easy on yourself..I know "one month" in our Old World would normally mark a shift in time...a change in seasons...but in this new place, you need to allow many, many months, at the very least. Take a year for you to just try to find your feet, to adjust, to remember how to smile without that suffocating sadness. It will come, ever so slowly when the time is right.

For all the days that you shared and loved and laughed with Aaron, you could not possibly be expected to adjust overnight. Your love for him has grown and evolved over years..it cannot be undone just because he is not in front of you.

We never forget them, not for a moment, but time makes our new experiences the more familiar and in doing that, it eases the engulfing sadness. I've learnt to carry the pain of missing Ava and I just allow it to be. I accept that some days I will laugh with my other children and be in the moment completely and other days I will not be able to even see them for the thick fog in front.

It's a journey and it's life and person changing and those who love you unconditionally will expect nothing of you, not now and not in ten years.

One of social workers always says to me "gently gently" because I have sometimes tried to "find life" again too quickly and come undone, numerous times in fact. I hear her words in my head every day. Please take them and use them for yourself. I will remind you if you forget.

Baby steps, dear. Baby steps.

Sheye xxxx

Kristi said...

Leslie, we love you.

seesalou said...

be strong leslie. because you are.