Monday, April 16, 2012

Feelings of the Mind and Heart

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 I have been sick for the better part of a month. This has been my worst season EVER when it comes to coming down with sickness throughout a winter. I have had a wicked and brutal case of bronchitis that has had me down for the count and I have just developed what I believe might be strep throat and a double ear infection.
So, as I look over my scattered thoughts that I just got done writing tonight, I realize that my emotions have been on the verge because of being emotionally and physically drained from this illness... and part of me wants to delete all of this that is written below and pretend I never wrote any of it. And since most of it was typed through the blinding of my tears, most of it might not even make any sense... but since I know they are true feelings of my heart, I am going to post them anyway and ask that those who read this will please be gentle in your thoughts.

I continue to press on in my uphill battle and I know I will be fine.

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I wish I knew where to begin. I am feeling lost... in so many ways.

I have so many scattered thoughts running through my mind right now, and my heart is so filled with pain tonight, I feel like I will explode into a million pieces if I don't get these thoughts and feelings out. I guess I will just start typing and see what comes out.

Aaron Jr has loose teeth. This may not seem like a bad thing, but to me... it is so very sad. He has grown up teeth coming in and everything that happens in his life that is a sign that he is growing up makes me want time to slow down even more.

I have been watching old videos a little bit lately... videos from a few years ago, in those first couple of years after Aaron passed away. These videos make me happy, but they also have been causing me a lot of pain because of regret. When I watch Aaron Jr in those videos, I grieve for the little boy that is no longer here. Not that I don't want Aaron Jr to be the boy he is today, but in those couple of years of his life, I was there physically, but not present emotionally. When I watch the videos of this little tiny boy who still needed me in order to survive, I feel so guilty. SO guilty. I was there in his life taking care of his physical needs, but I feel like I was not present so much of the time. I feel like what I was forced to go through and forced to deal with robbed me of the precious moments of motherhood in these precious years of his life. I feel like those first couple of years after we lost Aaron I was walking around in a fog... trying to breathe again and trying to figure out how to survive on my own. I was completely in survival mode. I have talked about this recently with other widows and they have the same memories about those first couple of years... living in shock and not being present emotionally... just in survival mode. I'm struggling with it though...

So, my son, my perfect and precious little boy, missed out on having a mother who was emotionally there and PRESENT in his life... and I missed out on so much that I could have been experiencing as a mom. That time is lost and I cannot get it back. And because I am a guilt monger, I am struggling right now to forgive myself. I wish I could have those years back. I would do things so much differently. I know I would still be grieving the loss of my husband and the lost dreams of a growing family, and I know I would still be feeling lonely and heartbroken, but if I knew then what I know now, I would focus more on him. I would grieve WITH him instead of grieving while closing myself off from the world.

I was so selfish back then, I was so focused on my own loneliness, and didn't think all too often about how lonely my child must have been. I am brought to tears and am overwhelmed with the thought of how lonely he was because of my selfishness. It literally has been breaking my heart lately when I think about it. My heart hurts so much right now for him. He was just so little and so did not understand at all what was going on... and I could have been so much better for him. All I have ever wanted to be for him was a wonderful mother.

I wish so badly I could have heard all of this from a widow back then. If I had known a widow back then and they expressed thoughts like these... I would like to think that I would have tried harder not to have these types of regrets. So I guess that is a reason that I want to put these out here... I wish I had read something like this back then.

I wish I could explain this better. I know in my heart what I am feeling, but it is difficult to explain. I just really wish I could start over... from the day Aaron died. I would truly go through it all again just for another chance to do things differently and be better for my son.
I would go through pain a million times more painful if I could do it over again... for him.

Some of my thoughts lately are not new... but they are ever so present in my mind lately and I need to get them out.

It is no secret that Aaron Jr wants brothers and sisters. He talks constantly about it. After I did the last posting about how he asks if we can do chores, I realized that he might not do that if he wasn't so bored and so lonely that doing chores with me is something he gets to do WITH someone. If he had another child to play with, I am positive he would want to play instead. I am more present in his life now, but he doesn't have as much fun with me as he would if he were able to hang out with a brother or a sister and play and pretend and wrestle.

Yesterday in the car, Aaron was talking about his cousin who just turned 8 and got baptized. He asked me who was going to baptize him when he is 8. This has been a subject on my mind ever since Aaron passed away. I hoped so badly that I would be married again by then so that he would have a dad who could do it. I then asked him who he would want to baptize him. He thought about it for a second and then told me who he would want to baptize him.

I just feel like it is so unfair that these are issues he has to deal with. When I turned 8, my dad was alive, so there was no question in my mind who would baptize me. I hate that my son has to even ask the question, 'Who is going to baptize me?' Why should he have to wonder that? It is such a no brainer for a child whose dad is alive.

I have been talking to Aaron lately about the things we want in our lives and that we should ask Heavenly Father for the things that we want. He knows that I want to get married again and I know that he wants brothers and sisters. So, lately, he has been praying that I will get married again and have brothers and sisters for him.

This is something I have been praying for for years now... but being thrown into this world again, the dating world, is not easy. The first time around was brutal and tough for me, and this time around it is a bazillion times more brutal and more tough for me.

The subject of dating makes me want to
Laugh Out Loud
and also to
Cry Out Loud.

In fact, I often do both... in the same conversation about dating. :)
I'm lost. How do people meet each other these days? I have no idea. I don't know what I am supposed to be doing or where I am supposed to be to meet someone. But I know it is not going to be in my house that I meet someone. It has been suggested that I do a posting on this blog and ask all of you out in the blogging world to help me out in this... to think of the single LDS guys that you know who I could be set up with. But for some reason, it feels strange to actually go through with doing a posting like that.

At the beginning of the year, I had this wonderful hope that this year was going to be MY year. Of course in my mind, that meant I would meet someone great and hopefully on my way to having a complete family again. I still have hope that it will happen... but have no idea where this person is and how we are supposed to meet each other. It is as much a foreign concept to me as it would be to try to speak fluent Chinese today.

I do pray every night that I will receive guidance about where I should be and what I should be doing in order to meet the man who I am meant to meet.

In this process, I feel like heaven has been silent. BUT, since I know that heaven is not silent if we have ears to hear... I know it must be that my life is too loud. In these past four plus years, I tend to have constant noise so that the loneliness does not consume me. I know it is my problem that I am not hearing the voice of the spirit answering my never ending pleas in this matter. I don't think there is anything that I have ever prayed so fervently about. I guess I need to quiet my life. I need to be taught how to listen better and understand what the Lord is trying to tell me.

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
~ Philippians 4:13

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Momza said...

Well no wonder you aren't feeling good. Your heart is so heavy with grief and guilt and loneliness, it's enough to weigh anyone down, sweet sister.
I don't have all the answers to your ills, but I do know this:
None of your grief, sorrow, or pain will be wasted. The strength that you and your sweet boy are gaining in the wake of your husband's death will benefit you and bless your lives and those around you.
Heavenly Father is aware of you and loves you--and your son. Whomever comes along in your life, will have to be an extraordinary man...I look on with great interest the paths you are traveling and feel certain your prayers will be answered in all their fullness. Much Love sent your way today.

Until such time... said...

Oh boy did that bring back memories. I had been single when I adopted my sweet little boy alone and then met a wonderful man who I really believed was my forever man. His intention was to adopt this little child with me and we would raise him together [forever, I assumed]. We married when my son was 4 and he left--walked out the door--just decided he didn't want a family after all--when my son was 5 1/2. It was sooo hard. Like you, I was not emotionally available although I truly did my best. I raised my son alone for 8 1/2 years. It was hard but the Lord walked with me. I always had good jobs and nice homes to live in. Relatives and dear friends did the baptizing, the confirming, the ordaining, etc. And now, my son is ready to graduate from high school. A happy, wonderful young man.

When I was devastated in my heartbroken condition, I was presented in a tender mercy sort of way with a quote by Elder Richard G. Scott: “The Atonement will not only help us overcome our transgressions and mistakes, but in His time, it will resolve all inequities of life—those things that are unfair which are the consequences of circumstance or others’ acts and not our own decisions.”

It was life-changing for me and helped me greatly. But in the last few years, I have finally come to realize that it also applies to my son. The Atonement will resolve the inequities of him being raised without a dad - and it will for your sweet son also. Everything will be okay.

There. Now you can let go of the guilt and sadness. Our Savior will carry it for you. :) Isn't the Atonement wonderful?

cynphil6 said...

Sweet Leslie,
As mothers/women, we have the capacity to go from 0-GUILT in .006seconds, so let me say this. YOU ARE A GOOD MOM!!! Also, although my dad was alive, I still had to ask "Who will baptize me?" I had wonderful home teachers that baptized and confirmed me. My own children were baptized by their Uncle Darren, and so it goes. Sometimes it just takes a while. (I'm happy to say my husband now works in the temple!) I hope the desires of your heart are fulfilled in finding a husband. My friend met her new husband at a widow's support group. (LDS) and recently remarried. I'm sure you could find out more about it. You deserve to be happy, and that is what our Heavenly Father wants for you. HANG IN THERE!! ( :

Tawnie said...

I love you Leslie.
“Get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work.” - Pres. Hinckley
This is what came to mind when I read this.
In two years, don't look back and regret NOW either.
Be busy. Serve like crazy. It will make you happy and you'll feel better. Sincerely pray EVERY DAY for what you can do for others. Those prayers WILL be answered and will lead to more than you could have hoped for.
Still praying and hoping for you.

Kristi said...

Let go of the guilt and move forward. Looking back on the should haves will not help you to live in the present and allow you to be the best you. Easier said than done, I am sure.
When I was a single gal I received the advice to work toward being the kind of person I would want to marry. Don't focus on what you don't have. Make the most of what you do have. Polish yourself so that when the right guy comes around, he will see the beauty that you have grown into.
The Lord has his own timing too. We have to wait on the Lord for when things align. In the mean time, become the best you in all possible aspects.
I am always so careful about giving advice, especially when I have never walked in the persons shoes, but today I am throwing caution to the wind. I hate to see you in such sorrow. I thought a pep talk might...I don't know... be good.
I hope you feel better soon, physically and emotionally. Get out there and make a life for you and Aaron!
Love you guys.
Feel free to delete this comment if you want.