We Are Surviving

I have started and deleted this post so many times. I don’t even know where to begin. Today marks the one year anniversary of Mr Loco’s accident. (Just typing that sentence makes me cry.) Monday marks the one year anniversary of when he was declared officially brain-dead. Tuesday marks the one year anniversary of when he donated his organs and helped 5 people continue living. This morning marked a year….a year from my last conversation with Mr Loco, a year from my last hug, a year from my last kiss goodbye and my last “I love you”. I have been without my best friend and the love of my life for a year. Baby Loco has been without her daddy for a year. I am heartbroken. Baby Loco is napping next to me and the tears are flowing. I miss him so very much. Life is unfair. It still sucks. Grieving is hard. Insert all of those things I have said before right here. They still apply. It isn’t any easier.

I didn’t know how I would feel today. Grief tends to hit in waves and you never know when or where it may rise up. It is always there just under the surface. Today is hard and I know the next few days will be hard as well. That will be followed by our wedding anniversary in one week which is also the anniversary of the memorial for Mr Loco. That will be hard too. I didn’t know how I would feel today and now that the day is here – I FEEL EVERYTHING.
I am sad. I miss my husband. IMG_0975

I am happy. I got to play with Baby Loco today and that little girl can make you laugh and smile like no other. 2015-02-21 09.50.38
I am depressed. The circumstances I find myself in SUCK. Life is hard.
I am angry. Scrolling through Facebook should not be allowed when you are emotional. Trivial complaints make me stabby. Lots of things make me stabby. I promise, all sharp and even all blunt instruments are far out of my Facebook reach. I will refrain from commenting for the next few weeks.

THE LAST YEAR
I am proud. I survived the last year. It was hard as f*@$!
I am proud that I was able to continue nursing Baby Loco. I remember early on thinking very clearly that I needed to eat and stay hydrated so I could make milk. Baby Loco lost her daddy. I didn’t need to add to the trauma by taking away the comfort she got from nursing. I am thankful I was able to think about that and take action. I know I will be sad when that comes to a natural end because I will be done nursing. I will never nurse another baby. I had to grieve not having more kids with Mr Loco this past year. We always said we would have one or two kids. We were at a point where we were ready to go for it. Baby Loco is pretty spectacular. She reminds me so much of Mr Loco. She is the kindest gal around and I appreciate her sweetness and energy so very much.

I am proud that I have a small group of caring friends. Death does not always bring people running to your door to be your friend. Friendships blossomed and friendships were lost. The lost friendships are due to a variety of reasons. Grief freaks some people out. They turn and run away. They don’t know what to say, so they just fall out of your life. They think you should “be over it” and royally stick their foot in their mouth. Some people simply turned away. That is fine. Not all friendships are meant for the long haul. I seriously have no time or energy for drama. I cut my losses and move on. I am taking care of me. I am taking care of Baby Loco.
Some people distanced themselves from us, in turn, I know I have distanced myself from some people as well. This year was about survival. This year was about taking care of our little family. This year was about surrounding myself with people who got it, got me, and got Baby Loco. This year was about being gentle with ourselves. I have a small tribe of extraordinary people. I hope you know who you are: THANK YOU for being gentle with me. Thank you for loving on Baby Loco. Thank you for the text messages. Thank you for the cards. Thank you for taking time to talk to me about the hard stuff. Thank you for the surprise packages. Thank you for the play dates. Thank you for the soup and applesauce when we were sick. Thank you for making me laugh. Thank you for being ok if I cried. Thank you for every kind thing you did for us. It helped us survive. It continues to help us survive. Thank you. I am proud to know such amazing people. I am glad Baby Loco has great people in her life.

I am proud I am still in our house. I constantly question the decision because I am paying rent on a four bedroom house and realistically Baby Loco and I do not NEED four bedrooms but it is the house we lived in with Mr Loco. We brought Baby Loco home to this house. Our neighbors are the most excellent people you could ever meet. We talked about buying a house on this street because the people were so wonderful and the community was great. I know I won’t be able to afford to buy a house on this street unless a hefty down payment were to magically appear, but this is where WE picked to raise our family. So, I stay.

I am proud that we eat three meals a day. I pay the bills on time. We have more days where we get dressed and get out than days where we stay in our jammies. This may seem basic but it feels like the accomplishment of a lifetime.

THE NEXT FEW DAYS
As I continue to move forward, I won’t forget. I won’t get over it. It doesn’t go away. It is here. It is heavy. It is hard work. It is sad. It sucks. I will continue to breathe. I will continue to find ways to celebrate Mr Loco. For the next few days we will get outside. We will walk. We will take in the fresh air and the sunshine.

THE NEXT YEAR
I will focus on being a good employee. I feel like I feel off the deep end of sadness the last few months and my work has suffered greatly. I couldn’t keep my head in the game for a variety of reasons. I want to be a great employee. I want to be a good example for Baby Loco. I want to feel proud of my work.
I will continue to find ways to keep Mr Loco’s memory alive. I have a few ideas and will work on planning out the details. I vividly remember how desperate I felt to hold on to memories. That feeling of desperation has lessened because I know I won’t suddenly forget. I also know that I have put a lot of pieces in place to help Baby Loco remember her daddy.
I will focus on Baby Loco and she continues to grow. She is amazing. We made a pretty awesome kid. I want to continue with the things we had planned for her early years. We remember Mr Loco each time we go to swim class and each time we take a class at the zoo among many other things in our daily life.
I will focus on surviving. Three meals a day. Pay the bills. Enjoy Baby Loco. Repeat.

Much love to everyone who has supported our journey this past year and big hugs to everyone who is also mourning the loss of Mr Loco. He was an amazing man. I miss his humor, his love, his wittiness, and his thoughtfulness. I miss every little thing that made him, Mr Loco. His kindness and excellence lives on but it is not the same as having him here. It never will be the same. Our new normal is not as spectacular because we are missing Mr Loco. That hole will always be there. I can’t even begin to put into words how amazing he was. Here are a few pictures that may say better than I can what a great guy we are missing.

a pizza night 2014-04-28 08.55.26 ad clark sheriff 2014-06-14 21.41.48

I love you more, Andy. I love you more.
IMG_4921 2014-06-14 21.41.25 Andykidhat

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6 thoughts on “We Are Surviving

  1. What a lovely message. I think you are amazing and so very strong. The things you’ve done to keep his memory alive for Baby Loco and for yourself (and for everyone in Facebook Land) are so wonderful! So much love to you!

  2. I cried my way through this blog post — you are so spot on with your grief struggles. Your wisdom and strength are growing though it is a tough way to get it done… You are surviving and please know that it will not always be this hard. My love to you and little Ruby.

  3. Michelle, Thank you so much for sharing, and for all the ways you’ve helped us understand what you’ve gone through this last year. You are an incredibly brave and strong woman, especially in your moments of deepest sorrow, because you haven’t let those most fragile of moments win. As you said, you face them with gentleness and allow yourself to feel. Your belief in your ability to survive gives you the courage to be vulnerable, heartbreakingly honest, and 100% you. It’s a gift to everyone who knows and loves you. Thank you. And thank you for “Be Excellent to Each Other”. I’m blown away that in such a short time, something you were able to create during such an intensely difficult time has touched so many lives and brought so much happiness. Andy would be unbelievably proud. And if I may speak for all of us, so are we. Peace and love.

  4. Michelle. Sometimes there are no words. Sometimes you make there be words where one could fathom them being. I am so sorry I never got to meet Andy. Thank you for letting me know him. I admire and respect and love you.

  5. Your eloquence transcends the darkness and evil of the fractured fairy tales in which we each reside. Señor Loco and Locita Pequeña are 2 shining sides of one glistening coin, and you are the banker holding these treasures, and philanthropist who shares them over time. Mamacita Loco has taken the ultimate basket of bitter lemons and returned unbidden with a refreshing treat served in the sun. It’s murky, sometimes a little unbelievably sweet, but a color one can see, taste, feel and BECOME when it’s held up, just so, to the light. It is remarkable and could never have come down any other pathway.

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