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August 27, 2016
I wrote this blog post on August 27:
I lost it yesterday morning. I mean, I really lost it.
Moxie was hiding inside the dresser drawer, scarfing down popcorn after I told her countless times to get ready so we could go downstairs (in the hotel) and get breakfast (which would be over in 10 minutes). The boys seemed to have acquired her temporary deafness, it was like talking to thin air. Laundry was piled in the corner to somehow do, towels, toys and clothes strewn all over the room.
And I just lost it.
I went to bed and ugly cried.
I get tired of the constant shepherding, “come on, come on, let’s GO!”, of packing bags and shlepping from one place to another. Of being the memory of the group, “Micah, are you sure you want to leave your iPad on the table?” Of the 4 bathroom trips that invariably happen as soon as ordered food in a restaurant arrives. I’m tired of the wailing, the whining, the whinging, the fighting. Oh my God, the fighting!
“Mommmmmmmmmmy! Moxie hit me with Elsa!” – waaaaaaaaaah, THWUMP, “MaaaaaaaacccK!!!!!!!!!” bellows Moxie. “Mack, did you just hit Moxie?” I ask. “Yes, but she didn’t give me my backpack.”
Micah will happily join in on the fighting, making it all about Pokemon and crazy ninja moves. Mack gets all amped up with it, wants to practice on Moxie. And there you go. Again, and again and again.
Sometimes I read other blogs and it’s like, holy shit. Are my kids the only ones who fight? They are, aren’t they. I managed to breed the only children in the world who just can’t stop.
For the 20 minutes a day that they aren’t fighting (or asleep), how come I don’t treasure those moments?? How come I’m not all “sweet chubby limbs and bright faces” and I’m just like, “SIT the hell DOWWWWWWWWWN!!!!“
I am constantly tired.
I am not sure how much of this is just needing a break, how much is the cumulative stress of Dana being shot, still in the ICU, and likely to be in the ICU for a couple of weeks more. How much of this is the worry of what this is going to mean for him, for his family, and for my family. How much of this is the anxiety that I feel by the fact that the guys who shot him are still loose and we don’t know if it was a random or intentional robbery/shooting. Anxiety, because my nephews are young men who are visible and public and I don’t want anything to happen to them. Things don’t feel safe to me.
And I am tired from my body not being mine – sleeping with the kids in the hotel king-sized bed, their bodies all over mine, night after night. Writing in the morning with Mack on my lap (as he is now). I love their love and yet I need to be alone.
While I usually love being deaf, I am now tired of the strain of trying to hear and figure things out. I’m even tired of telling nurses that I lipread, and the whole “I’m sorry” responses, “mumble mumble mumble.”
The kids are up. The end.
This photo accompanied the blog post:
I felt this photo of myself captured exactly how I was feeling at that moment.
So worn out.
I missed my husband and his lack of contact wore on me.
As it’s clear from the blog post, my only concern with Dana and his healing was Dana and his healing: I had no doubt whatsoever that Dana was going to be healed. My only concern was his rehabilitation process, whether he would be able to walk again, and how I could help in that.
Mom and I were still looking on Craigslist in Redding for nearby rentals; we thought we could rent a place and make it easier for Dana to rehabilitate close to the hospital and the rehabilitation center. We talked about possible ways to configure it.
Death was not part of the picture in any way, shape or form. Not because we were avoiding death or wanting to focus on the positive; death simply did not make into our sphere of planning or thought because we truly did not think it would happen to Dana.
How could it?
Dana was the rock of our entire family. It was impossible, incomprehensible to think of losing Dana. It was easier to imagine the sun spinning out of gravitational axis.
His prognosis at that time was encouraging. He seemed to be doing better, the surgeries seemed to be helping.
I decided to go back to the Lost Coast and let Dana wake up with someone else; staying when I was so sure he was on a solid path to recovery seemed to be selfish.
So, I made a diaper run at Target for the kids
Then I drove the 7 hours back to the yurt that we lived in, off the grid on the Lost Coast.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.