Smiles and Sorrow

What a tough week it's been.I'm not even sure I know how I'm going to blog about this. Part of me keeps thinking that I need to stop writing about this because this blog was supposed to be happy and funny and all kinds of other things. But the truth is, I feel like this needs to be said. It's not always happy, it's not always fluffy but it's real.There have been a lot of ups and downs these last few weeks. The biggest ones have surrounded mami. The three month anniversary of her passing was last Monday. It is so weird to me because 3 months doesn't seem like long. And yet I feel like it was a lifetime ago that I held her hand and watched her take her last breath. I am still struck by the "damn! She's really gone!" feeling at times. I don't necessarily have words to describe what that looks like at the moment. Other than the deep sense of loss that one cannot describe.

I think people expect me to just stop thinking about it, to be able to systematically turn this "thing" off so that I can return to my regularly scheduled program when in fact, all of the programs on the television have been cancelled. It's just not possible. I wonder if it would be best to retreat. To smile outwardly and when people ask me how I am doing, reply in the way that they'd prefer that I replied: Great! But those that know me know that's not me. So, If you are looking to figure out how to "deal" with me, I guess understand that it's only been 3 months and be patient. I'm still me and I am still fun and loving and happy. But not always.

It's occurred to me three paragraphs into this thing that this is the beginnings of what the grief counselor suggested I write: a grief letter. I'll stop here and get back to that part later because I honestly don't think I'm prepared to write that yet. Back to yesterday.

I had plans to go to church. But the frog princess woke up @ 2:30 a.m. She was up for an hour. Some part of me feels as if she woke to soothe me. I've realized lately how connected she is to my emotions. Like her mami, she is a comforter. This makes me love her even more (as if that's possible). That threw the morning schedule off a bit as she slept until 7 and by the time we got out of bed (because we were there for another hour as I tried to sneak in a series of 10 minute naps as I distracted her with games and books). Breakfast had been pushed back and by the time I looked up, there was no way I could get to church on time. It didn't help that I slipped back into bed and cried big fat tears. The Man was there to offer up a shoulder to cry on. And he took care of breakfast while I took a 15 minute breakdown moment. I feel as if I woke up with tears. When I was filling the tub to give the baby a bath, it occurred to me that mami gave her her first bath in that tub and I just broke down. We reset the day but it was okay. I had come to terms with the fact that things weren't going to go according to plan.

After a long frog princess nap, we packed it up and drove to the Publix to get balloons. There, a man with kind eyes filled my balloons quietly. He looked right through me and it was an odd feeling standing there waiting for my balloons that were going to heaven. I asked if I could put my notes in the balloons before he filled them and he said he'd try. He didn't ask what it was about. Just said it was a creative idea. Something made me feel as if he somehow could see my sorrow through the smile I gave him every time he looked up from his task. His name was Christian and the symbolism wasn't lost on me. We drove to the cemetery with 2 extra balloons that would stay on the ground. One for mami and one for abuela.

As we were making our way to the gravesites, The Man asked if the frog princess was going to keep a balloon. My first thought was no. Then as if she was standing next to me, I remembered that mami would never have anything and not share it with her. So, I resigned myself that one of those balloons would stay on the ground as a gift from her mama on this special day. It took The Man a while to untangle the balloons. Once he did, I tried to find a position where I would be able to let them go and not get caught up on a tree. After some deliberation, I let them go. It's funny because I didn't want to let them go though I knew I had to. I was reminded of the process of letting her go all over again. There was apprehension, sadness, questions as to what would happen next.

Just as before, I felt joy when I released them. A happiness that bubbles up in your heart and flourishes in your throat. It might not have a voice but it delights you nonetheless. My sorrow lifted with the balloons. Not all of it but, enough to let me appreciate the blue sky above, the peace that was growing within me and the fact that this was just another day for which I had to be grateful for.

I am sure mami got her delivery in heaven. I felt her smiling down at me with a mischievous grin that makes me wonder what it is that she finds so funny. Mami couldn't really keep good secrets from me so, I'm sure I'll hear what it is soon enough as I asked her to let me know when she got the balloons in heaven. Mami, I'm waiting...

Check out the video of the release: Balloons to Heaven