Maxie's New Car

In June, we were in Connecticut for a wedding and to visit family and friends.  We took the red eye into town and I was TIRED when we got there.  After eating our "flagels" (Flat Bagels) I took a long nap while Ted and Gigi (Bonnie, Ted's mom....affectionately called Gigi by our niece Sadie.  She would have been called Gigi by Maxie too when he was able to speak) entertained the peanut.  They decided to take Maxie to the park and put him in cousin Sadie's little car for the ride.  When I FINALLY woke up, Ted showed me photos with a huge proud grin and told me about how little Maxie put his feet up on the dashboard and held on to the little steering wheel. In perfect Gigi fashion, the same little car arrived at our house for Maxie just a couple weeks later.  Ted assured me that even though the box said that it was for ages 1 and up, Maxie was a pro in this vehicle and I had nothing to worry about.  I wasn't worried.  If it made Max and Ted happy, it made me happy.  We parked the car in front of our house and Ted often took our little monkey for walks up and down the street in it.  Max would grab for flowers and other stuff outside the car as Daddy would wheel him past.  He looked like such a big boy in his little car.  It is just one of the many baby reminders that now lives in our house and backyard, unused, gathering dust, reminding us of who we do not have any longer.  The person we are thinking about and missing all of the time.

I wanted again to write about normalcy because this is a concept that just doesn't seem to make sense to those around us and I fully understand why.  I am not sure why it is so important to me that you understand this.  Some of you do understand it without me having to spell it out and truthfully, I cannot even speak for Ted because I think he appreciates a certain degree of normalcy and distraction, so I will speak for myself.  When you try hard to act normal with me, to talk about whatever normal stuff is going on in the world or in your life, when you don't acknowledge the pain that I am in, or you try to distract me with silliness, or you feel like you can't or shouldn't mention Maxie's name in front of me, you are doing yourself more of a service than you are doing me.  That is fine and I understand it because I have been in your shoes.  I know how hard it is to know what to say.  But, for the record, Max is in every thought that I have, whether I am asleep or awake.  When you tell me a joke or about how annoying your co-worker is, I am nodding and I may even be smiling, but I am thinking how sad I am that my baby died.  To be sure, I CAN be distracted but to start there with me is to ignore the searing pain that I feel without stop.  Again, I know how hard it is to be where you are with me now.  I have tried to distract a mourner, someone in pain, with silly stories and nonsense jokes.  I have talked about how much a day at work sucked or the dent in my car to try and distract you when you were grieving. I am SURE of it.  Now that I am here, I want to tell you with all of my heart that I am sorry.  Everyone is different, so maybe you actually did appreciate the distraction but still, I know now that nothing is the same when you sit on this side.  Everything is colored with the loss.  Everything is colored with images, thoughts, the love and longing for Maxie.  If you can acknowledge that, we have a better chance of moving into small talk, if that is what you would like to do.  I don't want to sound preachy.  I don't want to sound mean.  I don't want to imply that I will only talk about Max and nothing else.  I just want you, as someone I love, to know how to interact with me, someone you might love.

1 comment

Kimberly Bonheim Birbrower said...

Hi Abby,
I've been thinking about you today. Sending thoughts.