Sunday was really awesome.  It really was.  I loved seeing SO many friends and their families.  I loved getting to catch up (albeit quickly) with people, running around like a mad woman (because, strangely, I actually like that), and then finally getting to hang out with a little group after most people went home.  I loved that Maxie's photo was everywhere and that he was remembered on that day.  I had fun.  Lots of fun.

But, there were a few moments that kicked my ass.

Early on in the event, when things were just getting rolling, I was fast walking from the registration table, down the lawn, to the staircase leading into the restaurant and I caught a glimpse of all of the kids sitting at the arts & crafts/face painting table, and for whatever reason, I felt the air leave my lungs.  All of this is for Max - I thought - because he died.  It was as if I'd been punched in the chest and I felt the tears well into my eyes, and my throat close and my heart start pounding.....and there was nothing to do but muster up every bit of strength I had and just keep fast walking towards my destination to do whatever it was that needed to be done. 

All of our hard work putting the benefit together was done out of love.  I am still madly in love with a boy who is no longer here.  I still can't believe my lucky stars that he is mine and I am still getting used to the idea that I am a parent and that my heart could feel this much adoration for another human being.  And it's like it still hasn't registered in some ways that he was snatched away from me over two years ago and that the life I had is gone - the person I was is gone - my child is just gone - no longer here - in some ways, as if he never existed.

So, I am happy - yes - that everyone came, that they had fun, that we had fun, that the benefit was a success.  And, at the same time, it is UNREAL that we are putting together benefits in our baby's memory.  I just makes no sense to me at all.

The lovely photographer who donated her time to our event also brought along these rubber bracelets that we put out on the kids table.  They say, "Life Happens - Choose 2 B Positive".  She had them leftover from a past event.  I thought they were kind of funny - because there was an assumption that was going to be made that somehow Ted and I have chosen positivity (and Ted, in most ways, has).  But I would say that, for the most part, I have not.  I don't think there is anything positive about any of this at all.  Not at all.  It's pretty much the least positive thing I could ever imagine happening.  Babies should not die.  PERIOD.  And if you think I am being dramatic, think for two seconds about the baby in your life and picture them dead.  You are probably appalled that I would even suggest such a thing - because it is so dark and negative.  There is no silver lining.  There is nothing positive.  There just isn't.

I have not chosen positivity - I have given into it.  I have battled with it and wrestled it and told it to "EFF OFF!".  I've also told everyone who has casually recommended positivity to me to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. But, at a certain point, the weariness sets in and you become too tired to keep fighting off the positivity.  And, I'm certainly not saying that I am a "positive person" - never have been - why would I suddenly become one now?  What I am saying is that the path of least resistance tends to be the easiest way, and in my case that path leads me to look for bits of light here and there and try to enjoy any parts possible of the remainder of this life that I have.  It's just easier than being angry all of the time.

Anyway, all this to say - it's hard.  I know you know it is hard - but I just wanted to say it...because my heart feels the strangest combination of heavy and light and my whole chest seems to be stuck in my throat.  And, even when we work hard to focus on the positive, the reality (which isn't positive AT ALL) is just sitting there, staring at us, wondering how we are doing such a good job ignoring it.  And, I just wanted to acknowledge that I often wonder myself.


Tanya said...

We spent a few days last week at the home of a dear old friend in New York, 80 years old but still working everyday as a travel agent, and living in a beautiful, bright apartment full of memories of a well-lived life. There are two fotos on display, one of her with her newborn baby and the other of a beautiful boy about 8 months old, a series of portraits in one frame. We knew she had lost David as a toddler, but she never talked about him to us. This visit, she told us that he died in a tragic accident and 2 years old - and that she relived it every single day of her life! I'm making a foto-book for her of her apartment, and David will have his own page....

jessica said...

I am so sorry that you have to choose to be anything other than who you are. It is so very unfair that you are in the position to be organizing a birthday benefit in honor of your son instead of a party with him here. It's not right. As you said, babies should not die. They just shouldn't. And it's so awful that this happened to your beautiful family. To Maxie. Maxie's Benefit was a wonderful event, and you raised a truly impressive amount of money for First Candle but I am so, so sorry that this was the way in which we had to celebrate your beautiful boy. My heart hurt all day for you guys (and, truly, for all of us). I love you all so much. I miss Maxie every single day. He is loved and remembered. xoxo

GrahamForeverInMyHeart said...

Sometimes I get so sick and tired of hearing about parents who extol the lessons they have learned from the death of their child. They have a new mission in life (whatever it is) and this seems to be what society expects from all of us when we have lost a child.

The reality is that we would all trade these "lessons" and "insights" to have our children back. We would give anything to do charitable work WITH our children, rather than in memory of them. Some people seem to think that the memorial garden my husband created at our synagogue is all about pretty flowers and the act of gardening. They forget that this is all because of Graham and that it breaks our hearts as we admire the beauty that Graham is no longer be here to enjoy.

Maxie's Mommy said...

Exactly. Within days of losing Max, I felt that there was a heavy expectation that I should become some sort of role model for overcoming adversity. I didn't want to show strength and positivity.