Archive for October 2009

Not sure

26 October, 2009

Not sure what to say.

It has been over a month.

I have been trying to keep very busy and trying to find a house to be able to get Lido and I settled. That has been my focus right now…that if I just find a place for us to live and to start our ‘new life’ then everything will be fine. However, I can also feel everything just building inside of me. All the hurt, all the sadness…just piling up…being ignored. I think that it is okay to do for now. I can’t do anything else right now. How am I supposed to? Especially when I have a little guy to watch out for and be around?

Lido has been doing well for the most part. I know he is at the age where separation anxiety sets in…but it was as if it was turned on overnight. I’m dreading heading back to Portland and leaving him here but I just feel that it would be best for both of us if I went back by myself. I always said that he would need therapy…and at this point I know that the therapy list is growing so what is one more item?

It’s been hard as of late. I know that I am just suppressing feelings at this point but I just don’t think that I can deal with them. I typically dream all the time – every night – and I have had only one dream since Dodo died. It bothers me. I don’t like not dreaming and I especially don’t like the idea of not having the opportunity to dream about Dodo. To have him meet me in my dreams. It really bothers me. We always talked that there are multiple lives we would live and we would always meet in the next one – I always joked that we just needed to make it sooner. Neither of us though, believed that we would not be together in this life until we were old and needed to move on to the next one.

I just wish I would dream about him. That he would come to me and talk to me and tell me that it will be okay…that I could tell him about how much his son has changed over the past month. I wish I could just feel him around me. I can’t. And that scares me.

I feel myself slipping into the thought that there is absolutely nothing beyond what we have here. I’ve never thought this way. I know that I just can’t handle more right now. That I’m not ready to quiet myself really feel him around me. That would involve thinking about him. I find myself trying not to do that right now. I just feel like I can’t because if I do then it is all over. I have to just go on. I have to keep going. I have to set up our life here.

Then I get to a time like now and just want to remember everything about him. To think about him…but then my mind stops me…

I’m just so afraid that he won’t come back here with me…that he is wandering around the field at the crash site lost…wondering where he is…wondering where I am. Or that he is at our place in Portland searching for me. Although, I don’t think that he is. While I was at the crash site I told him that he had to come back with me that he couldn’t stay there. That he could come back from time to time to watch over the pilots…but he must come back with me. I need him.

I feel like I’ve said all of this before…I’m pretty sure I have. Obviously I just want him with me.

I see so much of him in his son. I was comparing baby pics and Lido is looking more and more like him every day. He has certain mannerisms that are definitely from Dodo…this is so much a blessing as it is a curse. I’m sure someday I’ll think that it is a blessing only. Right now…well.

I just hope that I find the moment to open myself up to feeling and experiencing Dodo again in this life. I want to feel him, to see signs of him, to believe that there is something more. I hope there is. Life would be hard to go through if there was nothing beyond.

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How does life go on?

21 October, 2009

How does life go on when you really just want to freeze it? You want everyone around you to stop. You want everything to be put on hold so that you can pick up the shards, the pieces, that lie around you. Until then – you want nothing to go on as if nothing happened.

Over the past week I’ve found that it is near impossible for me to get out of the house and do anything. I have. I’ve made myself do it but once I get to wherever I am I leave as soon as possible. Everything single thing that I do I think about the fact that Dodo is no longer here with me to bounce ideas off of, to tell me I’m crazy, to disagree, to agree, to be talked into, to just live life with me. The realization of it all has set in.

I have done things though because I have to continue so that I don’t look back on this time next year and wish that I had taken Lido to the park more, taken him to the zoo, played with him more, celebrated holidays with him. I don’t want to look back and regret this time in his life. We lived life so that we wouldn’t have any regrets and I’m certainly not going to start now.

But it is hard. It was hard going to the pumpkin patch this past Sunday with friends and their kids. It is something that Dodo and I were looking forward to doing and I actually found a great place to go to the day he died. I had made a note to tell him that I knew where a good pumpkin patch was and one that would be fun…Instead, I joined friends and their kids – another situation that Dodo was looking forward to…spending more time with his friends’ kids. Lido had fun going after all the gooey pumpkins. I did manage to find a small one for him to take home. I couldn’t bring myself to get one for me or for Dodo. Bringing one home was enough. I am not sure how I will do it or what I will do…but I will continue to do these small things that will make a difference in Lido’s life. He will remember good times growing up no matter how internally painful they are to me. I’m sure that over time, the pain will lessen…but right now it is so raw.

I was looking thru pictures of our trip to Yellowstone – the one when he proposed. Thru pictures of New Year’s Eve dinners, our first Christmas in 2003 together – the one where I got him his intro helicopter flight…There is a picture of the two of us holding up the redeemable certificate I made. He couldn’t wait to go…I asked myself if I knew that he would die in a helicopter crash then – if I would change anything…As much as I hurt and as much as I want him here with me, I know that this was the best thing that we could have done and he was doing what he was born to do and was made to do. He was just so damn good at it. Of course I look back on the day he died and want to change everything that happened…I want to tell him to stay home – take the day off – spend it with me, Lido and my mom. Just be with us…

I found a house that Dodo would have loved. It is near our old house and in a neighborhood that both of us really liked and dreamed about moving back to. It has a garage with Lido’s name already written inside…the house number is the same house number we had before minus 1 number…if you take our old street number and subtract the numbers then add that number to itself then you get our new street number…Ha – only Dodo ever got my ‘numbers’ thing…A numbers thing where I’ve been trying to figure out the relationship between all of our major dates…

09-28-2003; 06-01-2004; 10-01-2005; 10-03-2006; 10-11-2006; 12-03-2006; 03-25-2007; 05-24-1007 12-21-2007; 09-16-2008; 09-19-2009 (35); 9-20-2009. Did you know that if you take the day Dodo died and do the day, month, year combo it is the same ‘image’? 20-09-2009…fuck. Weird. Fuck.

He used to call me a limited rain man…I don’t know. I just always find something in numbers – like our socials…Dodo and I had virtually the same numbers in different order and the numbers that were not alike if you subtracted or added the numbers prior to those from each other you would get the numbers that were not alike…I don’t expect you to follow – just trust me. Any time a number situation came up he would look at me and ask me ‘okay what do you see’…and at first I would deny that I was doing anything…but he always knew I was trying to figure some correlation out in my head…

I’ve been receiving some really nice memory emails…It has been helpful in trying to muck my way through all of this. I guess right now I would rather read about someone else’s memory of him rather than facing my own memories of him. Sometimes it is just too hard to remember everything because it hurts too much. I don’t want them to be memories that I conjure up but ones where we say ‘hey remember when we did this?’ I don’t want it to be just me sitting here thinking of these things by myself. I just still can’t believe any of this is real. In the deepest places of my heart I know we should have had many more years together. I just can’t find a place yet where it tells me that the time we spent together was all we were going to have – that this was the life path we were walking down – that this is what the universe intended. That place is not there. I keep telling myself to be open to what this is supposed to teach us, open to what this is supposed to change in people’s lives, open to what others may learn about themselves, each other. I just can’t do that right now. I just want him and I want the world and the universe to know that this fucking sucks. That I can not fathom what is to be learned, to understand the path of life that I am now on. Bottom line is – this wasn’t supposed to fucking happen. Not to him. Not to me. Not to his son. You took away a good person. You took away a person that was completely into being a father and wanted the world for his son. You took a person away that wanted to teach his son to follow a dream. You took away a person that knew every little thing about me and loved me with his whole heart. You took away the only person that I ever truly, deeply, madly loved. You took away his dreams, his wants, his desires along with mine. You took his life. You took mine. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.

Can you tell it is a hard day?

One Year One Month

15 October, 2009

My Dearest Lido,

You are one year and one month tomorrow. Our life has changed. Your Father died almost a month ago and I am just trying to make my way through it all. Feeling that I not only lost my love but I also lost my life. That somehow, I have to take the dreams that your Father and I had and piece them together without him because those dreams have included you the past year and those dreams must continue on. I don’t know how to piece the dreams that he and I had back together though. That is the hardest. I’ve always been a planner and a dreamer – having to shift those plans and dreams without having a key element is hard. I know I don’t have to do it all now…but I also feel like I don’t want to take my time because life is short and you are so young that I don’t want to waste 5 years ‘going through things’…Right now I’ll take it as it comes and allow myself time. It is hard to even go shopping right now. Even grocery shopping because all I see is that I don’t have your Father to come home and cook for, I don’t have him there to play with you anymore, I don’t have him there making you laugh.

I am taking you to a friends twice a week so that you have other kids to play with and I have time to get things done and be alone to cry. I miss him so much and I hate the fact that he won’t be here to watch you grow – see the little things in you that are so dear – see the big things in you – I hate it. It breaks my heart all over again.

I’m trying to write down all of the things that I want you to know about your father. I want you to know how much he loved you and how much he loved being a Dad. We would all be sitting together or he would even be in another room and he would say – “I just got one of those moments. Those moments where it is so cool that we have a son and we are a family and I’m going to be able to teach my kid to ride a bike someday”.  He would always come in and say things like that about how excited he was right now about things that he would be able to do with you in the future. He would say things like that about me – how he was looking forward to being able to grow old with someone and that immense feeling of love and passion was just the greatest thing someone could feel for another person. We always looked at each other and just said – ‘this is perfect’.

Your Dad would walk through the door and you would walk or crawl as fast as you could and hang on the pant leg of his flight suit until he picked you up. Then you would just take his patches off and try and put them on again and he would just stand there letting you do that for a long time – forever if he could – he just thought it was all so cool.  He took care of us. He knew that it was important to just come home, help make dinner, feed you and then just spend the rest of the time with you and me playing, laughing, watching you explore. He loved you so much. He even cut the umbilical cord when you were born and he was always so squeamish about things like that. The pride he had the day you were born – the pride he had of becoming a Dad – it warmed my heart until it burst.

He had no butt. You to my Son, have his lack of butt and that is okay. It was a cute butt. He wore his shoes out like no ones business and he never complained about not having enough money that month to get him a new pair…he just hoped it wouldn’t rain. We had been planning on getting him a new pair. We always shopped long and hard for shoes for him – he was picky about that mainly because he was picky about what he wore to fly. He never wanted too much tread but not enough was also a problem. They had to be just right for flying – feel comfortable on the pedals.

He never wore his flight suit out – even if I asked him to go to the grocery store on his way home…he would come home first and change and then go…often irritating me and then making me turn it into a game of  ‘can I get him to go to the grocery store with his flight suit’. I think I managed it once…He didn’t like the attention that he drew when wearing it outside the airport. That was your Dad. I also think he thought he didn’t look good in it…but man was he good looking in that brown “onesie” as we called it. He put that on and he just looked – well – he looked like a man who worked hard for his passion and found exactly what he wanted to do and something that he was very good at.

When he first started training…he never studied on the sofa. He was always at the dining room table or the desk. He always said that when in college – he would fall asleep within 2 minutes of starting to study. He wasn’t going to let himself do that. I don’t think he would have anyway because he was meticulous about studying. I think we had sticky flags everywhere. He was always buying more – his pages in his FAR-AIM book were flagged, notes were flagged, notecards were flagged. He was one organized pilot. He would even carry around a little notebook in his backpack and then in his flight suit to jot down ideas, information, to do…lists. A pilot has lists. It is funny because I never knew quite what he put in there until he died. I found a couple in his backpack and they gave me the one he had on him in his flight suit. He had notes about what he wanted to do on the flights that day with his students. What he wanted to remind them of, work with them on – and each list for each person had a note to tell them what they were doing good and what to reinforce to give them a pep up. I know he would let them have it if they needed it but I also know that he was supportive of each one. He thought it was great to be teaching others – he loved it and I know that if he could continue to teach – he probably would have. He did want to eventually become an EMS pilot. He said that he just wanted to help people. Teaching was his initial way of doing that.

He had morning duty with you…He would get up with you, make you breakfast and take you downstairs and he would sit and play video games while you played. More often than not he would sit you in his lap and explain to you what was going on and how cool it all was. He played Lego Star Wars with you on the wii. He loved video games and he loved gaming. When we moved to Portland – he packed all of his models away, all of his paint away and even put the x-box away for an entire year until he was done with his training. It never came out much after that. He worked very hard for us – for him.

He knew how to love. He knew that this was the best gift he could give me and the most important one for our family. He would get discouraged at times because he felt he was not providing for us, for me. I always told him that he was providing more for us and for you by staying on this path, working hard, loving us than any paycheck could ever bring to our family. I want you to always remember that. In the end – our marriage was perfect because we balanced each other and we didn’t care how much money we had in the bank but we certainly cared about showing each other we cared, we loved, we had passion. We had our fights, we had our disagreements, we had our times when we did want more money in the bank but each time, we were there for each other – listened to what each other had to say – your Father was better at it than me most of the time – but we worked through it all because we just loved each other.

Your Dad knew movies, music, chess. A song would come on and he would always ask me what band it was…I’d tell him to fuck off. He would laugh and put the pressure on. I never got one right.

He was terrible with directions. In KC he was fine if it didn’t involve downtown or the Plaza or Westport. If you got out to the burbs he was fine…In Portland…well, there were many times he would be driving the opposite direction of our house and I would keep my mouth shut to see how long it would take for him to figure it out. Once he did, he would keep his eyes on the road, make a u-turn and tell me to fuck off as I sat laughing at him. I was always afraid he would end up in California when he flew because he was so bad with directions on the ground. As with any pilot – there were times where he would admit to not knowing exactly where he was but would figure it out – but he was good in the air. He at least knew which way was north…

I’m so sorry that you will not know him like I did, like his friends did, like his family did, like his fellow pilots did. I have received letters to be given to you when you are older telling you about your Dad, how he was a good friend, a caring friend, supportive, loving, gave it to you like it was with nothing but compassion and understanding, a good stick. I’m so glad that people are doing this for you – for me. I miss him so much. I’m so sorry. It hurts so much. I love him so much. There is such a void, a piece is missing from me. If I would look at me, I would only see a small part of me. Even though I was the more outgoing person, the more go, go, go person – he was the cocoon that surrounded me and kept me whole. He softened me, knew me better than I knew myself at times. I was always amazed at this. I never had to explain my feelings – just tell him what I felt and he could read me like an open book. That part of me is missing now and it feels like I can’t breath – I’m not whole. I’m only a fraction of what we were together.

I hope that you find someone that wraps their whole being around you. One that you become intertwined with while at the same time keeping yourself. I hope you find a love like this – no one should have anything less.

I love you so much my darling child. We will be whole together and you will grow and dream and love. I will be there to support you, to love you, to nurture you and we will find our way. Never take this situation and use it as a crutch in life – we all must live our life and fulfill our dreams and become the best people that we can. This is how your Father will live on. Be thankful that he touched people’s lives, that he loved me passionately, that he loved you deeply. Not everyone gets this. Be thankful that even though you may not remember him, that other people will and that they will share that with you. Be thankful that your Dad wanted to see you grow into your own person, have your own dreams.

I will hold on to this and so should you.

I love you very much and I will try my best to teach you to ride a bike, play video games, skateboard, be a geek and be okay with that. I will teach you who your Dad was and how he lives through us. I will teach you his compassion, his laugh, his smile. I will teach you to grow into yourself. To be yourself.

Always your Mom,

In this life and the next.

Hard Day

8 October, 2009

This is the first day I’ve been by myself, completely alone, since Dodo’s death.

I think I’ve been crying about every 30 minutes…

I’m making calls to student loan people, etc. and having to tell call center people that he was killed. That he is dead. Having to say this over and over again, well, I don’t know if it is therapeutic, a stab in the heart, or numbing.

I needed to find some documents that I thought I had packed in some boxes and started opening up a bunch of boxes…one was all of Dodo’s clothes that I wouldn’t let anyone wash. I guess it is good that I have the day to myself to do these things and to cry whenever I feel the need to. At the same time though, it makes it all too real. I’ve managed to live the past two and a half weeks going through motions, keeping busy and not allowing myself to feel the heartache except for maybe in the evening as I fall asleep.

It shouldn’t be this way. So many plans were made and dreams dreamed that won’t come true. If they do, a piece will always be missing.  I just keep harboring the fact that this should not have happened to him. Not to us. Even though we chose for him to be in a more dangerous occupation – helicopter pilots grow old – statistically they are more likely to get in a car crash than be killed in a helicopter crash. I always thought of him as a lucky person and protected some way.  I stopped being afraid for him every day as he walked out of the house because I knew it wasn’t healthy to live each day in fear, although,  I would rather live with that fear everyday and have him back than to live without him.

Over 6 years together…not enough.

2 weeks 1 day

5 October, 2009

I’m not sure if or when I’ll stop counting. I think it is easier to move forward if I know how many days I’ve gone through. Actually, I don’t really think so.

Dodo’s memorial service Saturday was beautiful. I was amazed once again of the outpouring of support. I’m amazed at the outpouring of support that I am still receiving. However, I still have not allowed myself to breath.

I can’t.

It needs to be a big joke. He needs to show up on the doorstep and just tell me he landed and got lost getting home. I worry that he was cursing everything, saying he was sorry over and over again knowing what was to happen. I still wish I could just have been there – to hold him – to tell him that it is okay – even though my heart is missing – that we will be okay somehow.

Today was my first day in the past two weeks, alone with Lido. It was just me taking care of him. It was hard. I look at the changes in him that only happened over the past couple of weeks and I just want to cry because Dodo won’t see these changes, help me take pictures, laugh with me. I found myself trying to remember all the funny things that only he did with Lido – things that I must do now.  It is hard trying to mourn him and be in the here and now with my son – happy.

Lido is on the brink of really saying more words. It is great to see…it is painful to see.  I worry about how I make sure he remembers or knows his father. I don’t know how. I do know how Dodo and I wanted to parent him and even though so many people want to help, well, Dodo and I spoke at great length regarding what we wanted to teach him. The values we wanted to give him and the way we wanted to just parent and be with him. I don’t want to have to explain this to others that want to help parent him. I’ll be able to do that – that was a good thing about Dodo and I – we saw eye to eye on this…and even when it was off a bit…we would discuss and try it out and then make a decision. Be a friend, be an uncle, be an aunt, be a grandparent but remember that there is one parent for him now – me.

Someone told me the other day that a buddhist monk told her that sorrow in death is only in the mind. Our mind tells us that we must be sad when instead we should be listening to our hearts and to the universe and be happy in the person that was here in our lives and whose spirit continues to live on.

From that I try to believe that the reverberations of someone should not cease to exist when they do. We should open our heart and settle our mind so that we can feel and sense the subtleties that is that person. Expand on what they gave us and their energy/spirit will never cease to exist.

This comforts me.

Although, I don’t know that I am ready to settle my mind for a while. I can’t. I miss him too much right now. I didn’t have enough time with him. I love him with my entire heart and body and mind.

Holding on…

2 October, 2009

My darling husband,

We have a second memorial service tomorrow for you here in KC. I’m sure you are wriggling about the fact that you will have had two memorial services but you will also understand that you touched so many lives and meant so much to people that it will take two memorial services.

I’m actually not ready for the service tomorrow. I feel like I can’t go through it. Not a second one. The first, in Portland, I was still able to be in a fog but this one – I’m fighting back my mind trying to think about all of this and wanting to tell me that this is indeed real and it is true. I can’t do that. How do you do that?

How do I move on with anything when my life was so entwined with yours? I never made plans that didn’t include you. I don’t know how. I’m so afraid of stopping and remembering too much of you – or even thinking about what I have lost because I feel like I would never be able to pull myself back up and pick up the pieces. If I just keep going…

Part of me wants to be back near where our life has been the past 3 years – to be where you were in your final moments. Part of me is so afraid that you are still there and not with me here.  I just ache.