100 days...it feels so long, it feels so wrong without our girl here. I have realized today that I am just not the person that I was. I am not good at anything like I used to be. I can't believe that this is my life and who I have become. I am trying. I am trying so hard to be a better mom with the other three kids, to be patient as they are dealing with issues too...but I won't lie...sometimes I fail and I fail miserably a LOT.
(This was one of the first times that Adeline ate applesauce. I chose this picture today because of that beautiful smile. She always had that gorgeous smile and I miss that smile most of all. Yes, I am thankful that I can see it in pictures and watch it on videos, but that cannot compare to the way that her gorgeous smile would light up a room when she was here.)
For instance, there have been moments lately where I just do not feel as though I can keep up. Being in graduate school while being a mom is hard. Being in graduate school after losing a daughter and trying to be supportive for your family feels impossible on some days. I am so thankful for my amazing professors that are helping me to stay on task and accomplish my goal of completing my MS. There have been many moments where I have wanted to give up, but then I remember all of those moments that I shared with Adeline when I was researching and writing...the moments where she questioned me about my work, let me read to her my articles or papers, and acted like she was interested in what I had to say. I know that Adeline was proud of me and I want to continue to make her proud even though she is no longer here with us.
This week I discovered that the kids are having a much harder time than I realized. I have discovered that Althea is really not sleeping and when she is, she is not sleeping well. We are trying sleeping meditations that can play on her TV while she is in bed at night. I also discovered that she is struggling to keep up with everything which is something that I can absolutely relate to and understand. I am struggling to keep up. I can only imagine that if you are a little girl with a little sister who have played with, spent all of your time with, and even slept with that it is going to be even harder. (I feel bad that I have been so consumed in my own grief that I have not paid attention and noticed theirs.)
My boys both seem angry a lot of the time. After taking with a therapist that works with children, I have learned that this is a typical response for boys, to be angry after suffering a great loss. The loss of Adeline was great for the boys too. Huxley often played with the girls and he had a special little bond and special jokes with Adeline. Andrew, even though he was much older, cherished being able to have special times with his little sister. He took Adeline lunch a few times at the grade school when high schoolers were out earlier than grade schoolers and even took her for ice cream and treats while we were in quarantine. I can tell that the boys are angry because they seem to always lash out on me. Most of the time I can stay composed and remember that they are going through the same painful loss as me. Other times, I fail and end up yelling back because I am just so angry at the world and when they are lashing out at me, the natural response is to yell back. I know that I need to be better.
I am trying to give the kids more attention and do things like I used to, working later into the evenings/nighttime when necessary or getting up earlier in the mornings. I am trying my hardest to get back into the same routine with things that I had before the fire. The biggest struggle that I have is that the brain fog is very real. It is hard to do everything and things that were so easy and simple before are not now.
Today was a busy day. Busy days are good days. I got up and graded some papers. Then I went for my massage. I go every 4 weeks for a massage to help me with pain issues and to help me with mental health issues. Today was my appointment and the massage was everything that I needed. Then I came home and graded some more papers. I then took Huxley and Althea back to Canton to have their pictures taken for the yearbook. I have messaged the principal at Adeline's school to see if she can have a photograph included in this year's yearbook. Then I will have at least one last yearbook of her.
Speaking of yearbooks...Andrew was gifted his freshman, sophomore and junior year yearbooks. I was able to get all of his replacements from grade school too by contacting principals. The junior high vice principal is helping me out and trying to locate all of the junior high yearbooks for the kids and the grade school principal is trying to get replacement yearbooks for the years that he was unable to locate. I am keeping my fingers crossed as I would LOVE to have these to commemorate Adeline's years in school. I am hoping that this all works out, that I can get these things.
I miss Adeline beyond measure. I don't even know how to begin to describe the longing that I have to see her. Watching my kids break down at events, when we are doing fun things, or when they are asked why they do something is heartbreaking. I know that they have these same feelings of longing and yet they are not in the position to fully understand what they are feeling or how they should be expressing themselves. It seems that my boys are reacting outwardly and my girl is retreating within herself. I am just trying to keep them all happy and to help them all process through things. Althea and I are going to start some new routines together to work on things. I might include Huxley in some of these, but there are some that need to be with just my girl and me. She needs some time and attention dedicated to her.
If Adeline were here with us, I know that she would be being her spunky self, making sure that we all felt loved, that we were all smiling and experiencing joy, and that we were all laughing. That was my girl, pure joy. She was the type of child that lit up a room. Our world is a bit dimmer and will always be dim in comparison to when she was here, but there are still beautiful things happening around us. There are still moments of joy. There are still glimpses of our past life in our memories or when we are sharing stories with one another. The world can't ever be the same, but then again it also does not have to be over. We can move on. We must persist. We will always miss our girl, but we have to find a way to keep going and I am hopeful that by doing some of these things that we will get there.