My Journey to finding me .. another piece … ( part 2)
Nov, 26.2013 3:02 am
There is something that calms me in the middle of the night that no other time of day can do .
As I sit here by my fire and draw in its warmth, I feel so lucky to be a witness to the easiness of the early morning hours, before all the rush and chaos . It’s as if “possibility and opportunity” live within these hours. Where I feel hope that it could be a really good day! My wood stove not only brings me warmth, it brings me back to my childhood. There is a certain kind of warmth that you feel deep in your soul that’s not measured in degrees. It’s a memory, a love, a link to your past, a part of you and who you will forever be.
Back when I was a little girl, we had a lot more snow and it was always so deep , watching my Dad shoveling the driveway through the kitchen window. Hands pressed against the glass, watching him clear a path for us , he looked so big to me , like he was this super hero that could do anything, would do anything to take care of us. I would sit there in awe of him and the smell of wood burning , feeling its warmth through my whole tiny little body, these are all the things that made up the word “Home” to me. Somethings are etched into your mind forever. These memories flood my mind so often its hard to put them into an exact time line .
I will never forget my parents telling me that brother and I were going to the hospital for a while . I was so happy, because they said together! This meant that I wasn’t going to have to leave him all alone. Funny how I remember that but I don’t remember walking around all crooked. It wasn’t until I watched a home movie and seen myself walking around with one shoulder a lot lower then the other. I didn’t feel different from any one else, I felt special actually! I felt that God had a special plan for me . That I was meant to do great things!
My brother and I were admitted to the Toronto Children’s Hospital , we were both scheduled to have major back surgery. I wonder if they got a ” two for one ” deal! I will never forget the smell , and the cold floor on my feet as I climbed down out of my bed , and climbed up into my brothers. Time after time the Nurses would come in and bring me back to my own bed, but I was a persistent little shit , and No one was going to tell me I couldn’t curl up next to the one person in my life that gave me comfort and I had sworn to protect. They eventually gave up and let us sleep together.
There we were laying in the same hospital bed, all snuggled together like two baby mice. We went back to our old games , playing statue , singing ” Don’t cry dear family”. This time we made a new game up! .. We would hide under the “Blanket of white”, and pretend we were pirates on a ship, sailing far from this world. We were free! Free from everything and everyone and what was to come , We were free for a while ! .. I didn’t understand the magnitude of our surgeries I was only seven, but I did understand one thing, and this is why I was determined to have my brother go first. I remember asking them to take him , please take him first, he needs to go first!!! .. This wasn’t because I was scared to have surgery , I mean I probably was, but it wasn’t the reason . The reason I was so adamant that he went first was because that meant he could go home first, and I wouldn’t have to leave him behind. That to me would be harder than any pain I was about to endure, Just please let him go first , don’t make me leave him behind again!
The only other thing I remember , were the lights on the ceiling going by as they wheeled my bed down the hall to the operating room. I can still close my eyes and see them.
Well, God must have heard my prayers that day, because My brother and I went home together in separate ambulances , but nonetheless together! We spent the next 6 months in hospital beds, and you know, the mind has a way of protecting you , we block out things that maybe we just can’t handle , . Our minds way of turning out the lights! I remember laying there beside him, My mom would put us by the window so we could see outside, I remember being terribly itchy and crying because I couldn’t reach that antagonizing itchy spot through my cast . I believe my mind put a blanket over the rest. I can’t imagine now being a mother of three ,what my parents went through. Having two children in casts on hospital beds , especially at our ages. By the Grace of God I swear! This only made our unbreakable bond grow stronger… For there we lay, confined in plaster or what ever they make casts out of , to a bed for six months… It would be this unbreakable , untouchable bond that would hold us together. For if we thought this was horrible, it was only preparing us for what was to come…..
When I look back on all the crazy things we all went through, not just my brother and I but My parents and my older sisters. I can only imagine what it was like from their perspective, and if told through their eyes would be as equally beautiful and painful. Part of this journey that I am on to finding “ME” again is going through not only the good memories but the ones that till this day still haunt me in my sleep. But I promise you for every difficult one there are twice as many beautiful! I ask you to read with a kind and compassionate heart for this is probably one of the hardest things for me to talk about.
Waking to the sounds of my mothers scream, her horrifying crying and screaming, I immediately sat up in my bed, confused and terrified . She was screaming for my dad. I looked around me and there was blood everywhere. I was soaked in blood. I can’t express to you the fear and confusion that was going through me , its like waking up inside your own nightmare! Was it my blood? Was I bleeding? My mother was holding my bother in her arms screaming and crying, asking me what had happened.. How could I know I was sleeping! I was speechless, someone wake me up, Mom I’m having another night terror, wake me up mom, MOM WAKE ME UP!!! .. But I was awake and Living in my very own nightmare. The blood that covered my Pajamas was my brothers. And I believe that hadn’t my mother walked in the room he would have died laying right beside me. My brother is paralyzed from the waist down, and had to wear diapers. Our Toy poodle had picked up the scent of Urine and chewed through his diaper.
My father came running into the room, my mother was still screaming at the top of her lungs, and freaking right out I remember him smacking her across the face to bring her back . They rushed him off to the hospital and I just sat there, confused, fear stricken my brothers blood all around me. How could I have not heard the dog moving around? How could I have not woken up? The pain that was beginning to fill my heart was so heavy, like a million pounds of concrete was pored inside of it . It was the realization that I hadn’t protected him, I failed him, He was laying there bleeding to death, and I was there sleeping dreaming of things little girls dream of . I have never forgiven myself for this .
My older sisters were left to deal with the aftermath of this horrific scene, I can’t imagine the pain in their hearts, and having to pick up the pieces after my parents ran off to save my brothers life. Their strength and courage is beyond my understanding, not only was it their little brother as well , but there I was covered in his blood. My one sister ran me a bath and ever so sweetly helped me clean up. I never thanked her. But I have never forgotten what she did, what they both did. I don’t remember much after that , I know I didn’t want to talk at all . And I remember the first time I had seen him in the hospital after it happened . He was in isolation, he was in this really weird plastic tent. My heart was breaking a thousand times over , how could I have let this happen to him, I was right beside him and I couldn’t save him … Maybe I wasn’t special, maybe God didn’t have a Grand plan for me ..
If I had only woken up! … this was the beginning of many many nightmares where my brother would be sitting in the sand at the lake and a big huge wave would come and take him away, and I could see him trying to stay above the water, I would try so hard to swim to him, try to save him, but I could never reach him, I would wake up screaming and crying, and till this day these dreams haunt me . The only thing that has changed since then is having three kids of my own, and If anything so horrifying happened I could never blame one of my children, and would feel so empathetic towards them , I would tell them it is NOT their fault, that it was just a very terrible thing that happened. ( no one in my family blamed me but myself) I would hold them in my arms and tell them it’s going to be all right, Mommy loves you ! So I tell myself now , its all right, it’s not your fault, its just something so tragic that happened to your brother to your parents, sisters and to you . You cannot change the past , but you can ask your Higher power to give you the strength to endure it !
And although this is one the most haunting memories of My childhood, it wasn’t the last one that would test my endurance, my strength, faith and will to live on….
Stick with me , we have to go through the Ugly to find the Beauty!
to be continued……