Lately, when I am having rough days and need something to look forward to, I set up playlists on my phone and walk around the park after work. I plug in a set of bedraggled headphones my son formerly used at school, hanging clumsily with extra parts unneeded, but this is not a fashion show. I do not like the little white millennial ear pods. I thought about joining a gym this year since weight bearing exercise is good for aging women who want to lose weight, but I will not give up my walking time. I need the trees and the solitude.
This week I have been listening to some songs from the seventies, softish rock, searching for a feeling from my childhood. The feeling is some version of peace. A peace obtained by being outside in fair weather with music and small selections of people. A feeling that everything is okay and I am lucky to be on earth. This feeling is missing since Susanna left. I do not know if it will return in the same way, but I replay it and appreciate it just the same as review.
As I learned in therapy, it is possible to feel more than one thing at once. A feeling I can try to name lately is “maybe not quite as bad as usual”. I hope it is a precursor to happy. Hopeful? Maybe a transitory emotion on some days. The feeling I also have, as I have been preparing for my son’s birthday, is a new type of grateful which I did not know about before. A grateful in spite of how much I hurt with loss. This feeling forms strong words when my son says to me (as he does sometimes), “You are the best Mom in the world”, and I can answer. I can say “I am the luckiest Mom in the world, with the two best kids” and I mean it as much as I ever have, though my ears echo with irony.
So there will be a party. There was a peanut-free party for school already, and a kosher party for the afterschool program. There will be basketball and cupcakes with Oreos baked inside. The goody bags have thoughtfully chosen items ordered ahead. There will be a set of the very best favorite friends in one place at the same time. And I will give my whole heart to celebrating one of my very best friends.
More than one feeling at the same time. This blog is one of the places I come for Susanna. Some people visit the cemetery to be with their lost loved ones. I do not go there. I come here. I cannot be where my baby was put into the ground because I need her to be with me, which she is. She will be there today but I miss her. This is her blog, and here I ache for her with every ounce of me. Here she waits with me for the pain to pass.
Susanna, I know you will be there today in your angelic party dress and sparkly shoes, giggling and dancing. If you were here incarnate, you might have started to like basketball. Or you might have stuck by me instead like you used to. I will not know. The cupcakes with the pink and purple rice paper butterflies are for you, from your brother and me. I wish I were making them in January instead, but he does not mind sharing. We love you Susanna.