As usual I wake and take an assessment of my mood today. My thoughts turns to Shayna and I wake Ty again (unintentionally) to the sound of me crying. The crying has changed some though. It’s not that gut-wrenching burning pain that makes my abdomen spasm anymore, at least not now. Now it’s just weeping. It’s more of a giving up. I can’t fight it anymore. It’s done. I accept it. I’m not happy about it, so I weep.
What are my plans for the day? That’s the next thing that comes to mind most mornings. What would I like to accomplish? It’s Sunday. We will probably go to church. The grass needs to be cut. I can do that. The weather looks decent. The four fish tanks are past due for a water change. Gotta get that done. But, the first priority is my morning walk. I try to get that done because I know how the day can change and if I don’t get it done first thing, it just might not happen.
The walk is an indication of how the day is going to go. I just don’t have the speed in me today. Every split is slower than I want it to be. The robotic female voice taunts me every ¼ mile to pick up the pace. Nah. Not gonna happen today. Today I will have to just be satisfied with being out here because the body just isn’t responding.
We go to church and come home. Ty’s got plans with friends that will keep her out all afternoon. Kayla is working. It’s just me and the dogs today. This is the way it’s going to be a lot. I enjoy solitude. I crave it. I seek it out. Being alone when you choose to be alone is solitude. Being alone when it’s not your choice is loneliness. Today I’m lonely, but I need to face this. I’ve got things to do. Cut the lawn. Clean the fish tanks. Let’s get this done. Then, I’ll relax a bit.
No. That’s not going to happen today. I just don’t feel like doing anything productive. I veg out in front of the TV for a while. Enough of this. Maybe I’ll meditate. I head upstairs to find my meditation cushion. I get through 12 of the 15 minute meditation session before I bust into tears. Oh well, got 12 minutes in anyway. That’s just the way the day is going.
I know what. I’ll listen to some kirtan music. Specifically, I’ll listen to Kirtana. Her music is like prayers set to soothing rhythms and it always takes me to a better place. I lie on the floor and listen for a while. At least I can get this done. The fish tanks will have to wait another day.
I go downstairs. This day is not going as planned, but I’m going with the flow. I decide to go sit on the deck and just think for a while. That’s when the fog rolls in again. The depression comes over me. We had plans. We built the family we wanted. Ty and I waited 6 years after we were married and almost 10 years after we met to have our first child. We waited 3 more years to have Shayna. When we decided to try to get pregnant, it came easy. Both girls were conceived within months (weeks) of trying. I wanted girls. God gave me two beautiful, healthy girls. I was SO grateful. They were brilliant and kind and smart. They were perfect. Some people want lots of children. We wanted two. We wanted the two we got. Our family was just way we liked it.
Then, when Shayna was 10 something was wrong. Long story short, we found out it was rheumatoid arthritis. OK, God is testing us now. Putting some bumps in the road. Shayna never complained. She never asked why. We gradually kind of accepted the fact she had a chronic disease we would have to live with until and unless a major medical breakthrough came. Then it was a torn ACL. Then, it was jumper’s knee. I thought. “How much is this girl supposed to take?”, but Shayna didn’t question. Shayna took on every challenge with bravery and even wonder. Each time we went to the hospital, she wondered what new technology she would discover. Then it was the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. For Shayna it manifested as an occasional rapid heartbeat that resolved itself within seconds. We don’t even know how long she lived with it before she told us. Probably a year or more. Shayna thought it was no big deal. When she finally told us we asked how long it had been going on. We will never really know. The cardiologist said “No big deal” She can live a long healthy life with this (and the rheumatoid arthritis). Both were completely manageable. Completely under control. We thought we had taken our share of lumps. Time for healing. Time for Shayna to be whole.
Shayna was blossoming tremendously, amazingly. Crushed it in school her freshman year- only her second year in public school. She was popular, easily moving between various circles of friends. She was top 16 in her class of about 550. She was determined to move up even further in the class rank chasing down Betty at number 15- one of her best friends. She had never played volleyball until June of 2014 and in June 2015 she was on a team that went to the national championships. Life was good. We took those speed bumps and we were still rolling cruising as a matter of fact. Shayna was going to start driving two weeks ago today on her 15-½ birthday, but two weeks before that her life was cut off.
“Fuck your plans” is all that comes to mind as I sit on the deck staring off into space. I write all this flowery crap about choosing this life, choosing this path, wanting to learn, facing the challenges. I say we are chosen. No, not only are we chosen, we chose to be chosen. We chose this. Well, I don’t want to be chosen any more. If I signed up for this, I don’t remember it. I just want Shayna back! I’m dying. I can’t live like this. I cry, great big sobs this time. I don’t know what to do.
I head back into the house and there is a chef’s knife on the drying rack. I’ve never thought of slitting my wrists before. Evanescence’s “Tourniquet” keeps coming to mind lately. It’s sung from the perspective of a girl who has slit her wrists and is dying and begging for forgiveness as she bleeds out. I look at the knife and wonder. That would have to hurt. And It would be messy. I wouldn’t leave that mess for anyone to clean up. “I could get into the tub.” Nah. That would take care of the physical mess but that’s just the beginning of the problems with suicide. There is the damage done to those left behind, damage we cannot even fathom. And, BTW, suicide isn’t automatic admission into paradise. The pain follows you to to other side with the compounded issue of the pain you’ve caused here by your exit. Can’t do it. I’m trapped here. Plans shattered. I can’t even get through the day and execute my plans. Fish tanks are dirty. Grass is uncut. Shayna is gone. Why bother going on? But, I have to.
Kayla returns home, we watch some TV. Being with Kayla is a like medicine for my soul. I’m so glad I have a few more weeks to soak up as much of her as possible before she heads off to college. Ty comes back. She has had a good three hour talk with her friends. I’m happy for them.
Day 33 is done. Ty and I congratulate ourselves on making it through another one.