Susan's Blog

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Me and We

Argh, things are going well, but every time I think of Nat I get stuck. I think he went back too soon this past weekend. It is hard to get it right, the back-and-forth. He was willing enough to go, but I just missed him immediately. No tears, just a stinging heart.

The more fun we have as a unit of four the more stark is my surprise. It is as if sometimes I exist on two planes: the me that misses Nat terribly, and notices all the empty spaces where he should be, like the non-uploaded people that float around Facebook. The me that doubts, questions, and worries. And then there is the me that is — I hate writing this — moving forward.

How can I move forward? What does that mean for Nat? Who is his champion, if I am not always here for him during the week, and all he has is his phone calls to me?

That is the Grasping Me. It is quieting down, though. I see that there are so many others who really care about him, who monitor his progress, his health, his mood. Some at the House seem even to love him already (how can they not?)

The forward-moving me has enough energy and time and freedom to work, write, play, etc. That me could go out into the snow on Sunday with Ned Max and B and just sled and sled until our wet toes and butts were just too painful. See, going out into the snow used to upset Nat — about half the time. It was hard to predict, and that is why I would always feel anxious. It’s like the reverse of the rat with the pellet: if only every so often you are rewarded with an outburst, you are always afraid of an outburst.

So to go out into the snow without a thought, and not only that, to defer lunch…! Wonderful. The thought flashes through my body like a small electrical shock: because Nat is not here. Just Max and Ben, big and small puppies rolling in the snow. The four of us, a neat unit coalescing easily.

Except, of course, that also feels terrible and disloyal. Nat was not with us, so it was easy. Of course it was easy. But that’s what makes it so hard. That, to me, is one of the worst things I have learned lately, the cruel fact that you can love someone and then to find that it is easier not to live with them.

We have re-formed, into new parts. The trick is, for us, to keep ourselves soft and flexible enough to let Nat in and out. We all have to be his champion. I need their help, I need them to remember and to feel Nat’s absence. The me is actually a we.


You said a mouthful, Sister. Remind yourself that Nat is doing things with his group as well. Relish the growth that you see in your big and small puppies, and don’t fight success.

I’m off to FLA for girls weekend with my Mom and my sister – hooty hoo – and you better believe that I’m looking forward to missing my boys. Lisa

— added by Anonymous on Thursday, January 15, 2009 at 10:08 am

Wow Susan!! This made me cry-again!! Especially since we tried two times this past weekend to include Ben in our sledding and he tantrumed both times!! We did get him out the second day although he was confused and pissed off until he finally understood what we were trying to do with him. I have the three boys home from kindergarten every afternoon and it is fairly easy and then Ben gets home from therapy and the waters can get rough. I have struggled with how much I love him but how much I love that he has 7 hours of therapy per day so his brothers can “just be”. It’s crazy. I miss him when he is gone but sometimes within minutes of his “re-entry” things can get all out of whack around here.

Thanks, once again, for your honesty. You really help pave the way for the rest of us!!

Molly from MN

— added by Anonymous on Thursday, January 15, 2009 at 2:18 pm

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