::pack:: of fixations

life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.


Beautiful Pain

Some of the realizations I'm experiencing about Colum's death are bringing up emotions of anger and sadness.  I've always been sad, I'm sure I've been angry but knowing that my baby was hurt so bad that it killed him and neither Mommy nor Daddy could be there makes me down right pissed off.  I woke up and decided to watch the funeral video about 5 times this morning.  I always cry when I watch it.  I choose to watch it.  I choose to feel this way.  Sometimes, well most of the time I enjoy feeling the pain.  It's a beautiful pain.  It's the only way I can teleport myself back to him.  It's where I can feel him, see him, remember all of him.   I feel free.  The dark cloud that follows me gets a little less heavy.

I remember my Mom telling me how Colum would open his eyes whenever she would talk to him and how hard it was for her to believe he was brain dead.... or whatever was wrong with him.  I'm angry because I don't really know....I wasn't there.  I couldn't be there.  Ryan and Finn couldn't be there.  I know he wasn't alone.  I know loving family members and the amazing hospital staff was all there.  Maybe even all the Gods and Angels in the heavens were even there.  But we weren't there.  We didn't have a choice in the matter.  I'm also angry that I wasn't able to attend my son's funeral.  I, his Mom was not there and it hurt, and it still hurts and I'm angry about it.  I remember in the days following his death overhearing that some one had pictures of him while he was on life support with his eyes open.  They had ran all the necessary tests and his injuries were in-operable.  I imagined when he opened his eyes that there would be nothing there.  It was Colum minus the Colum.  We would ask to see these pictures but we never saw them until the topic was brought up recently and I insisted.  They understandably didn't want to upset us.  The first thing that we were sent was a video.  After watching it I now understand what my Mom was talking about.  In the video my Dad bends down and starts talking in his ear and his eyes open in response, he blinks, it's as if he's even looking around.  He looks medicated but he looks like Colum.  Please know I'm not angry at family for not sending this footage earlier or for sending it at all.  What I'm angry about is why couldn't it be me by his bedside talking to him and his eyes coincidentally responding.  My baby needed his Mom and Dad and I can't help but feel like I failed to protect him, to comfort him, to be there to love him.   It was scary, my baby was scared and I wasn't there.  I don't know what his exact injuries were and it makes me angry.  I don't understand why he was brought over and we had to take our child off life support ON CHRISTMAS DAY!  

I'm convinced there are two different personality types out there.  Those that like to know and those that like to live in denial.  I'm a 'like to know' kinda gal.  I think there are pluses and minuses with both types.  Ryan tends to be more of a 'live in denial' type (and also Finn).  I think he helps balance me out sometimes and hopefully I him.  I want to know what his injuries are and why they were inoperable and why his eyes weren't opening for us, or why we didn't get to see that and then maybe say goodbye a few days after Christmas.  I don't know if I've ever shared on here that my Birthday is the day after Christmas.  Even after the accident Finn remembered and told every person he saw that day that today was his Mommy's Birthday.  I was told they brought him into the ICU to tell me Happy Birthday and I just started talking about Colum and crying so they quickly took him out of there.  But even if they/we kept him on life support a few days would that've made our Christmas' any better?  

Whenever I'm driving Finn and my niece Brooke to/from preschool we always pass the cemetery and we always say "Hi Colum".  The other day as we passed I was struck with an uncomfortable thought and I was grateful to be wearing sunglasses because the tears began to fall, Halloween is gonna suck this year.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then Christamas and my Birthday.  I'm glad last Halloween was such a beautiful day and we took Colum around from house to house in his stroller and I have those memories of him in his alligator costume.  He'd just started walking at 16 mos and we were so happy.  

A few days ago I woke up at 4am and couldn't go back to sleep.  I got on my phone and got on Facebook which is very rare.  There's a Mom who took her twins to Little Gym when Finn and I went to the Mom and me class.  Colum was 5 weeks old & I'd tote him along with us and I remember in the beginning he would sleep and as he grew older he'd kick his legs to the music while watching contently in his car seat.  That Mom reached out to me after the accident and told me one of her twins had to have a heart transplant when he was very young.  I don't know her well at all but there on my Facebook screen was a post about a little boy who was living at Primary Children's Hospital waiting for a heart.  He'd lived there for 155 days and had just recently got the news that there was a heart for him.  I clicked on the post and watched a video about this little boy playing at the hospital with PICC lines and tubes hanging from his little veins.  Every post and comment I saw about this precious boy and other children who'd received hearts said something on the lines of, "Please remember to pray for the donor family who gave us this precious gift during times of tragedy".  

Donating Colum's heart is something I'm very proud of.  It made me wonder maybe somebody desperately needed his heart.  Maybe somebody else's child had been living at the hospital for 100+ days waiting.  And although I'm horrified just thinking about Christmas and how close it is getting, maybe someday I will be content with it.  Maybe I can try to change my outlook on what happened that day.  I will never be able to change the timing of Colum's death but in it he gave life.  I don't know the exact time of his death but perhaps I can live in denial of my own fantasy of the family receiving the call they'd been waiting for on that Christmas Day. The biggest gift that money can't buy.   Our little tough guy is a hero and my pain is beautiful.

My friend Shauna (whom I posted about here) told me she would be back at Primary Children's because baby Norah would be having surgery there last week.  I rescheduled Dr appointments and made our schedule work so we could finally go and meet them.  They have moved Norah further North to a long term care facility since I wrote that post.  Although it's been 9 months since our accident I've always wanted to go to the PICU and see where Colum was and I was hoping I would be able to meet the charge nurse (I believe her name is Tami Webb) who was working that day.  As time goes by I learn more little by little about things that occurred when we weren't there.  The charge nurse who was working the day shift (probably came in around 6am) stayed there until 1am, pulling strings and making it possible for Colum to be wheeled over to the U of U hospital.  She and many many other people who worked so hard to make that happen for us I consider to be angels.  Shauna arranged for the charge nurse on duty to research which room Colum stayed in and luckily it was empty so we could just stand there and cry.  I instantly felt comfortable with Shauna and I feel a strong connection with her and Norah.  She went out of her way to help us despite her baby having a pretty major surgery on her soft palet while running into additional complications.  She cried with me & Ryan just minutes after meeting for the first time standing outside of room #2.  Just right across the hall from Colum's room was Norah in what the staff had previously named 'Norah's corner' of the PICU.  Shauna pointed out some of the stickers that remained from her long stay and the only place she knew to be home.  As I approached Norah's bed I immediately felt just how special this little baby is.  I like the idea that Colum and her met while he was passing through on Christmas night after Norah had turned blue for the tenth time.  The nurse was unable to fix Norah's trach and the room quickly filled with staff members responding to the emergency.  Shauna said she picked her up and rolled her on her tummy and patted her back and it was the first time Norah was able to begin breathing on her own again without the bag to help her.  Shauna said most of the staff was deeply saddened and wiping tears from their eyes from a terrible tragedy unbeknownst to her that she'd later learn to be Colum.  Norah and Shauna had been just across the hall from Colum, this small detail makes me feel strongly connected to them and they will always hold a special place in my heart.

To say that Norah is tough is an understatement.  Although she is tiny (about the size of a 2/3 month old baby) she blows me away with her strength.  She is beautiful.  And so is her Mom.  Although our stories are nothing alike I really feel that Shauna understands.  It's just this is what happened to you and this is what happened to me.  Neither one is worse than the other.  It doesn't matter, we just can talk & cry.   A lot of times when talking to people about what happened to us either two things occur: 

1) Awkwardness!  I can't help people from feeling uncomfortable and I can't not talk about Colum or the accident.  There are very few people that can listen to me that I can tell they don't feel awkward when I'm truly saying what's on my mind.  Our therapist explained to me that sometimes it makes other people hurt and they don't want to and they try and ignore it or change the subject.  Also, after I talk to some one sometimes I'll get text messages later apologizing that they were awkward because they didn't know what to say.  This always comes as a shock because I had no idea it was awkward for them and I feel hurt and alone.  I've started to consciously become overly aware and am really self conscious of how people perceive me.  2) Competition.  Most of the time it's unintentional and they are trying to relate on some level.  But a lot of time people tell me about something that's happened to them or somebody they know that seems a lot worse to them and it feels like they are trying to downplay our tragedy.  It's insulting when people do this.  Most of the time it's people that barely know us but there's been a handful of times where it's been people I've known for years.  I usually change the subject and cry after these encounters.  Most of these people don't have children and I know they just don't have a clue but it still hurts.    

I know I've wrote about Colum hitting me whenever I'd try and kiss him.  Something I think about often is a little inside joke we had going.  When he would be buckled in his carseat and I would be driving sometimes I'd turn around and look at him.  I'd do anything to see that kid smile.  It could brighten any mood.  So atleast a couple times while driving around when I would be at a stop sign or stop light I'd turn around and smack my lips and make kisses at him.  Sometimes I'd say, "Oooh, I'm gonna get you and kiss your face" in a voice that sounded like I could barely contain myself.  This always got him to smile.  But sometimes I'd turn right around and do it again right after and maybe again after that... he'd crack up laughing.  He was helpless being buckled in the back seat unable to slap me.  It probably sounds really weird but we thought it was funny and it always made us laugh.  I miss our little joke.  I still miss my blue eyed boy.

*Kisses, little man.



Last week after a lazy Sunday morning I got an unusual urge to clean my dirty house.  I'd originally set out to clean the kitchen and our bedroom.  Both were in need of some undivided attention.  As I finished up the kitchen and passed the boys' room I glanced at Colum's crib that was now full of blankets and random items that needed a home.  As I walked in the room I decided that today was the day that I'd finally finish cleaning their room.  It's a tiny room and so is our 'master bedroom'.  Our house is small and the rooms reflect the modest post-war era of the American dream.  I was relieved when we found out Colum was a boy because they'd be sharing this small bedroom, along with all the little boy paraphenelia it could hold.  As I started sorting through the items I saw the Bed, Bath, & Beyond bag and the familiar blue blanket with little airplanes on it that he was wrapped up in the night they wheeled him over to our hospital into my room where we would say our final goodbyes.  Also in the bag was his blue vintage coat and his best pair of blue jeans he'd been wearing that horrible night.  His jeans had an adjustable waist which I always tried to buy and they were adjusted to fit my baby angels perfect little waist.  I ran my fingers over the buttons and down the elastics, the tightest they could go... I tried to imagine what life used to feel like when I adjusted these.  I remembered how cute he looked in them and I saved them for special occasions; never knowing they would be the pair he'd be wearing when he would smile his last.

I moved to the closet where the last of his shirts and jammies were hanging.  I'd already put away about half of his things and planned to get to these a lot sooner.  I got out the large tupperware I'd put his bottom sheet and blanket in, the only things I had left that hadn't been washed and still contained his smell.  But to my dismay upon opening the tupperware our cleaning ladies had thrown in a couple of those stuffed animals with scentsy scents in with them.  His blanket and sheet are now contaminated with the smell of counterfeit fruit and my tears began to fall harder as I chucked the animals across the room.  I told our cleaning ladies that our son had died and pointed to this particular tupperware and tried to explain that this was his and to never touch it.  I'm not sure how much English they know and must've not understood and assumed that tupperware was just the right place to put the scentsy stuffed animals in.  They must not understand why I cry so much and spend a lot of time in my bed.  Or why I'm usually still in sweats when they arrive, why I walk a little funny, or who that blonde baby is in all of the pictures hanging on the walls.  I let myself be angry for a minute and then decided to just let it go.  I added the coat, jeans, and blue blanket to that particular tupperware because his smell was nowhere on them and started taking his clothes off of the hangers.  I stopped and just grabbed the rest of them, hangers still attached.  I got the empty tupperware and dragged it all into my bedroom where I could sit in my bed and slowly put away each item.  When these were placed on the hangers he was alive and well and things were normal.  I tried to smell every inch of every item hoping the washing machine missed a spot... I held up every pair of Carter jammies, the ones with the feet and the zipper that I stocked up when they were at Costco every year and I held them against me, wrapping the arms around my neck imagining what it used to feel like to have him in them.  I imagined his head on my shoulder and his arms wrapped around me like he used to, my hand under his shirt tickling his back.  Him breathing heavy, he was a heavy mouth breather and a tiny drop of drool hanging off his bottom lip.  I can imagine him focused, playing with a toy, mouth open, breathing heavy, and the collar of his shirt was damp from his drool.  I continued my ritual with the rest of his last bit of clothing as each piece took my breathe away as the memories swarmed and my heart broke over and over again.  

I've heard of other people taking items of clothing of their loved ones who've passed and making blankets out of them.  I think I've even had offers.  But for me his clothes and blankets are just as precious as all the pictures.  Evidence of my sweet little dove who lived in this house and once even shared a tiny little room with his brother Finn.  I'm positive that if we got lucky and were to have another son that I wouldn't let him wear Colum's old clothes or swaddle him in his old blankets.  They are just too precious to me.  The two large tupperware containing these priceless things I will hoard and will stay with me until the day I die.  I wish more than ever that our 'master bedroom' was bigger more than ever now just so I could store them next to me or even in our room at all.   

My bedroom door was locked until the end of this painful routine when Finn came looking for me.  I held up some of his outfits and watched Finn's eyes as memories played in his head.  Some memories that are only his and perhaps Colum's.  I held up the blue vintage coat and Finn said "that is what Colum was wearing during bingo", ...Christmas bingo not what he was wearing when the bad guy hit us.  He talks about Colum multiple times a day.  He has started telling us stories using his new timeline of either before Mommy and Daddy got hurt or after Mommy and Daddy got hurt.  The other day he found a "Cars 2" ball, a toy from a kids meal.  He was so extraordinarily happy and immediately said that "this had been Colum's ball and he was so nice and he'd shared it".  I wasn't sure if he was right at first because with both boys being so young I wasn't buying each of them kids meals and I'm not a fan of fast food myself, but a few minutes later he found the 2nd "Cars 2" toy and it was a green spinning top.  Ryan and I were amazed and our hearts beat with excitement every time Finn shares one of his memories or does an impression of his baby brother.  Colum was born with a natural gift.  He could slurp noodles extremely fast and succeeded on his first try when he was around 9 months old.  This was followed by his I'm so cool grin and Ryan and I freaking out about our son's new found talent (it really was pretty amazing).  To this day, every time Finn eats noodles he tries so hard to slurp the noodles up like Colum could.  Sometimes he can kinda do it but honestly he's nowhere close.  I laugh and say "good job buddy but you still can't do it like Colum did, none of us can".  I pray that he remembers a lot and looks back with fondness and pure joy.  I hope that he keeps some of Colum's things with him always and they remind him of the days before our 'new normal'.  I hope although he is young that this experience helps teach him compassion and drives him to work hard and live to his full potential for himself and for his baby brother.  


Short and sweet

Quick lil posty:

On Monday, I cut my hair.  As it's been growing back I've been contemplating on what to do.  Extensions?  Shave it?  Boy hair cut?  Pray for a bob?  Later I will post pictures.  I've had my panties all tied in a knot about my hair situation and what I was going to do.  I'm not a huge hair person.  I don't spend much time in front of the mirror.  But, I've been terribly self-conscience about the cotton candy, fluffy quff attached to my scalp.  I just didn't/haven't felt pretty.  ever.  

I thought I would cry for about a week but I haven't cried at all.  It feels really nice.  My hairdresser said, "It's like you just look like a normal person but with a short cut".  Normal.  Feeling normal is under-rated.  Feeling normal can be empowering and just plain fantastic. Who knows, maybe I will stay short for a while.  It's been really fun to put on Fall jackets,  scarves, and play around with lipstick with my new short hair.  It's like my character in my story is evolving into a confident, short haircutted, soon to be pregnant [fingers crossed] woman.

Also, about a month ago I received the email below referring to this post....

Mrs. Pack,
I work as a Salt Lake City Police Officer on the afternoon accident investigations shift and wanted to share something with you. A few days ago as we were preparing for our shift breifing our supersivor Sergeant Tom Potter walked in and handed out a print out from your blog dated 7/12/2012. Sgt. Potter stood in front of us and said "you will read this, you will read every word". As each of us finished reading, Sgt Potter said "If I ever find out any of you treated someone like this asshole treated Mrs. Pack I will personally kick your ass then boot you from my unit"! What you probabally don't know about Sgt. Potter is that he is one of the leading experts in the field of collision reconstruction in the country, and it was Sgt. Potter that reconstructed the collision your family was involved in for the west jordan police department. I am writing to tell you this only to let you know there are Police Officers out there that do care about the work we do and I wanted you to know that though you may not know Sgt. Potter he knows everything about your family and the struggles you have endured and your case could not be in better hands. God Bless You all! 

It really meant a lot to me.  It means a lot that the Supervisor cares about people.  He obviously is fantastic at his job, cares, and is respected for it.  It also meant a lot that this mysterious Police Officer cared enough to take the time and write to let me know that this happened.  Which proves to me that he too is a fantastic Police Officer whom really cares about other people and is a compassionate person.  And, it helped me feel a little less crazy :).  Thank you!  

Thank you to all the compassionate people that have crossed our paths, prayed, or helped us out in anyway.  We thank you.


Christmas Eve

I'll never forget how happy I was to get home and start our own Christmas traditions with our little family of four.  I'm literally still mourning the loss of that Christmas.  It was going to be the best Christmas yet.

Minutes before leaving my Oldest sister Jenn, her oldest Daughter Natalie,  Nat's daughter Hailey (my Great Niece), & I taking pics to post to instagram.  I remember I was showing Natalie how to use it.

Finn & Colum won some serious cash from playing Christmas Bingo.

My Niece Sydney in her awesome sweater.  You can see people starting to leave out the front door.

Around the corner from my brother's house there's a park where ducks and geese have literally taken over.  Ryan had taken the boys that Christmas Eve night & here is the last footage of Colum.  I recently found the coat and pants that he's wearing in the video that the hospital had given back to us but nobody knew where they were.  It doesn't show up well on our computer but as soon as Ry says Colum he gets a huge grin on his face.  I miss this smile every single minute.  This was taken about 20 minutes before we were unexpectedly hit and we had to say goodbye to my baby.



I'm feeling a whole lot better.  In fact last weekend my happiness level reached a 10!  I feel like I've hit a milestone emotionally.  I know there will still be ups and downs, but I feel like I won't hit the bottom of the very rock bottom again.   I'm still constantly trying to control the amount of stress that is allowed into my life.  Yesterday morning we went to a new therapist... & he's definitely our guy!  Only one small problem, he's at the hospital... our hospital.... we have to drive there... in a car.  I'm mostly okay while Ryan is driving.  I'm okay driving myself around town.  I don't do okay when it's me driving towards Salt Lake City.  I've done it.  I've cried.  I've had panic attacks.  I'm trying to reduce my stress but of course our therapist (and I LOVE HIM already) is in Salt Lake City, of course he is.  Also, one of my all time favorite movies is What About Bob?, he does remind me a lot of Dr. Leo Marvin, in looks alone but even prettier.  Which is a total bonus.  I wouldn't mind if he requested us to wear t-shirts that say "I'm on a vacation from my problems"... especially while on vacation. ..."Goldie???"  "I'm sailing!!!"  I hope I have readers who also love this movie!  It's a classic.  Hmmm, I wonder where our new therapist vacations... perhaps, "Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire?" maybe???  Note to self: watch this movie now that you are crazy [wink wink].

I really want to say thank you to everybody for your comments.  I honestly didn't realize that I was being too hard on myself and it's all still new.  Thank you thank you thank you!  All of your thoughts and prayers are helping.  I wish I could personally thank all of you.  It was a huge eye opener.  Our therapist basically said the same thing.  It was our first visit and he summed up my life in a couple sentences.  He explained that our Dr's said we would be at a certain point in an x amount of time and we beat it.  We think we can do what we used to, but we can't.  He literally said our minds are not the same and used the words too much multiple times!  Our anxiety is our body's way of trying to help us to slow down.  We feel like we are failures because we are struggling to juggle how we used to be, yet have so much more on our plates physically, emotionally, and psychologically.  I just sat there nodding my head.  This helped verify the constant feeling I have of being anxiously overwhelmed.  He works with patients who have been through trauma and has worked in a trauma environment for a long time, so he fully understands us!  He even said the best thing for us to do is be together alone as a family.  Yes, this is exactly when I do feel safe, secure, and calm most!  I know my previous therapist was excellent in a lot of areas, but I wasn't being told my emotions were normal... I never felt assured that I would overcome a lot of my difficulties.  I needed feedback and direction.  I need more than losing a child is one of the hardest thing any one has to go through... I already know that.  During my last appointment I didn't talk about what I planned on talking about, I was asked about the trial.  This got me very riled up, even though it's usually the furthest thing from my mind.  Then she busted out breathing exercises printed out on paper and instructed me on how to perform them.  Next she asked me where my imaginal happy place was, "maybe the beach?" she asked I respectfully just nodded.  She asked what my happy place smelled like, tasted like etc, as she wrote them down on a paper stapled to the useless breathing drills.  At first I ignored her questions as I uncontrollably sobbed.  I had already been crying but this upset me furthermore.    Hoping that she would somehow get the impression that this made me feel aggravated, that my feelings were unjustified and she would stop with this ridiculous nonsense.  No feedback but breathing exercises and going to my happy place was this really happening?  I paid my $50 copay, put on a bra, and didn't cook dinner for this?  Maybe she wanted to fill the rest of my time because she knew she couldn't help me, I'm a different complication than what she normally works with.  I wanted to take the papers and rip them into a million little pieces and throw them far away.  I'm no where near the point of breathing exercises being beneficial.   I don't even have the patience for yoga.  "My bed is my happy place", I told her.  "It's where my legs don't hurt".  Please know that I know that these exercises really can be beneficial.  But I feel it really won't compliment my issues right now and perhaps I'm a few years out.   

I canceled all of my future appointments and tried to look at the bright side of all the money I'd save.  Ryan went to some one there also, his first time with a therapist ever.  Apparently they bust out breathing exercises on your first appointment sometimes.  He never wanted to go to therapy again because that was the wrong approach for him also.  My friend explained that sometimes it takes trying dozens of therapists before you find the right fit.  At least my therapist didn't do that to me on our first visit.  She really did help me with the immediate problem I had and it was very close locally and I'm very grateful for that.  I'm thankful because I know no one could have helped me more at the time like she did.

Remember this post?  A few days before I wrote that post it was a normal day.  I was getting used to my new routine with only my 1 precious child.  I was doing okay.   Ryan went back to work in May.  His job has always meant very long hours.  The first week wasn't bad, but every week seemed to get longer and longer.  His company has been so great to us!  We have felt so lucky and are so grateful for them.  But Ryan's sense of work ethic is off the charts.  He always gives 110%.  I'm sure he could've left others hanging and worked less hours but it goes against his character.  I would secretly cry because I could see the exhaustion in his eyes everyday when he came home and it broke my heart in two.  He was trying to be strong, too strong.  He was trying to show the company how grateful we were and he was trying to be strong for Finn and I.  He talked himself into thinking he could do what he used to do.  He's the main provider.  He never complained and would come home and do his best to mow the lawn and take care of his beloved garden.  I was constantly racking my brain to find a way to make extra money and help take some of the weight off of his shoulders.  Maybe I could  start writing a book even though I was nowhere near ready.  But how does one go about writing a book?  I also feel full of myself saying that I'm going to write a book out loud, but that's a whole other topic.  The way Ryan was going he would end up working himself into the ground.  One morning (I think it was the last day of July) he woke up and got dressed, sat on the edge of our bed and woke me up.  He told me how stressed he'd been all the weeks prior then he started coughing and ran to the bathroom and vomited.  "Are you sick?", I asked.  "No", he said.  He explained how he'd never had this feeling before in his life.  The closer he got to the job site the faster his heart would race.  Then he began coughing again and ran to the bathroom and vomited.  I began to cry.  I begged him to stay home that day & let me take care of him.  I begged him to let me talk to his bosses.  "No, I have to go & I'll call them.  I don't want to go.  I'm scared, I don't know why I feel this way.  I feel like I want to crawl out of my own skin".  I knew he'd been pushing himself too far but Ryan doesn't get anxiety.  He's never had anxiety or depression not even as a teenager.  He vomited a few more times and began to cry and we held each other for a few moments before he had to go.  

He called me when he was almost there and told me he'd been throwing up the whole way there (Park City).  He was bawling harder than I'd ever heard him do before.  I begged him to just come home.  He said his truck looked like a crazy person's been in there and that there were papers scattered everywhere.  He would write stuff down and shortly lose track of where he put it.  I understood this exactly because this is similar to how I felt.  It was too much.  Everything.  He spoke with 2 of his bosses who were so kind and understanding.  He felt helpless.  He felt incompetent about doing his job that he'd basically been doing for 13 years.  "We are different now I told him.  I don't understand it either".  He cried hard the majority of the day and finally made it home at 6:30pm.  He had a break down.  His first.  It was one of the saddest thing I've ever seen.  Ryan is my rock.  And I love him with everything I have.  I'm so grateful I didn't lose him.  I've always known how lucky I was to be married to such a kind and patient person.  He's everything I'm not.  He hasn't been working since.  That's why he went to his first therapist, and why I'm so grateful that we found one that's a good fit who can help us.  He got on a new medication, we have been doing the yeast cleanse, and spending time together.  He tried to go back to work on Tuesday but woke up and got sick with anxiety again.  Our new therapist explained that after going through what we've gone through jumping back into our old routine is like throwing a 1st grader into High School.  We have to gradually get back into it.  If we push ourselves too far it will only set us back more and make it harder to get back to where we used to be.  The relief of hearing our new therapist explaining the why's is priceless.  

Of course there's a problem with having to gradually get back to work... bills.  They've kept Ryan on the payroll, but we know they can't forever.  I don't know what people like us do.  I don't know how long it will take us to gradually be able to get back to do what we used to accomplish and how in the heck his company can financially accommodate us in this process.  But I do know I will do everything in my power to not try and rush it.  I've looked into disability and found it to be disappointing; and the process is very complicated.  

Sometimes I wonder how our lives would be if the accident had never happened.  Would I still be baby hungry?  I'd probably have a few more races under my belt.  What games would the boys love to play together.  The sound of their laughter and bare feet echoing through our home. Colum would be talking, I wonder what his voice would sound like.  How much thicker his hair would be, how much bigger he'd be now, how many freckles and moles would he have?  I would still have thick long hair, I really miss having hair.  Would he be swimming as good as Finn trying to keep up with his big brother.  Finn would never have to experience being lonely and our hearts would still be whole.  Would we appreciate what we had, I like to think we would. 

"If I fake it, then I don't have it"...sorry just had to throw in one more quote from Bob :)