::pack:: of fixations



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

10.23.2012

Digging

We brought back some sea shells for Colum from the beach.  
I can't get out today.  I'm stuck in my hole.  It's dark in here.  It hurts and it's lonely.  But I really don't want to ever come out.  I have to dig and dig my way out.  I could live in here, if I could I would never leave.  Surrounded by junk mail, hospital bills, explanation of benefits, and bills.  I'm trying to accomplish sorting through 10 days of mail and I can't get it together.  We got back last night.  I cried the entire way home.  Upon arrival we immediately unpacked and crawled into bed.  My body began screaming at me and all the Ibuprofen in the world wouldn't shut it up.  I started getting depressed the moment I woke up on the morning we were supposed to pack up and head home.  In the beginning I was my normal crying all day self.  But the last 4 days I was there I'd only cried about 5 minutes per day total.  I'm not sure if it was the vacation, the beach, being somewhere new, or all of the above.  But it was nice to feel almost kinda normal again...even just for a few days.  Everything I looked at didn't remind me of him.    

I cried at the beach because he'd never been and will never go.  I cried when we buried Finn in the sand and we were not burying him.  I imagined him frolicking in the waves chasing his brother.  I cried after we rode the Toy Story and Buzz rides at Disneyland because Toy Story was his thing.  I wanted to buy him a toy from Disneyland just like I'd bought something for Finn.  I cry because I just miss him and I want him here with us.  I cry when I open hospital bills or explanation of benefits and the patients name is Colum Jacob Pack, because that's my baby, the name we chose for him and it fit him like a glove.  I cry because he'll never learn to write his name.  I cry because in the song 'Ronan' by Taylor Swift on the last day his mother whispered in her dying son's ear, and I didn't get to.  But I do love that song so much and I'm so grateful for it.  I love that he fought it hard like an army guy and flowers pile up in the worst way.... That song is so so perfect.  And the story behind it is amazing and I love the reason and the purpose behind it (I was naive about childhood cancer & am blown away by what I've learned so far).  Truthfully though when I listen to that song I pretend it's about Colum & in the beginning I changed the four years to eighteen months sometimes.

Overall I loved our vacation.  It was an absolute dream.  I did things I've never done.  I caught some serious waves on a boogie board 6 out of the 7 days we were there.  The waves can really give your body a beating and I loved every minute of it.  I wasn't very sore from it and in my mind I was really good at it...in my mind I should be sponsored every time I caught one of those waves.  We rented sea kayaks and went stand-up paddle boarding around Balboa Island.  Finn happily rode on the front of the kayak and I was surprised at my paranoid, cautious self for even allowing the dangerous possibility of it all.  But I did and I loved it.  At first Ryan paddle boarded and Finn and I kayaked for half and then we parked on a little beach on an island before we switched roles.  Ryan stood up and paddled for only a few minutes and before I knew it I looked back and he was on his knees, and then his bottom.  He took off his shoes and brace like normal people would and the balancing caused his (drop) foot and ankles to ache badly.  One side of his leg is completely numb and one leg from the knee down is paralyzed.  His sciatic nerve was severely damaged but not severed and supposedly after 6 months to many years the feeling and movement will eventually come back.   He never complains but deep down we both fear the worst and hope for the best.  He actually got back up to standing position in the middle of the harbor, on the paddle board as we anxiously watched.  That's hard to do when one leg is paralyzed it was impressive.  When we parked on the beach to switch there was a small back-hoe toy (or tractor, I just call them all tractors) left there and Finn started playing with it.  I decided to tell him Colum had left it there just for him cause he knew we'd be coming.  I've decided I'm going to tell him Colum does a lot of sweet coincidental things that happen to us, just to keep his memory alive and the communication of him going.  On the beach we actually saw dolphins a couple of times and I'm kicking myself that I didn't automatically think that Colum had sent them.  I'm really not like that.  I don't think like that.  My brain doesn't create fantasies that could be healing and fun, it is dark and dreary.  I'm trying to change that or at least fake it til I make it.  I'm trying to look for things.  Magical signs that Colum leaves just for us to let us know he's there like rainbows, back-hoes, and even dolphins.

However the waves were the best therapy for me.  The lifestyle there feels like home to me.    If I could I'd move to Florida, California, or Hawaii.  While on vacation I read a little of the rockstarronan blog (sorry I'm unable to create a link cause I don't have a mouse near just google it), the one that Taylor Swift wrote the song about.  Ronan's Mom talked about how she wants to move out of the house she lives in because everything reminds her of him.  Having those 4 days away that I didn't constantly cry and then instantly becoming depressed when it was time to come home makes me realize that maybe that would be the best thing for me.  Don't get me wrong I'm attached to this house and leaving it would kill me.  But it would be so nice to be free of a few of these chains.  Sometimes we tell ourselves if we only had more money, if only we were thinner, if only we lived somewhere else, etc we'd be happier.  I want to make sure it's not a 'if only' but something that would be a positive change to help me move forward.  Ryan isn't as eager as I though.  He doesn't want to change, he doesn't need or crave it the way I do.  Somebody left a quote on my last post:


The cure for anything is salt water- 
sweat, tears, or the sea.

Thank you!  I love it (April).  Any one reading have any great recommendations of towns that are safe, have good schools, and are affordable preferably in Florida, California, or Hawaii?  I know we could never afford to live right on the beach but close would be great.  I agree with this quote whole heartedly.  If we are going to move it would be best before Finn starts kindergarten.  I'm just testing the waters here.  I want to research jobs and consider our options. 

 I do love the Fall though.  We got married in the Fall and it's my favorite time of year.  I love layers, jackets, sweaters, and coats.  We celebrated our 11th anniversary on our trip!  Happy Anniversary Ry!  I love you and I'm so glad you're ours.  I know I couldn't do this without you!

Here are a few pics from our trip.  Some are instagram and the rest are just from my phone because I forgot our camera.


1st stop Vegas.  It was cold.  It was late.  We finally had eaten dinner and were waiting in line for a Taxi here.  I just love the way he stands.


Finn would run and laugh, run and laugh, repeat.  He loved it there.


It was so beautiful!

Us on the ferris wheel.


Ryan paddle boarding & Finn in front of our kayak.

Me trying to get a pic of myself kayaking.  It felt so rejuvenating and was so beautiful.

Our stop where we parked on the beach, drank some root beer and found the back-hoe toy.

Finn posing for the camera.  I love his little tan and the additional subtle blonde highlights.


Me practicing in the canal before I fully committed to trading.  I was afraid my ankles would be too weak to balance but it was all good and I loved it.

Waiting in line for the Toy Story ride.  We were tired.  It was our last ride for the day but was worth the wait.  It was one of my favorites!


I mean... he's so cute it kills me.



I captured 2 of the 4 times Finn fell asleep.  He hasn't napped since Colum was about 6 months old.  This almost never happens.  Never.






29 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you were able to get a break. It looks like you had tons of fun! I think it's great to tell Finn that Colum sends those things! I think he needs that just as much as you. BTW, I think your hair looks adorable! My in-laws live in Page, AZ and they are right next to Lake Powell. It's not ocean water, but it is water. It's a great little town. You should visit there sometime and see how you would like it! Thanks for sharing your posts with all of us. We love seeing the pictures of your family and I love reading your posts. It really puts things into perspective for me and my little family. Thank you!

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  2. I didn't know it was your anniversary!!! We should have taken Finn for a night while we were there... Happy Anniversary to a very beautiful and loving couple. So thankful to know you and call you friends.

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  3. That photo of Finn posing, partially covered with sand just kills me! He is so handsome!

    I grew up in Northern California, in the SF Bay Area. My heart lives on chilly overcast beaches. :) I can't say I know anywhere that is affordable, safe, and with a viable job market. There are some small towns in the middle of nowhere that aren't so bad, but you'd pretty much have to be independently wealthy. Sigh.

    BTW - I LOVE that quote about salt water. It's perfect! Glad you had an amazing time. Sorry you had to come back to so much pain. Love you to bits.

    xo

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  4. Looove the pics Kel! Finns smile kills me. And I second Page, AZ. Thinking of baby Column....

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  5. This isn't one of the places you're looking at, and it's kinda far away from Utah... but North Carolina. My brother lived in San Diego for 4 years and loved every minute of it, they lived in Oceanside too. He just moved to North Carolina (for his job, and also because of the beach) and they love it. They thought about eventually moving back to San Diego, but with the cost of living there, and realizing how much they LOVE the beach in North Carolina, they're staying. My sister in law grew up on the beach, and she loves living by it. It is very therapeutic for her. They live in the Outer Banks areas. She is instagraming pictures of them at the beach every single day. She has 4 kids in school and loves the schools so far. (Finn is the same age as her youngest). My brother is actually a manager for his job and hires people and if you're really interested in going that way, I could set you up. He sells Aflac insurance, (as does my husband), and it's good money outside of Utah. It would be so so hard to move away from everything, but it would be a good change. Colum will follow you wherever you decide to go... and I wholeheartedly believe in the little signs. I'm sure he did leave the truck for Finn and send you the Dolphins. Believe it. Coming home from a wonderful vacation is hard for anyone, but I'm so sorry that it's even harder for you. Always thinking about you!!!!

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    1. Kelly, we lived in NC for a decade, and it was wonderful. The hot, humid summers were a little difficult, but if you were close to the beach, they would be bearable. Things grow beautifully there. It is so green you wouldn't believe it! The ocean is different from the west coast. The water is warm and clear and the waves are gentle. Worth considering...

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    2. I'm seriously considering this one! Maybe no to Cali & Hawaii...& yes to Florida & N Carolina, & maybe Oregon (except the rain might kill my bones). And I imagine Finn having an accent & being a southern gentlemen!!!

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  6. I definitely believe Colum was there with you. He's always there with you. I love that you told Finn that Colum left that truck for him. I am sure he did. Always look for Colum in your life. He's there and he loves you all. I don't believe our loved ones are every really that far from us. The rainbows and dolphins will bring you comfort. Glad you had a wonderful and magical trip!

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  7. Off the subject of the post, but your hair looks adorable!! I know it's been stressing you for awhile. Whatever you're doing is working. You look amazing! One of my favorite movies is Steel Magnolias (I watch it anytime I need a good cry). An awesome quote from that movie is "laughter through tears is my favorite emotion". I think it's so true. It's ok to cry every day, as long as you can try to mix some laughter in there too. You're making progress right now, even if you don't feel it. Your posts show it. You have gotten so much stronger. You & your family continue to be in my thoughts.

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  8. It looks like a beautiful, relaxing vacation. Maine is a great place to live. Very safe! The 4 seasons are great here. Best of both worlds. Mountains an hour away, ocean minutes away, skiing minutes away, tons of lakes!
    I think of your family often. I haven't commented before but have been following your blog since December.
    Sending hugs!

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  9. I'm so happy you had such a good trip. I love your pictures - especially the one of the three of you. Beautiful family....beautiful you. Column IS around you...he is safe, he is happy and one day he will be with you again. Honest!

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  10. I love all your pictures! Finn looks like he belongs at the beach. He is very handsome! I'm glad to hear you guys had a great time in sunny California. Keep looking for the signs from Column, you will see them if you're open to seeing them. I'm sure he is with you more than you'll ever know.
    Best Wishes and Much Love sent your Way

    ~ Melanie ~

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  11. I lived on Oahu in Hawaii for awhile. It's tougher if you are white but not if you work hard like Ryan. Everyday is therapy and you forget bad things quickly. If you ever want to know anything just let me know. I experienced more than anyone else I know. The ocean there puts Cali to shame.

    Chris Sever

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  12. Glad you guys could get away for awhile. And your hair is so cute (: Finn is adorable! So sorry it is so hard being home.

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  13. Kelly I got a new computer and lost your email address. Can you email me yours again? Mine is mwogan@att.net Thanks!!

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  14. Kelly, I didnt tell you who I was....it's Meredith from Tennessee. Email me if you have time!

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  15. Love the quote....A.D.O.R.E. the hair - you look awesome you liar. ;)

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  16. Kelly, I have been reading your blog for some time & my heart aches for the lose of your beautiful baby boy. No Mother or Father should have to experience what your little family has had to. I loved the song by Taylor Swift & I'm glad you are finding some comfort. I hope you don't think I'm being presumptuous but I thought I would pass along a similar song called Beam Me Up by Pink. This song brought comfort to another young family called the Sullengers, patrickandashley.blogspot.com. Only another Mom who has experienced what your feeling can truly know the depths of grief and despair you must experience every day. I sincerely hope you can find one minute;one hour;& then one day when your pain gets a little easier to bear. I don't know how to attach the song to this reply so you will have to go to the blog, I hope that's o.k.

    Barbara

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    1. So I clicked on that blog and she had posted an article that someone had sent her when her daughter died and she said it really helped her. Here is the article if you want to read it. http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2006/Feb-26-Sun-2006/living/5987837.html

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    2. I only read maybe four blogs. One of them is the Sullengers blog. I have read your blog, Kelly, and Ashley's, for many months, and I have always imagined that Colum and Ashley's daughter, Preslee, are friends in heaven. Beautiful, smiling, blonde babies holding hands and watching their precious families below.

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  17. Kelly-You look so beautiful!

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  18. What a great vacation and beautiful smiles on all your faces. BTW, your hair is DARLING! LOVE IT!

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  19. I really like your hair in these pics! You look adorable with it short. :)

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  20. I love the pictures from your trip! You look so beautiful - your hair looks great!! Colum was with you the whole time. He watches you all from above and smiles. He is in a good place. He loves his family.

    Love and prayers to you today and every day.

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  21. I LOVE it all!!!!!!! Your words, your photos, your emotions layed out for the world to read, your memories, your thoughts, your tears and your triumphs. But most of all I LOVE you.

    Allie

    p.s.The hats are fab and I need to smoosh that little Finn.

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  22. What a fun trip. I love the pictures but especially the ones of the 3 of you, with smiles on your faces. When my husband passed away, I took lots of trips. They were healing in a lot of ways but it was always hard to come back home - back to reality. That "Ronan" song is awesome. I had tears streaming down my face the first time I heard it. I read the blog first and then found the song to listen to t. It is precious for sure. I know you will see your Colum in many things: the sunshine, the clouds, the rain, the colors in the changing of the seasons, but the nice thing is that he will always be in your heart and is forever your boy. Thankfully for me, I believe the love never ends. I hope the future is kind to you and your little family and many good things come your way. Happy Anniversary, too!!

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  23. It's been a while since I've been able to read on your blog so I'm just catching up. So glad you got to go on this nice vacation. I love the beach, too. I always wish there was a beach in Utah (ocean beach)...it would be my ideal. Lol.

    When my mom died, my Grandma told my dad not to make any major changes (like a move) for at least a year. It was good advice. I think you're right to take it slow, but I can say from experience that sometimes a move does do wonders. Sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side :)

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  24. Looks like you guys had a BLAST on your vacation!!!! Love the pics and your hair is beautiful! I'm so sorry that you had to come home and have more bad days. I know you know this but keep strong for you and your family. I can't ever imagine what you 3 are going through but please know that everyday many people...family and friends and those that have not met you, are thinking of you and still praying for you!! I only lived in CA for 2 yrs and I was very young and I have never lived in Florida nor Hawaii to give you advise. You and Ryan will now what's best for your family where ever it may take you!!

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