Monday, May 19, 2008

Something's Missing

My Mother's Day was a quiet one. The husband is almost never home on holiday's because of his line of work, so it is usually just me and the kids. They waited patiently (read walked by my bedroom door about a million times shhshhing each other with "she's still sleeping" and running down the hallway) for me to wake up. Finally, as soon as one of them caught me with my eyes open they jumped on my bed and showered me with the homemade cards and carefully crafted flower vase filled with beautiful tissue paper blooms, my favorite kind, as they will never fade away and die.

After the gift extravaganza, we all went downstairs and my daughter said to me, "I know you are going to make us something really special for breakfast because it's MOTHER'S DAY!!" And so I did.

When the husband finally got home, we all headed over to my mom's house to celebrate her. Driving over as I was sitting in the car looking out the window at the familiar sights, my old high school, an old friends street, I suddenly had this panicked feeling in my chest. It was the feeling I get, maybe you know it too, when I am having the dream where I am supposed to be graduating from college and I am told at the last moment that I didn't take this one required course so I will not be allowed to graduate or the one where I fail the big career test( a medical board, the Bar exam, the CPA one, those career tests, I won't say which one I took:)) and I am told I can't take it again for some quirky only in dreams reason, and I am filled with dread, with panic, how am I going to fix this, how can this be happening, and in my dream I start breathing hard, hyperventilating, everything is moving in fast forward and I can do nothing to change it. I have left something out and as much as I want to go back and do it right, I can't. I wake up terrified until I come fully aware that, yep, I had the 'you screwed up your life again', dream and then I can go back to sleep.
That's the feeling I got in the car. The panic. I started thinking in my head, "What?, What is it?, What have I forgotten?" I mentally ran through my list of things I was supposed to bring to my mom's, snacks, presents, cards, and then I realized, FUCK, I had forgotten one of my kids. Jesus H. Christ, I had left one of the kids at home. Holy Shit.
My eyes filled with tears and I took in a sharp breath getting ready to scream to my husband to stop the car but when I looked in the back seat, there were C & C, my two kids sitting and laughing. It was then that it hit me. The child I had left behind, the one I had forgotten, was Caleb. My baby was not with me on Mother's Day and as much as I had tried to block it out, my heart would not let me.

I sat back in the seat and wiped the tears from my eyes. I took deep breaths to try and calm myself. I recovered enough and was able to continue on to my mom's with no one the wiser to my panic attack on the way over.

And so my Mother's Day gift to myself is the knowledge that at any given moment, I can and most likely will be hit with the overwhelming weight of the fact that for the rest of my life, there will always be something missing.

I miss you Caleb, more than even I know.


Amy said...

I miss him for you. I am sorry that it all hurts so bad. Thinking of you.

CLC said...

I hate that dream. I have it all the time, usually the college version.

This just plain sucks ass. I hate the fact that this is something we are stuck living with for the rest of our lives. It's so overwhelming at time, no wonder you had a panic attack. I am sorry that all of your children were not here to celebrate you on mother's day. Your living ones sound like dolls though!

Aunt Becky said...

We all miss him. I'm sorry, love.

I had that dream last night. I had forgotten completely about a class and had to go in and beg to retake a semester's worth of stuff. What's weirder is that I have no clue what the subject matter is.

Tash said...

Oh, I hate those heartbreaking moments when you least expect them, complete with the heart palpitations and anxiety and tears. Hate them.

Lately mine have steered toward being next up in the talent show and someone handing me my piano score at the last minute. And I don't play piano.

iheartchocolate said...

My heart hurts for you.

You described this so beautifully- I felt like I was in the car with you.

c. said...

That feeling is so real, so suffocating. And there seems so little we can do to avoid it or even get rid of it. It's awful really. Thinking of you, K, holding you and sweet little Caleb so close to my heart.

PS Hope the Mother's Day breakfast you made was a hit. XO.

janis said...

I don't know what to say, only hugs. And I would like to say your sweet baby's name, Caleb.

niobe said...

This post really sums it up perfectly.

Julia said...

Yes, just yes.
And anticipating this happening to me was why I downplayed the day as much as I possibly could. But I too made a special breakfast for my living family. Seemed like a good thing to do.
How are you holding on these days?

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

This is a really powerful post. I tell people, as well, that I am a puzzle with one piece missing. Never quite complete, never quite whole. Still, you can see the picture- but first, the eyes notice the missing piece...