I’m in a contract tennis group that plays on Sunday evenings. It was the best night for me to play because I could count on Dan to be home to watch Alexander. Tonight was the first time I played with the group since early December. They all know what I’m going through so it was nice to not have to explain anything.
I couldn’t focus on playing. I don’t know why but I kept seeing Alexander lying motionless on the table at the hospital. I tried to always be there for Alexander and when he needed me the most, I was powerless to help him.
We long ago stopped our nightly use of a video monitor with Alexander. Our house is so open that we could hear Alexander from any of the rooms. We only used it if Dan and I were sitting in the backyard after putting him to bed. Since Alexander’s passing, I’ve found out about Angel Care monitors. Unlike the video monitors, these movement monitors alert parents when their child stops moving for 20 seconds. If only I’d known about them before our tragedy. There is no guarantee Alexander would still be here with us if we’d had one of these monitors but at least, we would have been able to get help for him sooner.
I was supposed to be at a conference this week. Instead of Dan and Alexander coming to pick me up from the airport this morning, Dan and I went to Michael’s to find a Valentine’s wreath for Alexander’s grave. Our favorite floral designer, Brenda ,was working and she was able to help us put together a small bouquet as well. I would have much preferred spending today enjoying the beautiful weather hanging out in the park with Dan and Alexander.
With wreath and bouquet in hand, Dan and I stopped for lunch before heading back to Trenton. The food was fine but it was hard looking around the room and seeing kids at various ages and thinking about the future we’re going to miss having with Alexander. No Sunday afternoon lunch with his parents telling us about what’s going on at school. No teenage dates. No hanging out with his college friends.
One of the projects we planned to do this year was to convert the open space on our second floor to a family room. The space started life as what Dan affectionately called the “art library”. Once Alexander started getting older, we quickly realized a family room would make a better use of the space so we’d have a comfortable place to hang out with him. Even though he won’t be here in person to enjoy the family room with us, we’ve decided to move forward with the project. We bought a couch yesterday for the room. I was sitting on it this morning and I could easily see Alexander curled up next to me reading a book.
It’s just so hard not to have him here.
When I went outside today, I was amazed by the winter wonderland I saw. I immediately thought I wish Alexander was here to enjoy the snow and some sledding at Cadwalader Park. We would have had so much fun.
Now that Dan is back to work, he has to start traveling again. He had his first overnight trip last night which means I had my first night alone. Even though I tried to keep myself busy, I couldn’t help but feel the emptiness of the house as the quietness of the past few weeks grew even louder.
Today was the first time I played tennis since December 16, 2008. Since my Tuesday tennis drills had been part of my usual routine with Alexander, I switched my drill day. The change in days didn’t help my game this afternoon. I was upset and crying as I drove to the tennis center because Alexander wasn’t with me. I couldn’t concentrate during the match because I I kept thinking about Alexander. I had to force myself to hold it together as the other women in the class discussed their kids. They were all very nice to this new, sullen person in their class. They had no idea what was going on with me and probably just thought I was really shy or just unfriendly.
Once the drill was over, I rushed out of the tennis center because I knew I was going to break down again. Alexander wasn’t walking out with me carrying my racquet (always helpful) and we weren’t going to have our weekly game of chase in the field before I got him in the car.
After running a couple of errands, I made my daily visit to Alexander.
Even though I really miss Alexander, I did manage to survive these firsts.
I was having trouble with my laptop for about a week and finally got the problem solved on Friday evening. Prior to 6 weeks ago, I would have said my laptop died when describing to someone what was happening. These days, I can’t use the words death, dying, die, died or any of the other d words. Whenever one of those words enter my head, I immediately think of Alexander and it brings that awful day back to my mind. I know I have no choice but I don’t want to associate those words my baby.
I never realized before 6 weeks ago, how final and permanent they sound. I will no longer be a casual user.