Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It is a potty for cripe's sake!

It is that time. One of those milestones in your child’s life. Alec is potty training and doing phenomenal. He is a bit behind on the curve, but that is ok. Many children have regressions with the loss of a parent. Be it social, behavioral or cognitive. Sometimes they are subtle and sometimes they are earth shattering. But it affects them all, just as it does us.

Alec’s regression was the potty. He wanted to be little forever. To be taken care of. To feel safe. Can you blame him? His whole world was turned topsy turvy when David died. When Alec lost his dad, he learned way too young how incredibly fragile and precarious life can be. The rug was pulled out from him and he felt scared and fragile. Hell, we all did. And he just wanted to be taken care of…I can relate.

But as things have begun to settle, Alec is now embracing potty training. Seemingly ready to grow up a little. He now is excited about growing older. He is getting more confident every day and my heart fills with sunshine to see him doing so well.

Potty training is a momentous occasion but one that has stirred up some dark memories for myself. Cleaning Alec’s potty is way too reminiscent of that damn commode we used for David. It takes me back to those last five months and the dark roads we traveled together. How I had to assist him in so many of his daily tasks and how as the tumor progressed so his need for more and more assistance did as well. David often needed help dressing, as he would become confused with the arm and neck holes. And as things progressed, I had to dress him completely. He also needed help with eating, daily hygiene, bathing, and the bathroom as well. God how those were dark times. And god how I hated that fucking commode. Dave hated it to. I remember once how he just cried. He loathed that I had to help him. That he could not do the things that most people do every day without a second thought and how at the blink of an eye everything can change forever.

I loved him and would have done anything for him. It brings me peace that I was able to care for him; it is what you do when you love someone. You take care of them no matter how messy or painful it is. But it still sucked. It was still heartbreaking to see and it tore at my heart every day. During those dark days, I cried myself to sleep nightly. Every night. Week after week. Month after month. Time did not seem to exist. I slept little and my entire world, my entire focus was caring for both of the boys. It seemed like I was living one long hellish day that never ended. Although it may have been only five months, it felt like a lifetime. And now some of those damnable memories persist, roiling to the surface.

When I cleaned Alec’s potty for the first time, it hit me. The memories flooded over me with all the subtlety of a Mack truck, and I sat there and cried. All the crap from those final months swirled to the surface.

It is almost laughable how sad and fucked up things can be. How most parents doing the potty experience will doubtfully not have so much emotional crap tied up with what should be an ordinary event. It is a potty for cripes sake! He is peeing on the potty and I am crying in the bathroom! Seriously?! And as I sat there laughing and crying, I thought to myself, get your shit together girl! And I did. I came out and we laughed, clapped and did the potty dance. He got his sticker and the moment passed. Not to say that it still does not bring a little sadness every time I clean it, but I am finding each day is a bit easier than the last. We will be sitting on the big potty soon and this too will just become a memory. And maybe someday I will not have quite so many dark memories lurking near the edge of the surface. And maybe one day those memories will not carry with them the sharp pain of loss and heartbreak that they do now. One day they will just be that. Bittersweet memories of the life I once had and a man I once loved and shared my life with.


At May 26, 2009 12:45 PM, Blogger Satine said...

You sound like such an awesome mom :) --Alec will always be proud of you :)

At May 26, 2009 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny how the most basic of human experiences (eating, sleeping, and even excreting) create immesuarable connections within our memories and lives. The smallest of actions create connections that transport us years away or to another place.

I'm glad to hear Alec is getting with the program, as school might be a bit tough on him in the future. :-) (Just Kidding).

Hope you are all well. Bests,


At May 27, 2009 5:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, i have not commented before but i have been reading your blog for the last couple of months. i want to thank you for writing about your life and experience with david and alec. it helped me and is still helping ... you are very strong and i admire you.

my husband has a gbm as well (15 months now)and i have two sons, 6 and 2 years old. my husband is entering the stage in his disease you seem to be describing in your post, so it really hit home. i love my husband very much as well, so i do these things to help him. and after an initial deep sadness and 'how can this be happening?'- moment i feel at peace with it now. i had somehow anticipated it and now it seems almost the normal way of life. it is normal for us anyhow. but i had not anticipated what this would imply for pottytraining my little one. i wonder how i will handle it. it will be so different than what it was for my older boy.

life isn't fair in that way.

thank you for telling us about this experience.


At May 28, 2009 8:32 AM, Anonymous Roads said...

Perhaps these associations will always crop up from time to time. It's painful to remember. But I always ask myself -- would I be happier to forget?

There you are -- exactly.

At May 28, 2009 11:49 AM, Blogger Skye said...

Thank you for your kind words. I know many people will offer you their support and advice. I will only say this: Eat what you can. Sleep when you are able. Do your best and know that will be enough. And remember that even in your darkest hours you are not alone in this. You will survive this. However impossible that may seem some days, you will. Your strength and love will pull both you and your children through this…

Right now this is your normal. But that normal will continue to change as your life does. And someday your normal will not be filled with as much uncertainty and sorrow. May you find peace and hope in the coming months…

At May 28, 2009 12:04 PM, Blogger Skye said...

Thanks for checking in…
I agree. Many of our most basic human experiences create the deepest connections in our life. Almost like the primitiveness of it strips it down to our core…to our base emotions.

At December 01, 2016 4:19 AM, Blogger uầy ôi said...

Nice blog !!!
thanks for sharing
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