Since Zachary was taken from me, I can't shake the reality that life is so fragile. I worry about everything... ev-ery-thing!
11 years ago when I stood before the judge, reading my Victim Impact Statement, I asked for the stiffest sentence possible. All I knew when I wrote and spoke those words then was what I was still processing to understand and deal with. I knew the outrageous pain I felt and I could only guess at what emotions and hurdles would be ahead.
I had NO idea that I was going to turn into a gold medalist athlete in grief. It weighs on my heart daily. Sometimes I can't take a full breath because of the pressure of the pain. Grief is an actual, physical thing. It's constant. It's unending. Grief doesn't always surface as tears or pain. It comes out as anger, fear, or even as silence. I know I'm sick of it.
Life continues. Zachary's big baby sister is now a young beautiful woman in high school. His baby brother that he never met is growing into a tall, bighearted young man. Because someone stepped into our lives and was so negligent with my son's life, I fear the world. I'm scared to let my daughter become more independent because I don't want anyone to hurt her. Just last week, my youngest was sick. It wasn't a cold out of the ordinary, but I'm still paranoid. It would be a lie to say that I don't go check on him when he's sleeping to ensure he's breathing. I want to keep my kids in a bubble.
I had two terrible dreams this week, both ended in the death of another child. I can't escape the worry. I didn't know then, standing before the judge, how I'd feel like Sisyphus- rolling that boulder up the mountain, just to watch it roll down and have to start all over again.
When I wake on a morning like this, after a terrible dream and fear in my heart, I try and regroup. I've got to tell myself over and over to just take things a day at a time. I have to try my hardest to trust that everything will be okay. Deep breaths. I'll conquer day 4,191.