in pieces

i guess the time has come for a little pity party. i feel like crying big ole goober sobs to get it all out, but only those few little tears fall from time to time. and in one breath i feel so grateful, knowing i escaped death and made it out alive, while in my next breath i feel so shamed and irritated that this happened to me. it feels a bit like i won the lottery, but they're holding my winnings hostage and don't know when they'll be released.

today i went to the specialist. what he said scared me. numerous times, over and over again, he repeated what a major deal my injuries are, and how very careful i have to be if i ever want use of my left hand again. he didn't sugar-coat anything; flat out said: you have suffered a very major injury. when told i'd had 4 liters of blood transfused, he looked away and winced. when he deciphered the czech paperwork and realized the extent of my injuries, it was no more fun and games. he had me frightened for my future. minimal two years recovery, and 6 weeks of absolute nothingness if i ever want to recover. i managed to sever the most important nerves in my hand, along with the artery which has now only 1/2 use due to them directing it through another vein, and all those tendons that need to heal to help me have use of my fingers.

i was taken to genk to have a brace made. a brace which will limit my movement, yet give me more security. i was plastered up and can pick up my new brace saturday. the guy told me the pain can remain for the duration of my recovery. i was also told that my recovery could be from 0-100%. it's not an injury they have any way of knowing the outcome. i feel like a miserable failure, though i did nothing wrong.

my son has seen too much and had to endure too much in the past days. he is fearful of mama, fearful of snoring, fearful of ghosts, fearful of anything and everything. his white face as he ran to get papa to help after finding his mama covered in blood keeps repeating itself in my mind, and i try to understand what that must have felt like to a seven-year-old. at nearly 40, i was scared enough. but seven? he's seen too much, and the world frightens him because of it. all the security i have worked his entire life to create for him has been stripped away. i can only hope time will heal the nightmares he endures.

my in-laws, my omam and opap, have been a world of help to me. i think i would have fallen to pieces if they hadn't been here the last days. i feel so alone, so foolish, so helpless as oma ushers me off to bed to rest, and yet, it is what i need. a little break from the pain, from the drain emotionally this has taken. they have given jari attention and time, taken care of the laundry, and helped with dinner. even more, they have been a source of support as they hold down the fort i can no longer manage alone. they have been through enough medical traumas in life to truly understand how i am feeling, and offer me understanding which i seem to need right now. they have done the dirty work of being my personal assistant, chauffer, housekeeper, cook, and child care providers. how can i ever thank them?

legally, i don't know where we stand. opa is setting those wheels in motion. i want nothing more than the travel organisation to be held responsible for not inspecting the house thoroughly enough. i don't want another family to have this same disaster overcome them during the family time that is supposed to be most relaxing and fun. i don't want someone else to have to feel this insecurity, or this pain. cuz it hurts. emotionally, yes, but physically it doeesn't let up either. and will it end? or is my life doomed to taking pills in order to live? and how can i feel grateful when the ouch sometimes stops me in my tracks and i about faint in a heap of sweat on the floor?

i want to hold my baby in my arms and give him assurance that mommy isn't scary. that i'm just the same, with a funny looking arm. but when i take him in my arms, he doesn't gain assurance. he feels instead discomfort.

what happens when kaeden returns from america on friday? how will i manage both boys home all day with noplace to go and nothing to do? i could barely manage them during the school year when our bikes were an option to escape. and yet, they still have a mommy. so many people have told me how lucky i am to be alive. i'm not sure it is luck. i think god knew my kids needed their mom. i think i have an inner strength which surfaces when it's most needed. i think my husband deserves to have a wife to share a life together. and my parents and brothers deserve to have the daughter and sister they've known the past 38 years.

i am grateful. but i wish the tears would just come and release the pity and fear and then let me move on.


Class Reunion

This week marks a celebration. This is the week of my 20th class reunion: the class of 1989, Laramie Senior High School.

Wow! I can't believe how long ago it was that I donned my cap and gown and sat in that stadium with all my classmates awaiting the moment I would be finished with school. Done with books and teachers and learning. Done with all that high school bull of cliques and clubs. Done with being a child and running to the world of adulthood. Yeah right!

I wasn't done with books and teachers and learning. I wasn't done with cliques and clubs. I wasn't done with my childish ways. But I was done with high school. I was free from that era of my life. Free to move forward and start fresh with a new outlook on life. And that's just what I did, and have been doing ever since.

High school was not my favorite adventure. I wasn't a popular kid, but I wasn't a loner either. I was one of those kids who got along with everyone but never fit into any one place. I belonged to numerous clubs and latched onto those kids depending on what we were doing at the moment. Rarely did my after-school activities include parties or movies out with the girls or hanging at someone's house. I guess I was a bit of a loner, really, but not by choice, more by circumstance. I had moved religiously numerous times until junior high and found creating lasting friendships a difficult task. I was shy, but friendly. I was what my classmates would probably classify as a nice girl that didn't say much, if they even remembered who I was. I was also involved in school sports, the school newspaper, Junior Civitan , Art Club, and DECA. I was active in school, getting reasonable, even fairly good grades. I caused my parents little trouble and worked for them at their store after school and in the weekends. I helped coach kids soccer, and did a lot of babysitting. I was a pretty normal teenager.

Until recently, I haven't given much thought to high school, or all this business of a class reunion. As I said, I wasn't that close to anyone in my class, and none of those high school friendships have remained throughout my lifetime. I couldn't be bothered with going to a class reunion to pretend to be a successful woman in her own right, introducing my husband and kids, laughing as people remembered funny happenings from 'the day'. But recently, I have reconnected with some people from school via Facebook, and since getting to know them as adults, I have a slight desire to attend my 20th.

It is only slight, and a pang that doesn't really hurt in the least, but it would be fun to reminisce, see what people have become, see if people turned out to be who I thought they would, and rekindle a few of the friendships I did have back then but lost over the course of life. It would be fun to meet these men and woman I have come to know, not as those kids from 4th period, but as the adults they are today. It would be fun to remember what it was like being that shy kid in the hall, and looking at how far I have come as the woman I am today. It would remind me that being popular really wasn't important, having high school friendships, dates, and boyfriends made no difference. Who I became was not based on who I was then. I have evolved.

So, though high school may not have been exactly my cup of tea, I'd still like to attend this little reunion. I'm not, but I'd like to. Just to calm a little sense of curiousity. To see faces of which have aged, hair that has greyed, men and woman who have evolved. Happy 20th Reunion to the Class of 1989. May it be a weekend of mingling and enjoyment without the cliques and clans of the past. May it be a chance to make new friends while holding onto yourself. May it be a place to remember...and be glad you are who you are, regardless.



I'm going to do a bullet post. There's been so much going on and so much yet to come that I am a bit frenzied...too frenzied to write anything cohesive. So, he's a few rambling things in our house:
  • Kaeden left for America. He did great! Jari and I spent the morning watching his plane prepare to leave and when I waved my very last goodbye as the plane flew out of sight into the great big world, one little tear trickled down my cheek before my little guy tugged on my hand asking "What are we gonna do now, mama?"

  • We booked our summer vacation. It took us a lot longer than usual to get it all organized this year, but I am thrilled with the result. We're heading to 2 different areas of Austria over the course of 10 days, where we'll also have the opportunity to visit Italy and Slovenia. And that's not all, but then we're going to the Czech Republic for another week. I was feeling very down about not going to America, but that's left me now. I'm glad Kaeden is there and can represent our family, passing out hugs and kisses for all. And I get to go enjoy the cool of the Alps. And the cost will be what it would have been to fly just one of us to America.

  • The weather: HOT! It hs been above 30 degrees (90's) this week with between 80-100% humidity. Doing anything productive results in streams of sweat dripping off you. I bought a small swimming pool which Jari and I have been enjoying, as well as keeping the house totally closed up during the day...but nights have been difficult sleeping as it just doesn't cool off.

  • We went to a Roman Festival in Germany last weekend. It was really cool, with role-playing and costumes and a medieval camp set up. And it was huge. Just as the main event was starting a storm came thundering in. Literally. Thunder and lightning crashing all around as rain strted pouring down. And there was noplace to go to escape it. We were all soaked through from head to foot. As we started towards our car leaving the festival behind, we heard sirens. We later found out that lightning had hit close and two people died, 13 were injured right where we had minutes before been standing. We had a guardian angel watching over us. After we left, we headed to a store where we all got new clothes since we were all completely soaked. It turned out to be a very fun afternoon as a family, even as we mourned the losses of lives during the festival activities.

  • Jari and I are getting prepared for the 4th of July. Yesterday we made him a t-shirt to wear, and he used so much paint I'm not sure it will be dry by Saturday. Though he painted it in himself, he asked me to help him write some words on it. Specifically, America, Jari, Kaeden, Papa, and Tera. When I did this he was mad. I wrote Papa and Tera (as he requested), yet it was supposed to say either Papa and Mama, or Tera and Erwin. Papa and Tera just isn't okay. And neither is Mama and Erwin. Today we're going to make something patriotic for a small-scale BBQ we're having with the family. Keeping it simple this year.

  • Erwin came home last night and informed me he got a ticket. For what? Not wearing his seatbelt. And want to guess how much we have to pay? NINETY euro. 90 euro. Oh My GAWD! granted, it's the law to have it on and his own fault, and seriously he wears it 99% of the time, but he got caught. Too bad we have to pay that instead of going out to dinner during vacation. And to an amusement park. And...well, you get the idea. I think that 90 euro is really bordering on insanity for something like a seatbelt violation.

  • Jari and I went to an interesting museum on Tuesday. I thought he'd be bored after 10 minutes once we walked in, but we were there for 3 hours and he was just considering wanting to leave. It was all about water and the Maas and Rijn rivers, and boats and fishing. They had a nature pond where the kids could fish and he collected all kinds of bugs and snails and plants and frogs. But, he wouldn't touch any of it. So mama got to do the dirty work. Then we hit Ikea for hot dogs for dinner. A perfect afternoon with my lil guy.

  • Yesterday while JAri played with a friend for a few hours, I got busy cleaning out our shed. Ewww. It was much needed and I think I burned about a thousand calories in the heat. I'm so glad that lil job is complete. My next task? I'm going to brave Kaeden's room and empty it while he is away. That may be a job with extra supplies needed, such as masks and gloves. That is one messy boy I am raising. I can't believe how dirty his room can get with nearly nothing in it. But I am looking forward to getting the job done and having him return to a little piece of relaxation.

  • My best friend wrote a post on her blog http://tamlynblogs.blogspot.com/2009/06/love.html I think it was in reference to me, and my feelings about her new relationship. I love my friend dearly, and I just want her to know that I totally support her in her quest for happiness. I totally support her in her quest for a life filled with love. BUT, I also support her in her need to go on a journey of self-discovery and self-fulfillment. I know that love can happen quickly, but I also think you need to take time to allow the relationship a chance to grow. You need to learn about each other and that can't happen in the course of just weeks. It takes time. And when she announced she was getting married, I was not even slightly surprised. Because I know my friend, adn I am thrilled that she has found someone she can count on, turn to, and who loves her. I want to wish her a BIG Congratulations, because yesterday when she gave me the news, I didn't even tell her Congratulations. Instead I said nothing and she asked me if I was mad. NO. I am not mad...but I do hope that you make sure to take time, my girlie, take time to be sure instead of jumping off the diving board head first into a shallow pool. I sincerely wish you and Richard the best. I sincerely believe you feel love. And I sincerely hope it's the happy-ever-after kind. Congratulations, Tammy and Richard!

So, that's it for now. My lil guy and I are going to head to the market this morning. We've got things to go and places to see and life to experience. And first I need to find him some pants..."Not short ones that show my knees, mama, but short ones that go to here (pointing to his shin), cuz I don't like those short ones that go to here (pointing above his knee)." Capris. He wants some capris. :-)