The other day someone asked “When will I stop over reacting.” She was talking about reacting to certain things differently now than she did before a loved one had passed. All I wanted to do was tell her she wasn’t over reacting. She was just reacting. Reacting to things, perhaps differently. It wasn’t over reacting. It was reacting differently, because things are different now. Things that once might not have been a fear, are now front and present. It tied into what I had just written.
I often find myself wondering similar things. When will I be normal. When will I be ok. When will I have simply a bad day, without strings attached. And the answer is now. I am normal. I am ok. And I do have bad days, without strings attached. Its just different now, because things are not the same anymore. Before I never worried about loosing my loved ones. Before I took them as they would be there the next day, the next week, the next year. I never feared things like I do now. I feared different things, that I no longer fear.
It’s a roller coaster, this life.
And not just because I have lost.
But because that’s how life is sometimes. Ups and downs. Twists and turns. Unexpected drops and dips. Sometimes you laugh and sometimes you scream, and sometimes you hang on for dear life as you are flipped upside down.
Just because you react differently when going to the top of the roller coaster, does not mean you are over reacting when you are being plummeted to an uncertain depth.
Some days go down without a hitch. A blissful day that went ok with the kids, and makes me think I can honestly pull this off…and then there are days that go down with much kicking and screaming, yelling and cursing.
I want to so often pull the kids close, and never let them go. To shelter them, to lock them up, and not let them out. To dust them off, put them on a shelf, and leave them there. Where they wont get hurt. Where they wont be made aware of all the pain and suffering there is. Where they wont be kicked down, and forced to get up. Where they wont HAVE to be strong.
I tell myself that the reasoning behind this is because they have already been through so much. I look at them – and see scarred innocence. I see kids who know more than they should, who have been introduced to more than enough before their time. I see kids who have matured in some areas more than others. Kids who know beyond their years in information they shouldn’t have to, and behind in things they should know. I see them wanting to fit in, and struggling with things that “Normal” kids struggle with.
And then I see other things…
I see Madison reaching out, silently to a friend who recently lost her dad. I see the connection they have, because of something neither of them should have to know about.
I see them becoming more and more like their parents daily. I double take every day, wondering if somewhere in there, they are living out their parents life for them.
I over react.
I under react.
I worry about things I shouldn’t. I wonder things I shouldn’t. Because they have been through things that they shouldn’t have. They have seen things they shouldn’t have.
They have a unique connection that no one else has.
And while I would gladly take it away from them any day…I see who they have become, and how they have handled things. I see how they embrace life, and love every mostly every minute of it. I see that they have become bigger than what has happened, and I wonder who they would have been, had they not been placed in a situation like this…and part of me wants to know, knowing that it would mean they would still have their parents, and part of me doesn’t want to know – knowing that they are pretty awesome just the way they are.