Normalcy, is there such a thing? I guess you just keep adjusting to your new normal as your insides change. I take it as a blessing that my heart and "insides" do change as we mature and go through things that are hard. If I didn't change I wouldn't be learning the lessons that I should be, right? That is how I am approaching these new changes in my heart. Right now the changes are raw and they hurt a lot, soon they will be beautiful and they will feel right and I will hopefully have a new depth to my spirit.
We had another busy day. First thing we went to the mortuary to dress our sweet Tater bug. She looked beautiful. I cannot believe how well they have taken care of her. It is very tender as a mother to leave your sweet babies body in the care of someone. I am so grateful for the feeling that we have when we have gone to see her. It has been warm and it feels clean and sweet and there is just a nice spirit at the mortuary. When we went in to see her it felt different than when we went and saw her on Monday. I still loved seeing her body because that is how I know her spirit, but I knew the minute I saw her that her spirit was not there. That was so comforting. I know that her spirit is near to us, but it is no longer residing in her broken body. I knew that on Monday, but for some reason the feeling was different. I wasn't super emotional this time. Lance and I were able to dress her and paint her finger nails and toe nails. There was just a calm. It felt nice to touch her hands and her feet and to memorize her little body again.
We were able to see her casket. We were both shocked when we saw it because it seemed so much bigger than I thought it would be. Trevin's casket was the same size and I told Lance that I did not remember his being that big. He didn't either. I hated Trevin's casket. It always reminded me of a sewing machine case or a turkey baster pan. I think we only had one choice and I just didn't feel like it was good enough for him. We were able to choose something a little nicer for Tates and that sounds dumb but it just made me feel better to get to choose something that looked a little more appropriate. These children are special, everything that we do for them should reflect that, in my mind.
I left the mortuary feeling good about everything, except that I wished this wasn't happening. Outside of that all was well. Then we went and finalized the program with my dear friend. We went and purchased a newspaper because her obituary ran today. Then we went home. We had several deliveries and people stop by. Lots of phone calls etc. We had family members that were coming in today and kids that were going to and fro to their various activities, scouts, piano and golfing. Then there is always laundry. Ahh the normalcy:) I washed the last few things that we had picked up from the mortuary the other day. The last of her laundry that I will do. Very sad to put away her "Don't Bug Me" jammies and her sweet blanket.
Now, don't think that we are nuts, but we had signed up a few weeks ago to go to Lance's work party tonight. I was so sure that Tatum would be totally on the mend from her g-tube switch and that we might finally be able to go somewhere as a family. I was excited to get to bring Tatum out and to a park and for Lance's co-worker to be able to see her. It was hard for me to think about going without her, but I felt like it would be fun for the kids to go somewhere as a family. Away from the hustle and bustle of the house. So we all loaded up, (except for Hayden who somehow wriggled out of it) and went up to the Murray park. They had yummy Luau food and blow up slides and snow cones and a little 1/2 hour show. It was really nice and the kids had fun. The entire time I was there I just kept thinking as I would look at people, "Do you know that my baby just died?" Of course no one knew because there were only a few people there that Lance recognized. It is just such a surreal feeling to be among people whose lives seem to be just moving forward and normal, when you feel like your life has been shattered and your world has literally stopped. And you are just trying to pick up the pieces to carry with you as you try to move forward. I know that these are all "normal" feelings and part of the healing process is to face them and to start stepping into daily life again. It is just really hard, and quite frankly I don't usually want to do it, but I will because we have to continue living with the kids that are here. Tatum would want that. I know that she is satisfied with the life that she was able to live. I feel that in my heart. I knew all along that this truly was her life and her purpose. Looking into her eyes she knew it too. I just, selfishly, wanted more time to hug and squeeze and kiss her and to learn more from her.
I know that these next few days are going to go quickly and they are going to be very emotional. The last few days that we will get to see our sweet baby here on earth. It is hard to wrap my mind around.
Goals for the next two days: Enjoy seeing Tatum and having her physically with us, recognizing and witnessing of the spirit and tender mercies that will abound, loving time with family, trying to adjust to our new normal.