Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Sweet Smell of Sweet Pea and Vanilla = Wall of Emotions

A wall of emotion... Literally. This painting was created in the Hospital Clinic to adorn the construction wall for the new wing. The outer ring of footprints are Bryce's. For those of you that don't know this painting is now hanging in our playroom "Bryce's Room" as the staff so graciously gave it to us when he passed away. Today I started cleaning the house, picking up Wade's toys and trying to get them organized, as I opened the door to the playroom I broke down. There was Bryce's painting surrounded by family photos and Bryce's Prayer Bears from the hospital. The smell of the room brought me back to the last few weeks in the hospital. Bryce was given a "Scentsy Bear" with a Sweet Pea and Vanilla sent pack. Since Wade has been in Florida I have had the bedroom doors closed (so the dogs don't go in there) and the smell of this sent pack was engulfing the room. In that moment I closed my eyes and I was back in that hospital room, the scent...Bryce!

George and I were talking last night about life. The ugly truth about Childhood Cancer, is that it is SO different from Adult Cancers.... Childhood Cancers (for the most part) have no reason, there are no environmental triggers, in most cases the "experts" have no idea what causes them, therefore they can not be screened for, they can not be pre-tested, and "genetic" history makes no difference... they just simply don't know WHAT causes them. That's scary... What's even harder to grasp is that these kids have a HUGE risk of getting secondary cancers when they are older because of the Chemo and Radiation. Try that one on for size! They spend months or years fighting for their lives, they are deemed "in remission" only to have 3-4-5 years go by and BAM back in the fight again. Our conversation was one a parent would never expect to have, talking about their deceased child that they miss very dearly and saying... neither situation is "the lucky one". I can not sit here and say my situation is any worse than anyone else in this battle. My friends whose children are "in remission" are so very blessed to have their children with them, to be able to spend time loving and hugging them, but they also have the fear of the next scans, the what ifs, the when will it all fall apart again, they are never "really" out of the fight. While we are all fighting for a CURE and we are all looking for the WHYS... the here and now is still so precarious regardless of the outcome.

6 months ago Bryce earned his angel wings. My biggest battle right now is trying to make people realize that life does not "go on". You don't "get over it". Things don't go back to "normal". George and I have been pulling closer together, we have been unintentionally distancing ourselves from people in our lives. We learned early on in Bryce's illness which friends we could rely on and which ones would be there for us. We clung to them and relied on them to keep us sane. Now that Bryce is gone we are realizing which friends are still trying to understand us and our situation and not expecting us to be "normal". I don't want people to think that every "bad" mood I am in revolves around Bryce and I certainly don't want to be using my heartbreak as a crutch...what I am saying is that when I say I am in a Bryce mood and I really don't want to talk to anyone, kinda just want to lay in bed and watch TV... I expect my friends to say I understand call me later if you want to or I will call you tomorrow... basically what I am saying is that this was my child... my son... a piece of my heart...and when I am having a Bryce Day please try and understand that. I am trying really hard to surround myself with the people that are healthy in supporting my ups and downs.... Most of you know that I am very upbeat and genuinely the sarcastic funny friend, but sometimes I need ME time, there is no telling what the trigger will be, there is no guarantee something I saw or did yesterday won't affect me today... it's hard to understand but that's me. I've been in Bryce's room hundreds of times, its the playroom now, but today, for some reason the smell of the Scentsy got me... What can I say!

It's so curious: one can resist tears and 'behave' very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer... and everything collapses. ~Colette

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