The weather got warmer this weekend, well at least on Saturday it did, and the sun was out. That's a glimmer of hope to hang on to that we'll soon be out of this crappy Indiana winter! Not that summers are much better with the droughts, heat and humidity, but at least things are green. I miss seeing green.
Towards the end of fall I remember thinking I didn't know how I could possibly get through this winter. Dark, cloudy, short days, bitter cold and snow does NOT do wonders for depression or grief! We started out our turn into winter with two trips. One was a visit at the very end of September for a week long visit to my parents in Arizona. I HATE (hate really isn't a strong enough word) to fly but the thought of being able to spend time with my parents just six short weeks after Everett died outweighed my hatred of flying. The trip was nice and I spent a lot of time working on some retail therapy while out there, and taking in the beautiful views of the mountains and fresh air. However, my grief, anger, and anxiety followed me out and then decided to followed me back home again as I was secretly hoping it would disappear in the mountains forever. I just didn't want to feel it anymore, it was so unbelievably unbearable.
For Thanksgiving, kind of on a whim, we decided to visit Dave's sister and family down in Florida. (We hadn't been down to that part of Florida since 1999) They are only a 5 min. drive from the beach on the Gulf coast. Most of Dave's other family came too, except a sister in N.Y. who wasn't able to make the trip. It was nice to spend our first major holiday without Everett surrounded by family and in such a beautiful, warm place, and this would be Lilli's first time seeing the ocean. We brought Everett's blanket he was wrapped in at the hospital so we'd have a little physical piece of him with us. There were plenty of anxiety and tears shed while on this trip by me. We spent Thanksgiving day on the beach, taking in the sights and sounds of the ocean. All the cousins had fun together. The second day there we went up to Siesta Key, which if you've never been, I highly recommend it. It's beautiful. The beach is like powder sifting between your toes as you walk over it. We spent most of that day tooling around that area and hanging out at the beach. There is something that's so healing and peaceful about the ocean... We headed back the next day and as we crossed the border into Georgia, the grey clouds were looming in to grab us once again, especially the further north we got. Holiday traffic was atrocious. Essentially by the time it was all said and done, we spent a total of four days in the car for two days with family and at the beach. Was it worth it? Absolutely!
The rest of this winter has been kind of like a blur, drifting in and out of depression and anxiety and just trying to get through to the next day. Some days have been better than others, but "it" is always looming in the background. I still HATE that this happened, and HATE that our son isn't here with us.
We joined the local Y in early January and I began an exercise routine that I have stuck to. It's helped with the anxiety and depression and got Lilli and I out of the house several times a week. My energy is starting to pick back up and my fitness level has definitely increased. I honestly think doing that, along with continuing my therapy, and support group meetings were the only few things that got me through this long, cold, dark, snowy, and very icy winter!
When I was outside yesterday, I noticed my tulips are starting to come up out front, and slowly but surely the yard is getting a little bit greener. It can't be too much longer before the leaves come out on the trees, and spring has officially arrived! Not that there won't still be dark days ahead, more so metaphorically, but at least with the sun shining outside it makes those dark times feel a tiny bit more tolerable. We dedicated a spot in our back yard last year for Everett. It has the angel we had on his flower arrangement at his funeral, and a butterfly bush we planted in the fall. I can't wait to start working on it this spring and watching some beautiful things grow there. I will post picks as Everett's garden progresses.